In the wake off all the changes coming out of V-103 in Atlanta, a true testament to anyone’s legacy is how they are remembered. Not to sound as if Frank Ski and Wanda have left this world, but to many the two symbolize the essence of urban radio. Those that live, eat, and breathe the culture seem to be genuinely happy for the dynamic duo’s potential ascension yet mourning the loss of their radio heroes, at least in the way they have grown to love them. Listening to the show this morning, Frank Ski and Wanda received calls from the likes of Steve Harvey, Rickey Smiley, Michael Baisden, and even Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed. Most importantly they got the most love from the community they have served for the last 14 years.
Whether it was Concerned Black Clergy President, Reverend Cornelius Brown, who initially doubted Frank Ski as a morning host when he first moved to Atlanta from Baltimore, calling in to say how much the community of ATL will miss him and what he has meant to the church or maybe Mayor Kasim Reed saying, “Although you and Wanda will be missed this is victory lap for the both of you,” the love was felt this morning in a joyous yet melancholy moment for many. Even my friend that were born and/or live in Atlanta seems to be devastated as the twitter posts came roaring in.
I assume Michael Baisden had the same twitter experience as he called in to say, “What the hell is going on, Frank and Wanda? My Twitter is blowing up “¦ We go back to 1996, Frank and I. This is an old relationship. I’m happy and sad at the same time. This is something that I never expected, no one expected. But just like everyone else, I respect what you’ve done and what you’ve brought to this business. And you’ve always been there for me, for the books and seminars. And when I got the national radio show you were happy for me, Frank, and I’m happy for you right now.”
Although Steve Harvey would be considered a competitor, he called in to give words of encouragement and take a shot at CBS in the process. “Don’t worry if people don’t see your dreams, because they don’t give you your dreams. God do. It don’t matter what they (CBS) say in the meetings. My whole career ain’t got nothing to do with meetings. It had everything to do with God and the plan He had for me and I just opened up myself to the plan. And that’s what I think you’re doing; you are opening up yourself to the plan. I just wanted to call and tell you that I’ve been a fan of your skills and (the fact) that you’ve been doing it the right way. I stopped my show to call your show to tell you that I love you and Wanda.”
Syndicated Morning show host/comedian Rickey Smiley also chimed in with the love for Frank and Wanda. “I remember when I didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent. And Wanda picked up the phone and called me to come down and do the show. And that was my rent money for the month. I had just come from Birmingham to Atlanta, and I didn’t have $20 dollars to my name. You help put me on, and I just want to thank you.”
Just as Mr. Smiley suggested, Frank Ski and Wanda put a lot of people “on” so to speak. The news today is shocking not just because two radio jocks are exiting their position, but because two community leaders have decided to move on from the community they helped to build. Radio is definitely about music spins, advertising dollars, and information but urban radio has to remember its about the community. Frank Ski and Wanda not only understand that, but they also embody that and therefore their legacy is being honored today.