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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Slade’

Fallout from ESPN-FM Deal: Syndicated Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden Fight Back Without KISS, New York Outlet

While the rumors were flying for weeks that ESPN Radio would bolt the inferior 1050 AM signal for a quality FM sound, the station’s ultimate destination caught most by surprise.

ESPN/WEPN made it official yesterday with a new home in FM stereo at 98.7. That was the home of Emmis’ KISS since its inception in 1981.

WBLS formed a merger as several personalities, most notably midday Shaila and nighttime Lenny Green, joined the on-air staff.

As we reported last week, gone from the air are morning host Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden in the afternoon. The two syndicated shows did not find a home at WBLS, meaning they are not heard in the nation’s top market.

Joyner has declined FishbowlNY’s interview request, instead discussing the KISS/WBLS situation on his radio show and writing about it on his blog. Joyner and Baisden agree that the bigger picture means that the black audience suffers with fewer options.

“Thursday, we found out that a very important voice in New York City would be silenced,” Joyner writes. “After 20 years of broadcasting to and advocating for a mostly African-American audience, our New York affiliate, KISS 98.7, is now gone. It makes me sad, not just for our own personal loss but because of what the community-at-large is losing.”

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Tributes to Pop Icon Whitney Houston; Dead at 48

It’s a tragedy that resonates with fans around the world. Whitney Houston, one of the great voices of her generation, died suddenly Saturday night. She was 48. At the time of this writing, an autopsy was scheduled to be performed tomorrow.

Houston rocketed to superstardom in 1985 with her self-titled Whitney Houston. She remains the only artist to chart seven consecutive number ones on the Billboard Hot 100.

Bob Slade, the KISS FM news director and longtime music host, has early memories of the songstress.  He interviewed Houston at the radio station in the spring of 1985.

“Her debut album had just dropped,” Slade recalls. “She was very shy and reserved… A year and a half later I met the ‘real’ Whitney. [It was] night and day, full of life, funny, and was having a ball.”

Life, though, was not always a ball for the 80s iconic singer. In 1992, after a three-year courtship, Houston married singer Bobby Brown, and a downward spiral was underway.

Houston’s perfect image was tarnished by the end of the 1990s.  She admitted to drug abuse and her behavior was, at times, erratic.

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Remembering Soul Train Creator Don Cornelius

He was a pioneering TV host and producer, but knowing Don Cornelius as the man of Soul Train only scratches the surface. Cornelius was found dead this morning at his Los Angeles home. The coroner’s office says it appears to be a suicide. Cornelius was 75.

He created Soul Train in 1970 at WCIU in Chicago. A year later, Americans jumped on board the train for a 35-year ride.

“Mr. Cornelius capitalized on an opportunity to serve a market that wasn’t being served,” WBLS program director Skip Dillard tells FishbowlNY. “While Soul Train focused on showcasing new African American artists and bands, a much larger audience than African Americans tuned in.”  

Bob Slade, an African American fixture in New York for four decades at KISS FM, and black music historian, recalls interviewing Cornelius many years ago.

“He told me his dream was to be a disc jockey,” Slade remembers.

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Kiss FM Takes Open Line to Brownsville Following Murder of 34-Year-Old Mother

In the wake of the senseless killing in a Brooklyn neighborhood last month, 98.7 Kiss FM/WRKS is hosting a special Open Line, the station’s weekly public affairs show.  

Zurana Horton, a 34-year-old mother of 13 from Brownsville, was shot in the crossfire while protecting hers and other school children.  KISS FM and The Open Line hopes to generate a community discussion, bringing together residents and local leaders and panelists for this no-holds-barred town hall meeting.

The special edition Open Line Live: A State of Emergency, is hosted by Bob Slade, along with Bob Pickett and James Mtume. They will be joined by Tony Herbert and other community activists and the residents of Brownsville.

