Trending Topics

7 Ways White Corporate America Killed Black Radio

Like the talking drum, Black radio has long been a crucial way for Black people to communicate, to hear the latest music, to share passions and outrage about the latest outrageous news stories. But in the last couple of decades, Black radio has been devastated by a host of developments, leaving very few stations standing that still deliver the same kind of scintillating radio that used to keep Black ears glued to the radio. So what happened?


Blame It on Bill Clinton

The 1996 Telecom Act was the beginning of the end for Black-owned and Black-formatted radio stations. Backed by President Clinton, the Telecom Act lifted ownership limits and, under the guise of promoting competition in the communications market, ushered in a new era of corporate ownership and deregulation, allowing huge companies to gobble up stations across the country. As a result, local programming, news, music and voices have been systematically homogenized, and Black radio’s microphone has been muted. While Clinton, at a glitzy signing ceremony, predicted that the act would produce more competition, more diversity of viewpoints, lower prices for consumers and more wealth and jobs for the economy, instead the public got more media concentration, less diversity and higher prices.

What people are saying

4 thoughts on “7 Ways White Corporate America Killed Black Radio

  1. Farntella Graham says:

    they privatized the peoples airways and shut black america down good. why is spanish radio represented? I don;t even hear good jazz on the radio any more, it is like they do not want to hear from us at all,

  2. Ed Dunn says:

    Pure BS – black radio stations sold out their own people and community way before corporations and Bill Clinton was in office. Black-owned radio stations were notorious taking payola for labeled artists and not local artists. Black-owned radio stations did not build a relationship with the merchant class for advertisement to build a merchant/media relationship and pursued corporate advertisers selling malt liquor ads. Do not make up some lie trying to blame someone else for black radio demise…

  3. Ed Dunn says:

    Hispanic radio established a merchant/media relationship advertising local businesses and creating relationships with the local community. Black radio stations chased after malt liquor ads and pepsi and mcdonald's ads and ford motor company ads and ignore black merchants in the community. Black Enterprise magazine is another perfect example – chasing corporate advertisers. Good media builds a relationship with the local merchants to serve the local community base to establish an ecosystem of support – black radio sold out and chased corporate advertisers instead and they are themselves to blame.

  4. They don't want to hear from us. Except from those the status quo has deemed as 'acceptable negroes', parroting the 'company line'. In war what is one of the 1st 'enemy' arenas overtaken? The means of communication with the masses. This is deliberate. And it's not just radio, it's print media too. Look at all the formerly black publications that are now owned either directly or indirectly by these same white corporations? And best believe, the internet is next!

Leave a Reply

Back to top