April 6, 2010

Reggie Bryant, a pioneer in broadcast journalism and radio passes

After a long career in radio, TV journalism, and as a film maker; Reggie Bryant became affectionately known as "The Doctor" as the afternoon talk show host at 900 AM WURD in Philadelphia.

The following excerpt comes from the WURD website. 900AM WURD Radio Veteran “Dr.” Reggie Bryant passed away Monday, April 5th after a long battle with colon cancer. Well known for his strong, deliberate and unabashed on-air persona, Reggie Bryant was considered a “giant”, in the world of radio broadcast communications, in journalism and beyond. The owners of WURD, the Lomax Family, the management of WURD, led by Sara Lomax Reese, President and David Brown, Vice President and General Manager, are saddened to share this news and offer condolences to Reggie Bryant’s family.

Read more on Reggie Bryant from the WURD website including information on his former radio homes; as host of the groundbreaking PBS show "Black Perspective on the News, and as a founding member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists a forerunner to NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists).

Last summer WURD along with friends of Reggie Bryant held an evening to pay tribute to the legendary talk show host. Here is some footage from the event where hundreds honored Reggie Bryant and showed their love, respect, and admiration for this radio pioneer and intellectual giant.

WURD 900 AM Tribute to Reggie Bryant from Junious Ricardo Stanton on Vimeo.

Reggie Bryant was indeed a giant in the Philadelphia radio market and a man that exuded an on-air confidence and authority like none other. You did not want to tangle with Reggie in a verbal battle. Not that he would barrage you with volume and bravado, but he would skillfully execute guests and callers alike with precise and definitive words, like a surgeon with a scalpel, that would leave them silent at times and very much exasperated. Unapologetic in his boldness, Reggie would say he spoke to a majority African American audience. Those that questioned his precision in using the English language, he would frequently offer this reply: many White people wished they spoke as well as he did. He spoke truth each and everyday on the air. A man of integrity that inspired and influenced many.

He challenged his listeners to seek the truth and admonished them to think about the things they know "that just don't happen to be so..."

Reggie would end his show with not a good-bye but with a breathy and uncertain "poof" while Curtis Mayfield's "A New World Order" would play in the background. That commanding voice would simply disappear into the radio spectrum atmosphere leaving one to wonder if you would ever hear Reggie's voice on the air again. We know now his voice is silent but his memory will live on for a long time.

Reggie Bryant was honored with a Radio Milestone AIR Award on November 9, 2009.

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