February 27, 2010

Black Radio in Trouble; Black Public Radio is in Even Bigger Trouble

Source: Richard Prince's Journal-ism Veteran journalist Tony Cox says the African American-oriented daily talk show he hosts on about 15 public radio stations is in financial trouble and might not last much longer. But social critic Michael Eric Dyson, whom Cox replaced on many of those stations, is set to return with his own show in March.

"We're victims of the economy," Cox told Journal-isms. "Public radio is suffering across the board, and black public radio is even worse.

"We knew it was a gamble and a risk even from the beginning. We were anticipating that the quality of the show would generate that support, and it hasn't happened.

"We're not dead yet, but there is no point in looking at it any other way: We're in trouble."

"UpFront With Tony Cox" began Oct. 1 as an offering of the African American Public Radio Consortium, which in 2002 created National Public Radio's "The Tavis Smiley Show" and in 2005 the "News & Notes" program first with Ed Gordon, then Farai Chideya hosting. Cox worked on all three of those shows, and hosted the latter in its final days. The consortium continues to produce "Tell Me More" with Michel Martin on NPR, which is carried by 77 stations.

The consortium's members are primarily stations at historically black colleges and universities. They launched "The Michael Eric Dyson Show" in April — with Oprah Winfrey by telephone as his first guest — but that program lasted only four months when the Georgetown University professor took a break and never returned. Cox filled in amid the bad feelings some harbored toward Dyson's departure.
>>Read more from Journal-isms

This blog was a big fan of the NPR show "News and Notes." The show had a pretty large following, but not enough to keep it on NPR stations across the country. It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since it has been cancelled.

We were hopeful that former host Tony Cox would be able pick up where News and Notes left off. But without the promotion of NPR, the future for UpFront does not look good. We are still hopeful that it survives.

Visit the UpFront website and check out their podcast from the program featuring the book "The Denzel Principle: Why Black Women Can’t Find A Good Black Man" by social critic Jimi Izrael, who says some women set their standards too high, while others, are hypnotized by the idea that a Denzel Washington-type of perfect man actually exists. Interesting stuff...

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