February 21, 2021

Cody Anderson Philadelphia Radio Pioneer and Former General Manager at Black Radio Stations WDAS, WHAT, and WURD Has Died

Philadelphia radio legend Cody Anderson has died. He was most notably the former General Manager of WDAS 1480 AM and 105.3 WDAS FM and one of the driving forces of the Philadelphia Black Community Celebration known as "Unity Day." Above all of his other accomplishments that annual culminating event encapsulated his legacy -being in the community and giving the community a voice. He spoke to Lorraine Ballard Morrill, iHeartRadio Philadelphia Community Affairs Director, three months ago (above) about his time leading WDAS Radio during the station's 70th Anniversary series of interviews. Anderson's most recent station WURD radio celebrated him with a 3 hour tribute in December. (Flowers while he was here!) That video is below. 

Cody Anderson went on to own and manage 1340 AM WHAT and transitioned that station from a music format to a Black All-Talk radio station. From there he led WURD radio into their current format of talk radio as general manager. He continued to host programs at the station as he co-hosted "The Electric Magazine" with Vikki Leach on Saturday mornings on WURD 96.1FM/900 AM. 

Anderson leaves behind his wife Verna, daughter Teresa and sons Kyle and Bill, who is currently a reporter and anchor for FOX 29 in Philadelphia. 

Rest in Peace Mr. W. Cody Anderson. Thank you for your service to the community.

Press Release from WURD Radio:


It is with a very heavy heart that we acknowledge the passing of radio icon Cody Anderson. According to his family he passed peacefully on Saturday evening. Cody was instrumental in breathing life into WURD and shepherding it over our almost 20 years, first as General Manager and most recently as a beloved host, mentor and friend. Like his biological family, the WURD family will miss him deeply. But we are grateful for his tireless and generous support of independent Black media, which he championed every day of his life, especially through his advocacy of WURD Radio. 

Up until the time of his passing, Cody Anderson was actively involved at WURD Radio in a myriad of ways. He was the co-host of The Electric Magazine with Vikki Leach every Saturday from 7-9am; co-host of bi-weekly 9am Saturday morning shows with City Council President Darrell Clarke and Philadelphia School Superintendent Dr. William Hite; co-host of the weekly Laborer’s Live show every Friday from 4-5pm; and he regularly guest hosted wherever and whenever we needed him. His office was in the same building, on the same floor and just a few doors down from WURD’s offices. He flowed in and out of the WURD headquarters, offering gentle but firm guidance to our hosts, producers, sales team — all of us. He offered me wise counsel cultivated from a long career as a radio manager, entrepreneur and community servant.

On December 4th, WURD honored Cody in a 3-hour celebration at our annual 

Empowerment Experience event. During this program we heard from current WURD hosts, radio pioneers he worked with during his long career, and friends and family who have been influenced by his life and legacy. You can find a link to the AUDIO and see the video below:

Additionally, Cody was featured in the first episode of our new podcast, OnWURD: 2020 In Black, which explored the power, significance and possibility of Black owned and operated radio. Both of these offer a powerful record of Cody Anderson’s thoughts and insights, in his own words.

“WURD was his home. WURD was his family,” his oldest son, Kyle Anderson, said to me recently. And we are his. 

Rest in peace and power Cody Anderson. His was a life well lived.

Updated on 02/22/21 --WURD Radio devoted their broadcast day to Cody Anderson. The afternoon show featured host Nick Taliaferro and his guest Debra Anderson. (Both were former talk show hosts at 1340 WHAT radio when the station was owned by Cody Anderson.) 

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