Editors Note: Is always a thrill to hear about other black entrepreneurs in the industry. Cory “Coco Brother” Cundrey literally vanished a couple of years ago from his nationally syndicated gospel show on Syndication One. The show was taken over by gospel singer James Fortune, who had encounters with the law before and after taking over the show. As we do not get the show here in LA, you would know better than I do if James Fortune is still the host as I didn’t feel like researching it but the timing couldn’t be better for CoCo to return to the airwaves. I attended one of his Gospel Festival shows in Atlanta once I was truly amazed at how respectful the black teenagers were. They even called me “Sir.” We are often so bombarded with extremely negative images of black kids that commercial media even has black people jaded. I had no idea that many black kids were into gospel. Thanks to Carol O for the story below…The weekend begins, off to the beach.
CoCo Brother Going Live, Again
He’s back… After a hiatus of nearly two years, hip-hop’s spiritual radio personality – CoCo Brother – is back in the saddle and on the air, this time in the ownership seat as well as behind the mic.
His brainchild this time out is Radio Condrey, his own syndication company, with the first show – “CoCo Brother Live: The Weekend” – rolling out this Sunday on Steve Hegwood’s immensely popular Streetz 94.5 in Atlanta. Ownership is new territory for CoCo, but rest assured that his new show is the same brand of high-energy content with a spiritual twist.
“I’m very, very exited to be back,” he says. “Radio is addictive. I got the radio buzz. You can leave radio but radio will never leave you. Everyone has a calling and a purpose and I found mine in radio. I realized my calling years ago, and now it’s time for purpose. Radio is about community and that’s what my show is about. Every time I am on the radio, I help someone and that’s a great thing. I’m very excited to be back.”
“CoCo Brother Live: The Weekend” is two hours of music, of course, as well as interviews with top-notch Gospel talent and inspirational talent. The first show airing this Sunday features Rev. T.D. Jakes, Earnest Pugh and Charles Jenkins.
Streetz 94.5 isn’t the only one stepping out with CoCo Brother – he’s already locked down about a dozen stations in small, medium and even P1 markets. Stations initially on board include: WFXM-FM (Power 107.1) Macon, WFMV-FM (95.3) Columbia, (Kiss 105.1/7) Macon, WYPZ-FM/AM (Praise 95.5/1350), WZAZ-AM (1400) Jacksonville, WSPX-FM (Gospel 94.5) Orangeburg, WJLI-FM (Gospel 98.3) Sumter, WTUA-FM (Power 106) Saint Stephen and WPDT-FM (Gospel 105.1) Florence.
Hegwood, who was one of CoCo’s mentors in the early years, anticipates a great show.
“CoCo is definitely a star, a go-getter, a true entrepreneur and very, very popular. Whether in the secular world or spiritual realm, he is a true guy. What you see is what you get. I think he will deliver a great show.”
“CoCo Brother Live – The Weekend” is not just another syndicated show. It specializes in mixing hip hop with a spiritual message, something he perfected years ago before stepping away from the game in 2013. Since then, he bought some 200 acres of farmland outside of Atlanta and developed it into what he called Faith Farm, where people can visit to, as he puts it, “learn faith through farming.”
CoCo is launching his new show this month with 10 stations, but expects to quadruple that within a month. “A number of stations that I have a track record with are reaching out,” he says. In addition to his own show, he hopes to develop other shows to syndicate. “We’re a content provider… my job is to provide awesome content,” he says, adding. “I’m going to take what I know about radio and pass it on. I want to guide people the way people guided me. I want to pour my knowledge into the next generation.”
CoCo says he spent years building relationships with people and feels that his track record – which includes interviews with First Lady Michelle Obama – will make this show and his network a success. “People trust our brand,” he explains, “and that’s important for people we interview to be able to speak what they really feel without being in fear of their words being twisted.”
As to the music, CoCo says it will be very upbeat and uplifting. “You’ll hear LeCrae and one minute and Tamela Mann the next. We’re going for what’s always worked, and that’s very inspirational with a young adult vibe… the whole family can listen to it. Our show is very relevant.
CoCo says some of his early influences in radio included Tom Joyner. “He fascinated me because he was syndicated. Everyone told me syndication doesn’t work in the evenings, but I did it. And I did it by faith. I believed I could do it.”
Cathy Hughes, whose Radio One syndicated CoCo’s first brand of spiritual hip hop in the beginning, was another major influence. “I’m thankful for her support. That one lady, because of her, a lot of people have jobs. I’ve been on every aspect of radio, from sales to marketing, producing and being on the air. I’ve partnered and had my own show. So looking to the next 20 years, I want to give people opportunities and jobs like Ms. Hughes has.”
Some big players have come out to join CoCo’s new team… “Renowned attorney Melanie Williams and radio management veteran Bruce Demps are two people that are standing with us, and I am thankful for them,” he reveals. “Our immediate goal is to provide amazing content. Long term we are looking at a weekly show. We’re going to do great business deals. I’m not just a radio talent. I’m a CEO and a founder now. When we can report millions of dollars in revenue, that’s when I’ll know we’re successful.”
Stay tuned… CoCo has also just inked a deal with Impact, a television network, for a weekly TV show called “Standing: Savings Lives,” to air later this year.