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9/11: New York Remembers Revisited

In case you missed any of our special feature 9/11: New York Remembers, today we’re observing the 10th anniversary of the tragic day linking back to the entire series.

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Famed Kiss FM Newsman Bob Slade Recalls ‘Triple Duty’ 9/11 Coverage at Emmis Stations

Listeners to Emmis’ WRKS-FM/98.7 Kiss FM know Bob Slade very well. He’s been the award-winning morning newsman (at times afternoons) since RKO started Kiss started 30 years ago. 

While those years in live radio served him well, he never could have planned for what was about to happen on September 11, 2001.

In today’s installment of 9/11: New York Remembers, FishbowlNY talks with Slade for his memories of that fateful day.

“I was going back to my office, and all of a sudden I looked up and there was a flash,” Slade tells FishbowlNY.

The Kiss studios since 1996 have been located in the West Village, just a mile or so from the World Trade Center. 

So Slade knew there was a problem. He monitored the police radio to get details about the first plane crash into the north tower.

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98.7 Kiss/WRKS Having Reunion Party to Mark 30th Anniversary

As we told you yesterday, 98.7 Kiss FM/WRKS reached the big 3-0.

To celebrate, the longtime Soul and R&B station is reuniting past air personalities. On Thursday, August 11th, Kiss is holding its 30th Anniversary Reunion Party on the plaza at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building (125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard).

The list of guests is a who’s who of Kiss from yesteryear.

Legendary alumni Ken “Spider” Webb, Mike Love, and Diana King are just a few who will take part in the festivities. Fans will also see DJ Ace, Tanya Simpson, Bobby Gailes, and Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex. And there will be many more Kiss on-air notables, including Dean Meminger, Nicole Brown, Raqiyah Mays.

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Legendary Voice of 98.7 Kiss FM/WRKS, Newsman Bob Slade Celebrates Station’s 30 Years

Today marks Soul/R&B station 98.7 Kiss FM/WRKS’ 30th anniversary. One constant at the station has been morning news anchor Bob Slade.

In fact, Slade predates Kiss at 98.7, starting at the frequency in 1975 when it was the disco-led 99X/WXLO.

These days Slade, who FishbowlNY sat down with recently, is also an historian of all things “Kiss.”

“There had already been a few Kiss stations at that time,” Slade recalls. “So they figured that’s a good advertising slogan, people will remember ‘Kiss.’”

He says the lips created for the new logo belonged to former DJ, the late Mary Thomas.

Slade says RKO General wanted established DJs to get the station off the ground. Thomas and Chuck Leonard were among the first announcers added to the Kiss lineup.

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Tom Joyner Returns to Mornings on Kiss FM/WRKS

From 2001 to 2003, the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show aired on Emmis-owned WRKS/Kiss FM.

But, after being dropped in favor of building a local presence in the morning, Joyner (far right) and company are returning to 98.7 Kiss FM.

Starting on February 7, Joyner, along with J. Anthony Brown, and Sybil Wilkes will be heard on Kiss from 6 to 10 a.m.

This time around, though, Joyner’s show will include Bob Slade, the veteran WRKS news director, as part of the on-air team.

Since comedian D.L. Hughley was dropped from his morning duties last August, Emmis management was left to ponder their next move.

“I am excited to welcome Tom Joyner to the KISS family,” Jill Strada, WRKS program director, says,  ”Tom’s a radio veteran whose work ethic and dedication to empowering the Black community is a perfect fit with KISS FM’s culture.  Together we are going to do some BIG things in the big apple.”

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98.7 KISS FM Hosts Town Hall Version of The Open Line

With such issues as education and youth violence as the backdrop, WRKS 98.7 KISS FM hosts a special town hall edition of The Open Line.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker will be among the special guest panelists.

The Open Line is a weekly current affairs program with Bob Slade, Bob Pickett, and James Mtume.

The town hall takes place Friday night from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

Emmis-owned KISS FM will broadcast the event on Sunday, November 21 from 10 a.m. to noon.