Home Uncategorized The RFFocus Top 10 Urban Programmers of All Time… WINNERS

The RFFocus Top 10 Urban Programmers of All Time… WINNERS


 width=Greetings Radio Friends…

The RFFocus Top 10 Programmers of All Time Winners are here. In the urban industry, we are often not COLLECTIVELY appreciated enough now that the conferences are no longer around (which by the way I am being asked more and more to do one). This poll was not a political move or money making idea as much as it was a way for YOU, members of our industry, to take part in honoring ALL OF THOSE who have made a difference in urban radio.. at one time.   Thanks for your participation and at the end of the year, we will do another poll that centers on The 2011 Top 10 Urban PDs… this was the one to get the ball rolling and IT DID!

You are free to add comments for the various winner’s posting with Facebook comments at the bottom.

LET ME STATE THIS ONE TIME ONLY… RFFocus , kevRoss nor any staff member choose the nominees or voted in this process. We allowed the industry to create the nominees as well as vote for these candidates and these are the winners. If you don’t like the winners, ask yourself one question before you post a negative comment… did YOU vote? Now lets move on to the qualifications and the winners.

Be Well.
Kev Ross

(For Vets not currently working as programmers use points in past tense)

  • Is the Programmer a PROGRAMMER?
  • How well does the PD get along with others?
  • Does he or she have an open door policy?
  • Is he or she receptive to new ideas
  • Is he or she respectful to others?
  • Is he or she aggressive or passive when it comes to the corporation and the needs for his or her particular station?
  • Is he or she a man or woman of their word?
  • Does he or she inspire and motivate staff?
  • Does he or she go the extra mile?
  • Does he or she have great ideas and implementation of those ideas?
  • Does he or she treat radio staff fairly
  • If this PD lost his or her job would you want to see them get another job?
  • How do you perceive this programmer?
  • Does this programmer have a respectful reputation?
  • Would you recommend this programmer for an opportunity?

Below are the results of the voting. Many other programmers, record reps, DJs, jocks, various people at industry corporations, celebrities, industry vets and more voted over the last two months. The honorable mentions below got significant votes as well. The RFFocus Top 10 Urban Programmers of All Time are….

#10 James Alexander

james alexander, rffocusorg.wpengine.com James has a 40+ year broadcasting career. He began (afternoon drive) as a senior in high school in hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio (WCIN Radio) Later moved to the night (6p-10p) shift to appeal to the younger demo Air name at the time – Jimmy Wonder, the teenage ball of thunder Les Brown (same one, who was on the radio in Columbus, Ohio at the time) recorded an intro for me… Jimmy Wonder, the ball of thunder, men’s threat, ladies pet, lover’s supreme, every girl’s dream… After 4 1/2 years, I took my act 50 miles up the road and to FM at WDAO in Dayton, Ohio Then to New Orleans (WBOK), then WBMX – Chicago where after 2 years became the PD when Earnest L James left & went across the street to Gannett (WVON / WGCI) as GM From there I traveled back to New Orleans (WYLD – working for Brute Bailey); to Houston (KRLY – working for Steve Harris) And then in 1982… the “Big Time” — WJLB in Detroit for 8 years where we took the station to #1 overall and left it there From there…WGCI (Chicago) where Tom Joyner & Doug Banks both worked for me KKDA-Fm (K104) in Dallas — Joyner was my morning man then Augusta, GA — Regional Operations position for Greg Davis (Davis Broadcasting); back to Detroit (WCHB) for Terry Arnold at Bell Broadcasting later sold to Radio One Back south to Citadel’s Baton Rouge & Lafayette, LA properties as the Urban Operations Manager to URBan Radio Broadcasting (Kevin Wagner)as Regional Operations Manager to my present position w/ Cumulus as the OM for the Mobile properties and most recently the PD of our urban ac in Pensacola Programming philosophy (in a few words) — preparation, execution & consistency

Pages: First | 1 | 2 | 3 | ... | Next → | Last | Single Page

Motivational Podcast by RFFocus.org CEO Kevin Ross - More Episodes HERE

Kevin Ross: RFFocus.org CEO with over 20 years experience in the Industry. Ross is a former radio Program Director and Radio Jock. You can contact him by clicking the "Contact Us" button in the menu bar.


  1. Kevin

    You are a visionary and a great talent!
    I want to thank you for fielding such a prestigious and appropriate poll! What an ingenious way to leave an indelible mark on the history of Urban Radio!
    In this there are “no losers” just “winners”! The real winners are the thoughtful people that participated & voted!! Kevin, you know what…once I figured out this one particular simple thing in life… only then did I really begin to live freely!….And that is this: IT’S NEVER ABOUT ME”……And I live each and every day with that in my heart!


  2. Wow Kevin…..this was a very good poll. Like all the other comments, I can’t argue the results. 7 of the 10 finalists are very good friends of mine and 3 of the 7 I’ve worked with and are directly responsible for any success I’ve experienced in this business. In some shape, fashion and form, they’ve all had an influence on how I think and work the radio business. Like Derrick Brown, I’m just in a jaw-dropping state to be listed in Honorable Mention because I’ve spent my entire career just working my craft and doing it under the radar of industry publicity. Others had to vote and I’ve been in several markets, so I hope that means my work was appreciated. But its truly represented by the 10 that made the list and others I share mention with. Means a lot!

  3. alittle correction is needed on the frankie crocker bio, after frankie left radio station wbls in december of 1976, he would return to wbls again in the fall of 1978 to battle new power house fm in town disco 92 wktu, wrks hadn’t been formed yet and was still under the moniker 99x wxlo. By the fall of 1979 wbls became the music radio ratings champ in nyc from that period until really 1981, by 1981 a new station began to make inroads on the younger wbls listener that station was wrks standing for we are kiss better known as 98.7 kiss fm, frankie crocker did work for kiss fm in the late 90’s but no other time than that. Frankies second incarnation at wbls will always be known as the most historic period in his tenures at wbls, during that time period u couldn’t walk into a place like a store and not hear wbls or coming out of car or someones boom box across the board he had nyc music radio locked down tight, and it wasn’t uncommon for people like former president richard nixon, frank sinatra, walter kronkite to be listening. I think the person who did the frankie crocker bio means wbls morning man ken spider web going to wrks back in 1983, leaving wbls at that time.

  4. I concur with the top ten with one exception. E. Rodney Jones should be on the list. E. Rodney is probably known by most of the guys on the list and the great work he did at WVON in Chicago. Some of the great AM programmers from back in the 60’s should be listed – respectfully. Radio did not begin in the 70?s and 80?s. Urban Radio did .. but what about “Soul” Radio? A lot of voters just did not know about Soul Radio but that does not diminish the impact. E Rodney Jones laid the foundation of what a great programmer — is.

    Just my take…

Comments are closed.