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Posts Tagged ‘Skip Dillard’

WBLS’ Skip Dillard ‘Very Excited’ By Ratings Turnaround

It’s been one year since WBLS/107.5 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The result of which led to YMF Media taking majority control from original owner, Inner City Broadcasting.

However, a confluence of events has resulted in WBLS scoring its best achievement since debuting almost 40 years ago.

In April, Disney acquired the FM signal from KISS FM/WRKS, meaning black music for listeners wedged between hip-hop and Jazz was down to just one station.  At the same time, ‘BLS was struggling to keep its playlist fresh and revenue streaming.

With ESPN moving to 98.7 FM, WBLS smartly took advantage of the situation. Within days, WBLS had become a de facto merger with KISS. Air personality Shaila Scott resumed middays, while popular Kissing After Dark host Lenny Green was back in his familiar daypart as well.

“This definitely helped former WRKS P1′s [regular listeners] to feel more comfortable switching over and, these talents bring a lot to the table.” WBLS operations manager, Skip Dillard tells FishbowlNY. “They were all chosen [based on] talent and recognition in the community.”

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Brian Carter, WBLS Weekend Jock, Dies of Apparent Heart Attack

Brian Carter, who joined WBLS in 2006, died yesterday. Carter, who worked the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift Saturday, died of an apparent heart attack. He was 56.

“I will miss talking to Brian,” Skip Dillard, WBLS operations manager, writes on Carter’s bio page.  “I will miss his smile and most importantly, a passion for radio that kept me always reminded why I’m here.”

He says Carter was on the schedule to work yesterday morning.

“He had done Saturday and sounded great, nothing different,” Dillard tells FishbowlNY. “I got a call early Sunday morning that he had passed away.”

Dillard says Carter was a “true professional” who was “very willing to pass on knowledge.”

Prior to his arrival at ‘BLS, Carter was part of the successful morning team Carter and Sanborn (radio name Dave Sanborn) at WUSL in Philadelphia. While there, Carter also worked with Wendy Williams.

Carter also was known to listeners on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, “spinning records” on the 50′s on 5 channel.

A native of Baltimore, it is believed Carter was the first black DJ on a Top-40 station in that market.

“Brian was a family man, and a true communicator,” Dillard says.

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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Trailblazing WBLS Radio Host Hal Jackson Celebrates 97th Birthday in Style

Iconic broadcaster Hal Jackson has birthday number 97 tomorrow. The longtime WBLS personality is blowing out his candles with a special event.

The birthday gala, at Battery Park, is hosted by Jackson’s wife Debbie and will feature many tributes and performances including the legendary Stevie Wonder. In addition, The Jeff Foxx Band will provide the music for the night. Foxx is the WBLS afternoon host. 

“He reminds me of why I got into radio,” WBLS program director Skip Dillard says. “He’s a musicologist, believes in radio’s power to inform and serve the community.”

Jackson has been in radio for more than eight decades.  He remains a fixture at ‘BLS, hosting Sunday Classics from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

“[He] has given away much of his financial gain for the growth and success of others through scholarships, employment opportunities and mentoring,” Dillard says.  

Jackson is credited with breaking the color barrier at several radio stations.

WBLS, WKTU, and WRKS with Michael Jackson Memories to Mark Second Anniversary of Death

Unfortunately, sad occasions are used to mark time.

This weekend, the music world remembers Michael Jackson, two years after his passing, and some New York radio stations are planning special coverage.

WBLS/107.5 is paying tribute throughout the weekend with Jackson’s music, interviews from the station’s extensive archives, and listener tributes.

Program director Skip Dillard tells FishbowlNY that WBLS listeners will also hear celebrity comments, recorded concert audio, and special Jackson Mastermixes.

But WBLS isn’t the only station honoring the fallen superstar.

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WBLS Operations Manager Skip Dillard Named Living Legend

The Living Legends Foundation is holding its 17th Annual Dinner Celebration on February 24.

Skip Dillard, the WBLS-FM/WLIB-AM Operations Manager is among this year’s honorees. Others being recognized for their career achievements are Russell Perry, President of Perry Publishing, and Mathew Knowles, President of Music World.

“I couldn’t have been more honored,” Dillard tells FishbowlNY. “I’ve attended the dinner many times and so many of my mentors have been honored.  It’s a very exciting time for me.”

Dillard joined Inner City’s ‘BLS and ‘LIB in February 2008.

The event takes place at New York’s Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street.