5:32pm April 2, 2013

Michael Baisden Off the Air, Replaced By No-Name Skip Murphy


“No, this is not an April fool’s day joke. I have no idea who Skip Murphy is either,” wrote media journalist Rodney Ho last week on Michael Baisden’s replacement Skip Murphy who will host a show called Skip Murphy in the afternoon.

Ho was not alone.  Twitter was in overdrive yesterday, the first day Baidsen was off the air, as listeners discovered that the popular host was off the air as of April Fools Day.  A e-mail sent to affiliate radio stations read, “Murphy will team with Jasmine Sanders as co-host on the program featuring celebrity guests participating on a continuous basis. The Urban/R&B program will play hits from today, the 80’s and the 90’s.”

The situation that led to Baisden’s departure, a dispute with his syndicator Cumulus Media, has inspired much discussion over Black media ownership and who really holds the power in broadcasting.

In a story The Root entitled Listeners Still Mourning Baisden’s Departure, one fan asked “Was he [Baisden] too informative and powerful?”

With 8 million listeners daily, Baiden was instrumental in using his platfrom on informing the Black community.
The Michael Baisden Show often focused on the Trayvon Martin tragedy, the Jena 6 scandal and voting rights as well as other political matters. Baisden teamed up with Rev. Al Sharpton to get the word out on the issue of a spate of new voter ID laws that appeared the year before President Obama was re-elected.

With Baisden’s departure, Joe Madison and Rev. Al Sharpton remain the only two Black radio hosts who consistently confront political issues with little divergence into entertainment related topics.

Baisden’s departure comes at an interesting time in Black journalism.  Last Friday March 29 was not only the last day on the air for Baisden, it was also the last day for Black journalists Roland Martin and Soledad O’Brien at CNN.

About the Author

Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is an opinion journalist, comms expert and political analyst focused on justice reform policy. She created Crewof42.com, a blog that covers the work of Black members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke was a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears regularly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin, Hardball and Up on MSNBC, WVON in Chicago, WURD in Philadelphia and WOL and WHUR in Washington, D.C. She is currently the Managing Editor of Politic365 and a contributing writer for TheRoot and NBC Black where she writes opinion and analysis. Additionally, Ms. Burke has been a contract photographer for Associated Press since 2004. She has authored three books of photography including two on President Obama's 2008 campaign for the presidency and one with Marvel Comics publisher Stan Lee. Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. Here e-mail is: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @LVBurke. Instagram: LVB325.



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