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January 13, 2014

Talk Station 900 AM WURD Announces Lineup Changes

900AM-WURD today announced changes to its on-air lineup and weekday schedule, as well as major plans to expand its reach as a multimedia enterprise. The changes are part of a phased plan to update WURD’s overall soundprint and programming approach, and extend its global reach as a curator-source of content supporting progressive Black thought and activism.

The station had made a number of incremental changes in late 2013, consisting mainly of programming and website tweaks, but more substantive changes are now being shared publicly.

5:00 A.M. – 6:00 A.M.
WURD Inspirational Hour [Spiritually-uplifting content]

6:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Wake Up with WURD [Host: Phil Allen]

10:00 A.M.  – 12:00 P.M.
The Mid Morning MOJO [Host: Stephanie Renee]

1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Keepin’ It Real with Reverend Al Sharpton

4:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
The Nick Taliaferro Show

 ↓ Press release continues below:

The lineup changes at 900 AM WURD have come with some subtractions. Veteran broadcaster Louise Williams in no longer on the air as a gospel host. She simply has been working way too hard as a radio host and elected State Representative for several decades. She has been on the radio in Philadelphia for over 50 years mainly at WDAS radio. She was recently interviewed by her son James Bishop upon her induction in the Broadcasters Pioneers Hall of Fame. She also talked about her health concerns.

Also replaced at the station was midday host Al Butler. The station issued a statement about Butler's release. Mr. Butler also issued a statement regarding his firing as well.

Side note: New morning host Phil Allen has an interesting story of how he became a radio host. Phil was a just a caller on a sports radio station. The first time he called a station was more than 20 years ago. Without giving away his journey as talk show host, let's just say he parlayed those calls into becoming a weekend host on the sports radio station 97.5 FM The Fanatic almost 4 years ago. Phil Allen says this about his radio experience. “Being on the radio for four hours is intense. It’s just like sex—when you’re done, it’s like, ‘Damn, where’s my cigarette?’”
-From PW Newspaper

“We had a very strong 2013, including the celebration of our 10th anniversary,” said Sara Lomax-Reese, WURD’s President and General Manager. “As we think about how we want the next ten years to look, we are seizing the opportunity to continue our success as a radio broadcaster and also take bold steps to maximize our potential in the multimedia space.”

In recent years, WURD Radio adopted a three-point approach for its presence and platforms called “On Air, Online, and In the Community.” This slogan, a nod to the company’s terrestrial radio programming, web content and on-ground events, will continue to provide the structure for how it operates as a media entity – but with heavier focus on digital/web content delivery and packaging powerful urban stories. The overall goal is to evolve the company into a world-class, interactive communications vehicle and voice within the African Diaspora.

Also foremost in the mind of WURD’s management team is the encouragement of the late Walter P. Lomax, Jr., M.D. – founder of the station and its loudest cheerleader. “It’s important that our family of members, listeners, sponsors and supporters know that we are inspired by my father’s example of excellence, activism, philanthropy and a genuine concern for the future of the Black community,” said Ms. Lomax-Reese. “That’s the context for our next chapter. WURD is ready to take our message and presence to greater heights.”

This initial phase of changes will lay the foundation for growth in 2014 and is also expected to help WURD attract additional listeners, offer content that closes the youth/elder communication gap, and strengthen its technological capabilities. Additional plans for the year include a strong roster of live broadcasts around the region, six installments of the “WURD Speaks” signature symposium series, exclusive member benefits, new features in WURD’s popular smartphone app, major marketing and media partnerships, a listener trip to African American cultural attractions in Northern California, online retail of branded merchandise, significant blogger expansion, and even a brand-new station promotional vehicle.

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