After being fired by Radio One’s Urban AC WTLC-FM, Rapper/ songwriter/ DJ /producer Redenbacher said that WTLC management cited a “zero tolerance” policy when dismissing him for spinning the song “Sriracha” — a tune by Indianapolis band Cosby Sweater, featuring vocals by Redenbacher — during the 9/27 episode of “Club 106.7.”
It’s a conflict-of-interest no-no for a WTLC on-air personality to play a song that includes the personality as a performer. Redenbacher told The Indianapolis Star that wasn’t the first time he included “Sriracha” as the closing song of three-hour mix show “Club 106.7.” Two months earlier, the tune was broadcast and it prompted no response from WTLC management.
Redenbacher —perhaps the city’s longest-running ambassador of hip-hop, thanks to his work with the Mudkids, Birdmen of Alcatraz and as a solo artist — worked 25 hours per week for WTLC. He learned of his dismissal on 10/1, a day when he did behind-the-scenes work for the Karen Vaughn Show and he programmed the “Drive at 5” music block.
Redenbacher said he doesn’t have bitter feelings toward his former supervisors, but he adds that he believes a suspension would have been more reasonable than the decision to dismiss: “I’ve seen this happen to other people. This is the way radio is. I just don’t appreciate the way it was done.”
Chuck Williams, Radio One’s vice president and general manager in Indianapolis, declined an interview request with the paper.
According to Redenbacher, WTLC’s management also expressed disapproval for “Sriracha” because the song doesn’t fit the station’s classic R&B format. Redenbacher said he previously played Black Fabio’s “Black Fabio” — a 2011 track by an underground Indianapolis duo — on “Club 106.7” without reprimand. The “Club 106.7” playlist typically showcases vintage R&B, soul and hip-hop.
“I’ve been here my whole life,” Redenbacher said. “I can tell you what the station sounded like in the ’80s and the ’90s. I worked in a record store for 12 years. Maybe I do know a little something about what people here listen to.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Maybe the station was just looking for a reason here to let him go—it could be anything. Sad that he had to utter what so many have also in the past: “This is the way radio is.” This is one industry that definitely knows change!