Black radio in New York City suffered a blow with the merger of WRKS, also known as KISS-FM and WBLS. The merger is part of a reshuffling deal as a result of Disney agreeing to acquire 98.7 FM (KISS-FM) from Emmis for $96 million. It will now simulcast as ESPN radio in the Big Apple. The change is set 12 a.m. April 30 and will operate under the WBLS call letters.
So, instead of having two urban radio stations in New York City catering to the black community, they will now have one. What does that mean for on-air personalities? Steve Harvey’s syndicated show, which is now heard on WBLS, will continue in its time slot, while Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden, among other hosts, who appeared on WRKS, will be gone. If you ask me, I would take Tom Joyner and his crew any day over Steve Harvey and his crew.
UPDATE#1: Michael Baisden has started a petition to get his show on WBLS: Buffoonery Over Activism: Do we really prefer music and jokes over content?
Tom Joyner wrote the following on his Black America Web blog:
I will miss our tri-state family, but fortunately, thanks to technology and social media, we’re not really saying goodbye. We’re in touch in all kinds of ways, especially on the Tom Joyner app and BlackAmericaWeb.com. If you know people outside of the TJMS market, please encourage them to keep listening. And if they aren’t registered to vote, remind them that they can do it on 1-866-MY-VOTE-1.