August 24, 2022

Radio Personality Tyrone Johnson Fulfills His Dream as Lead Sports Talk Show Host in Philadelphia

Tyrone Johnson is the lead host of the new afternoon sports talk show "The Best Show Ever?" on 97.5 The Fanatic WPEN-FM Philadelphia. Johnson was recently interviewed and detailed his rise to be one of only a handful of lead Black sports talk hosts in the country. (Well what about...) No. We're talking sports hosts who are not ex-NFL or NBA players and host a local daily show. We don't mean Tiki Barber, Bart Scott, Brian Mitchell, Hugh Douglas, or Ike Reese.

In the article Johnson said he was encouraged by his colleagues to do more in the industry while his bosses discouraged him from trying new things. In 2004, both a boss and a co-worker told him that he would scare white people if he started hosting, as there were no Black radio hosts that were not former athletes at that time. A great article on the website Barrett Sports Media.

So who are some of the African American hosts, other than Tyrone Johnson who hosts daily shows around the country on local sports radio. There's not many. The likelihood of such a thing was non-existent as little as three years ago. Johnson seems to be the only one in a primetime radio slot, which is morning drive or afternoon drive. Given the number of sports fans across the country that are Black, there really should be more.

There's a reason All the Smoke, I AM Athlete, The Pivot, Million Dollarz Worth of Game with Gillie and Wallo and many sports themes shows are very popular in the podcast space.  

Damien Barling and Kenny Caraway host “D-Lo and KC” of Sacramento's ESPN 1320 KIFM-AM weekdays from 12:00 to 2:00pm PT.  And sometimes the topic is not just sports but Hip-Hop.

Keith McPherson of Sports Radio 101.9 and 66 AM WFAN The Fan hosts evenings in New York City.

Devon Givens is the evening host from 6-10pm on 97.5 The Fanatic. If professional basketball and the NBA is your thing, then he's the one to listen to. 

These are the only full-time hosts that we know of that are not former professional athletes... maybe there are more. (If there are let us know... we are not counting podcasts, weekend hosts, or national shows on ESPN Radio, CBS Sports Radio, or FOX Sports Radio.)

We don't think these guys scare listeners. Thank God it's not 2004.

Shout out to the late Coz Carson the first Black non-athlete host we know of who did sports talk radio on 610 WIP-AM in Philadelphia in the late 90's. Carson was more well known for hosting talk shows on non-sports stations (WAOK Atlanta, WOL in Washington, D.C., WVON in Chicago, WWRL in New York City and in Miami) in the 2000's.  

1 comment:

  1. There are more!!! You forgot Carl Dukes of Dukes and Bell on 92.9 The Game.


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