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Watch A Perfect Radio Moment on Hot 97 with Ebro BLOWN by Rosenberg

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New York radio is simply the best, hands down. They are the number one market for a reason. Whenever I listen to NY radio it truly gives me the itch to go to a smaller market and program a station with that same kind of raw talent and genius. In my entire industry career I have never met Ebro. I doubt we have ever been in the same room together but I greatly respect his talent. He is by far, in my opinion, one of the best black radio jocks in the industry.  His talent far exceeds radio and I would easily place him in the top 5. Ebro’s greatest asset is his ability to connect to guests, issues and the audience from a very honest and straight-forward perspective and a deeper level of intellect that is still not over the guests or audience’s head. He makes great points and he makes you think. I rarely see ANY urban jock that can bring a guest to tears and make the moment work.

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Rosenberg

I get many press releases for radio award announcements. We all know the politics behind that. Get the most popular person who is going to generate the most money and press and THAT’s who we will give the award to. I think it’s terribly unfortunate that the people who REALLY deserve awards in our industry rarely get them.

The fact that I did not see ONE award for Ebro’s segment on Hot 97 where he convinced mister cee to stay at the station after the scandal and mister cee cried and came clean about his past on the air was nothing less than unfortunate and perhaps it’s time for ME to do something ELSE that nobody will ever do and recognize this kind of true talent. That was some of the best radio I have ever heard in my entire industry career whether you agreed with it or not, the comments I saw offered nothing but praise for the segment. It literally sounded like a private conversation where one black man was trying to support and convince another black man to keep going when he felt like giving up which we almost NEVER hear in the form of radio broadcasts. Ebro also did an exceptional job with Azealia Banks when she also broke down and cried about black culture being stolen with no respect. He talked to her like a father and told her that he understood her intentions but that people like her are always the ones who end up looking like the bad guy because so many black people are so caught up in conforming.

This time, Ebro talked about the shootings in Charleston. Once again, he started off by talking about what happened and asked people not to sweep it under the carpet. As he continued to talk about it with the perfect music backing him, he reached a pitch and then he broke down. Silence. You could tell he was overcome with emotion when speaking about the only thing black slaves had left was the church and now that place of sanctuary is being invaded and sabotaged. It is the epitome of disrespect. When you watch the video you can actually FEEL what he is saying as a black person. This is a VERY private moment for everyone but ESPECIALLY for black listeners.

In radio we are told/trained never to have dead air but at a moment like this (and there was music still playing) it was essential. His emotional pitch really started to bring his point home and the other staff members wanted to support him and keep the momentum going but you can tell everyone thought twice about jumping in. Still silence… Then Rosenberg JUMPS in like the Rachel Dolezal scaring the hell out of us with way too much energy for the moment and says “You know I would chime in and say something here but no one wants to hear my answer.”  He was absolutely right. The mood was shot and the entire segment was blown at that moment. Then one black guy started having a conversation with Ebro trying to bring it back. I so wish he was have done this just a few seconds earlier before Rosenberg said anything. The black jock (even if he isn’t one he should be) was telling Ebro not to be discouraged and to wait for the outcome, the chemistry between the two of them was perfect. You want to hear what Ebro has to say next.  Then Rosenberg kept interrupting and kept making it worse by talking about how black people related to the church, let’s all think of Dr. King and how… WHAT?

If I was the PD of Hot I would have run to the window and signaled for Rosenberg to shut the hell up. Rosenberg then says “I know that a white person chiming in on this is relevant BUT not the same…!” Can someone tell Rosenberg to please follow his instincts (lol)?  His energy was too high, he was speaking in an authoritative tone instead of a compassionate one and the chemistry was just not there. This was a very private moment about black people, another racist tragedy and it was a conversation between two black men and it should have remained in Ebro’s hands. ALL listeners as well as the segment could have benefited MORE from the message if Rosenberg had just stayed out of it. Ebro continued to try to bring his point home but the momentum, the raw emotion, the message and a potential great radio segment was gone for good.  Your Thoughts? (see video below).

 

CEO of RF Focus, Radio and Music Industry Veteran. Radio DJ, Programmer, Musician and Voice Talent. Graduated from Performing Arts in Buffalo, N.Y. and worked at the legendary KKBT (92.3 The Beat) during its nationwide heyday in the early 90s. Also worked for Stevie Wonder at KJLH.

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