Radio Wars in Detroit: 107.5’s Koffey Brown Explains

Photo credit: Sue M.

If you were bothered by the radio station shake up in Detroit that left the city with out it’s nationally noted 107.5 jazz station, on-air personality Koffey Brown feels you. And she’s been working to address the issues and alleviate the pain of it all, through candid discussion of Detroit’s radio wars. Brown’s “Koffey Shop” radio program on 107.5 on Sundays at 7 a.m., provides a platform for spirited discussion, exciting exclusives, community features and great contemporary music. –roz edward

 What’s the radio landscape in Detroit?

There are basically only two stations [for black listeners] left — Radio One and the Clear Channel. WGPR still exists because we actually own the station and we’re leasing out airtime. … But that also means that in the fight for listeners, radio stations are getting out into the community more and getting connected with the people, which is a good thing. 

What’s your advice to women who want to follow your lead?

Women need to learn that thee are other things you can do in radio and communications beside being on-air talent. Broadcast schools turn out all of these students every year, but the majority of them aren’t going to get jobs on-air. They need to have a back-up plan. It’s a competition when it comes to radio. You have to really distinguish yourself from the pack to be on-air, and students need to learn to work their craft in writing and production behind the scenes. … I am starting a foundation to help young women  interested in broadcast careers.

What’s next for you?

I’m working with an artist Marcus Devine. He’s written for Dave Hollister, Olivia, Destiny’s child; and now he has his own CD coming out. 

What would most surprise people about you ? 

Well, I’ve been keeping this under raps and you’re the first to know this — I am about to become an ordained minister. I’m becoming a minister primarily because I want to be able to marry people. Nobody would have ever suspected it, but I will be an ordained minister by the first of October. I am really looking forward to it.

Follow Koffey Brown on Twitter @koffeybrown



  • zobop republic
    October 4, 2012

    From what I’ve read in the The Nation (magazine), there’s not much of Detroit to begin with. City is crumbling; Public Act 4 taking over public schools and government; vacant lots spreading like weeds.
    There’s a documentary called “Detropia”. I haven’t seen it yet but sounds like a must see.
    Since there’s only poor Black people left behind, whose listening to radio? Who advertises for a deserted city?

  • Renee G
    October 4, 2012

    Not to mention the platform for black radio has been slowly diminishing for the past couple of years…. coincidentally around the rise of trap music, ghetto reality shows, and other mediums that negatively portray our community. (I mentioned this in my April story about Kiss FM in NYC
    We need to develop on other media platforms and start supporting more people who support us. Many of us are too busy trying to please the masses, which obviously, isn’t US.

  • ReinChild
    October 4, 2012

    Wow can you perform my wedding!!!!

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