iHeartmedia (formerly Clear Channel) St. Louis Where’s the urban radio Coverage after Shooting?

by Kevin Ross - Posted Monday, August 11th, 2014. Category: Industry News

53e6fdb54153f.preview-620I was JUST talking about how urban radio has lost its balance by not having NEWS and informing the community in this story.   Looks like this is proof and we may have inadvertently been talking about KMJM in St. Louis. We are not in any way blaming PD Kathy Brown or the News person Tammie Holland. This, no doubt, is a corporate response. These tensions need to be expressed and where are these people going to be able to do that? This is evidence that serving the community is less important than making money.

This sounds like something out of a horror flick. All hell broke loose in St. Louis over the weekend after an 18-year-old teen Michael Brown, was fatally shot, according to an eyewitness who was with the victim, Dorian Johnson. Johnson states that he and Brown were walking from the convenience store in the street when a lone officer pulled up and asked them to get on the sidewalk, they ignored his requests and the officer fired a shot. The witness said they were scared and started running when officer fired a second shot striking  Brown. Brown eventually fell to the ground with his hands up surrendering. Johnson states the officer then approached the wounded teen and continued to shoot Brown several times.

Police Chief Jon Belmar (pictured below) states something completely different after his preliminary investigation and interview of the accused officer. He states that the teen was in a physical altercation with the officer in the officer’s car and the teen attempted to take the officer’s gun (?).

The family has retained attorney Benjamin Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin for the case (didn’t he lose?).  The FBI has stepped in to take over the investigation after local black organizations demanded they do so to handle the “integrity” of the case. The officer who killed the recent high school graduate is on paid suspension and his identity has not been released except to say he has 6 years on the force. The black community apparently does not believe the shooting was justified or that the Chief’s and the officer’s version of the account is accurate as there was looting and unrest during the weekend and more shots were fired. We’re confident you can find out about the event and updates on the local news but these people need a way to express themselves, where is urban radio in the market? Has urban radio completely abandoned the greater needs of the black community? When we tuned in online to KMJM we heard music and a lot of promotion for back in the 90s jams. There are not even pictures of updates on the station’s website but there are updates on the News Directors personal Instagram page.  (pictured: Police Chief who states teen attacked officer in his patrol car, in white shirt).

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  • Don D2thaC Clair

    Radio One on both of their stations have been letting the community voice their opinions and concerns. Both Hot 104.1 and Old School 95.5 have been very close to each and every development.

  • Brian Anthony

    Interesting take on a situation that is difficult to judge. Let me first state that my response has no weight for either company or what was perceived that they did or didn’t do. I am only speaking as a former programmer of 25+, quite a bit of it in the St. Louis market……and a listener over the weekend while coincidently in St. Louis visiting my family. Just so happens as I mentioned on a Facebook post, I was within a mile or so of this incident at the time it was occurring, unbeknownst to me at the time. I saw the police vehicles in a hurry to get somewhere, but just shrugged that off as typical activity in that area. It wasn’t until Sunday that I started to understand what had taken place. I’m sure it was on the local news, i heard them stop the music on Saturday night on Hot, but the dialogue was from opinions and questions to an Attorney that was present. What it did lack was facts, facts that were slow to be made public by public officials until Sunday evening/night shortly before the “gathering.” The St. Louis County Executive Director’s Communications Specialist Pat Washington (a former colleague) made her first public statements on Sunday evening to the media.

    My point, jumping on the air to be the first on the air was not important, because the same lack of information and speculation through what was already traveling by social media, the streets and phones was not official information. Sure, make the public aware, but unfortunately without the details, that headline story really could be the typical stuff that happens everyday in our Black Communities and becomes non-newsworthy.

    I did see the Radio One PD on TV Sunday evening, but the riots had already begun. The gathering became tense when police showed up in riot gear with the dogs and military-style numbers and ammunition…..that plus the speculation with no official word added the fuel to an already hostile situation.

    Monday as I was driving out of the area, I listened to Tammie Holland, not the news person as identified in this article, but the morning show host deliver a well thought out show with a State Senator, the KMOV-TV reporter that was on the scene Saturday after the shooting along with Ms. Holland (who by the way were the only to mediums to get actual interviews right after the incident from witnesses and those at the scene). And the listeners, got to detail their anger about not just the shooting, but the unnecessary looting that took place throughout the show..

    So I thought local media was on it, very well…….considering the lack of official information that was available for them to discuss. There were no sides in the media, but keep in mind, what was being discussed……did it aid in bringing an awareness or did it aid in pouring the fuel that ignited the flames?

    I just pray for the area that I know so well and had the pleasure of working in for years, that justice and change is the end result of this.