“One Man’s Opinion” by Gordon Curvey
The two stations are 710 ESPN and KJR. 710 ESPN has been on the air for a year or so and KJR for 19 years in the Seattle/Tacoma area. For 19 years KJR has NEVER had a African American with his or hers own regular program. Currently their total workforce has a grand total of ZERO African Americans the last time I checked. That includes producers, over the air, sales and management.
I will talk about 710 ESPN in Part 2 of this story but I want to discuss KJR in Part 1. KJR constantly blasts African Americans and people of color in a negative way with out the other point of view from a African American or person of color. THIS IS UNFAIR!
Words like “THUG” is used by the all white staff of KJR against African Americans and people of color ONLY. The word “THUG” is a code word for the “N” word. It is used by callers and hosts. This word is NEVER used against whites in the sports world. NEVER.
KJR management just hired two more whites to be on the air, Jeff Aaron and Hot Shot Scott. Scott worked at sister station KUBE93 and Aaron used to a sports jock on KJR. Was fired or laid off and now he is back.
It is like the management of KJR do not care about diversity over the air. Or having a African American with his or hers own program. Stephen A. Smith (a African American) is on KJR at 3am but it is not a local show. It is a Fox national program.
A few years ago, their was a meeting held with African American community leaders and KJR management in which PROMISES WERE MADE BY KJR MANAGEMENT. Promises that included working on diversity in hiring and over the air. Promises where made to myself and other community folks like former Seattle NAACP chairman Carl Mack.
But then Mack left town and KJR backed off the promises that was made. In other words, KJR management LIED TO ME AND CARL MACK AND OTHERS. This is wrong. KJR management has shown with the hiring of Scott and Aaron that they DO NOT care about having a African American over the air on KJR. Period.
KJR is like a frat club or Elk’s Club in Vermont or South Dakota. No blacks in sight. They are friends and buddies instead of workmates. They call and text each other after work etc. Even the bumper music is all white most of the time. Bumper music is a term for the music played in the background after a commercial etc. No T.I. or Drake or Jay Z or Kanye West or Lil Wayne or Rihanna or classic soul like Stevie Wonder or The Isley Bros etc. Instead it is Aerosmith or ZZ Top and The Little River Band etc or even on Mitch Levy’s show, Frank Sinatra etc.
Issues of race comes up all the time on KJR and the all white staff CANNOT RELATE. They do not have a clue on the topic. Also it hurts me hearing the KJR jocks constantly interviewing African Americans THEY CANNOT RELATE TO what so ever. These cats are from the inner city or deep south etc. Hearing Mitch Levy and Dave Mahler and Ian Furness and now Aaron interviewing these inner city cats turns my stomach!!
The only jocks I like on KJR is Dick Fain and Elise Woodward. Yes they are white, but Woodward played basketball and has dealt with African Americans and people of color and Fain coaches at Mt. Rainier High School and deals with inner city cats all the time.
This is Part 1 of “Lack Of Diversity On Sports Radio” Part 2 I will deal with local sports writers who are “in bed” with sports radio, Mitch Levy’s “Bigger Dance” contest and discuss 710 ESPN and more.
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