By his own account, Michael Baisden has been kicked off the air and locked out of the studio. According to his Facebook page, he and his staff were locked out of Cumulus’ studios apparently because they didn’t strike a new deal.
Baisden, who commands a daily audience of over seven million listeners, said in a press release he is unable to discuss the particulars but concluded that a deal could not be made on mutually agreeable terms. Recognized as one of the most influential men in radio, his “Michael Baisden Show” is one of the top rated afternoon drive radio programs heard in the top urban markets. He is also a TV talk show host, filmmaker and New York Times best-selling author with nearly two million books in print.
Now in his tenth year on the air, Baisden says he wants his radio family to know he did everything in his power to continue his “Michael Baisden Show” without interruption. Cumulus Media responded to his Facebook announcement by locking out the staff from the studio: “Just because we couldn’t come to an agreement is no reason to deprive the listeners, our affiliates, and our advertisers of only 9 days to say goodbye and show our appreciation,” expressed Baisden.
“We’re already planning to return to the air as soon as possible in a way that will give the ‘Michael Baisden Show’ a more direct relationship with our affiliates, and most importantly, our listeners,” cites Pamela Exum, his business manager.
Baisden still vows to continue his Michael Baisden Live Tour with his co-host, comedian George Wilborn. It’s a One Night Only event with seminars, networking, a comedy show, and an ‘old school’ after party. “If the affiliates still want us to come to town, we’ll be there,” says Baisden. “There’s no reason for our relationships to stop, in fact, this is our chance to get on the ground close to the people where we belong!”
Baisden reflects, “”It’s not about the job, it’s about the journey. I have been grinding for over 10 years, fighting for the underdog, inspiring people daily on my Michael Baisden Live Page on Facebook and working my butt off to produce the best show on radio. I hope my fans miss me… because I’m definitely going to miss them,” Michael says. “But this is not the end, it’s the Next Chapter!”
Pre-recorded “Michael Baisden Shows” will air through 3/29.
So far, RBR-TVBR has not received any comment from Cumulus.
RBR-TVBR observation: Our guess is that negotiations were not going anywhere and Baisden’s FB page post could have driven Cumulus to think he’d be stirring up trouble for the network in the final days of the show. Baisden will likely get picked up soon by another syndicator such as Reach Media. He’s a proven talent. However, from what we’ve heard, don’t rule out a deal still being done with Cumulus.