If you were bothered by the radio station shake-up in Detroit that recently left the city without its nationally noted 107.5 jazz station, on-air personality Koffey Brown not only feels your pain, she can actually make sense of it and breaks it down to basics — without sugarcoating the process as only she can. Rolling out caught up with the spirited Brown at the Detroit Seafood Market recently (formerly Intermezzo) and asked Brown about what happened, why and what’s next for Detroit radio. –roz edward
What’s your role in the Detroit’s new radio landscape?
I was on air and I did entertainment and gospel and all of the marketing for WGPR. … I still do PSA reads for the station. I have been with the station for three years. I was previously with Mason and I did the morning show with him, so I actually went to the station with Mason … then they offered me the marketing director position with WGPR.
Explain what happened.
WGPR did a local marketing agreement with Radio One. To get listeners to make the switch and go to Tom Joyner’s show Radio One played “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” for two days straight. And then to further entice listeners to make the switch, Tom Joyner said he would give $100 dollars to people who did. So people could call in and say “I made the switch from 107.5 to Tom Joyner” and they got $100. Then [Radio One] took 102.7, which was a hip-hop station, and played “DaHa DaHa.” And what was crazy was one of the radio personalities there, Big Greg, did this commercial that said, “If you’re tired of listening to wack a** WJLB, then make the switch to 107.5.” That was to get people to make the switch to 107.5 for hip-hop. They made 102.7 an all -gospel station. Which is a good thing since there wasn’t an FM gospel station. Yolanda Adams does the morning drive.
Why the shake-up?
They did the switch because WGPR has one of the strongest broadcast signals. So they needed to be able to compete with WJLB. So that’s why they wanted to switch the hip-hop station to 107.5 so they could reach further. … It was all about the signal. … Now WGPR is a the only FM gospel station and Yolanda Adams does the morning drive time show. That’s a good thing.
What were the marketing events that stand out in your mind?
I did some big parties like the yacht party on the Ovation with Calvin Richardson … just before everything happened with the LMA. It was a good way to say goodbye. Then we did Lyfe Jennings just before he went to jail. That’s timing.