Aug 15, 2023 - News

910 AM pulls plug on Black talk shows

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Former hosts on WFDF 910 AM are speaking out against the owner of the station after they were replaced last week by nationally syndicated sports talk radio.

Why it matters: The superstation was a place where Black issues were discussed by thought leaders such as Detroit News columnist Bankole Thompson and former state Rep. Jewell Jones.

  • The station's owner, Kevin Adell, has received criticism in recent years, including calls for a protest of the station by prominent activist Maurice "Pastor Mo" Hardwick.

The intrigue: "We are doing a format change. Your show will no longer air on WFDF 910AM Superstation. All access passes have been revoked and you are no longer allowed on the premises. The guard has been notified not to give you entry," read an email from the station manager to each host last week.

What they're saying: "Kevin Adell is a white man telling Black people what's good content," Chantel Watkins, who hosted a political education show on the station with John Conyers III, tells Axios.

  • She says her station access badge stopped working last Wednesday.
  • "The Black community needs media space. Unfortunately the space at 910AM was exploitative, toxic, and parasitic," wrote Metro Times reporter Steve Neavling, a host and the station's social media manager from 2017 to 2018.

Between the lines: Adell told Metro Times the format was no longer profitable and only attracted about 2,100 listeners a month.

  • "When you look at it, no one supported it," Adell said. "I couldn't get the community to support it … I didn't have an obligation to anyone because no one was getting paid."
  • Adell did not return Axios' requests for comment.

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