The following was posted to The Randy Lane Blog on Sunday….When a tragedy like the George Floyd murder happens, some on-air shows say, “our station won’t let us touch topics like this,” or “our show is a haven from negative topics.”
Since listeners often go to music stations to escape negative news, tragedies, especially in your hometown, must be addressed to remain authentic. The Randy Lane Company has always recommended that air talents be real and express how they feel about a tragedy.
On a morning when their beloved Minneapolis wakes up heartbroken and on fire, listen to Dave Ryan and his team at KDWB in this call with a St. Paul listener. Dave is authentic, empathetic and he listens.
Dave writes, “We opened up the phones and asked, how do you feel? People of color could talk uninterrupted, and some were deeply emotional. Many people who never listen to KDWB heard about it and called in. Our white listeners seemed to appreciate the message they were hearing and especially the fact that finally some of these people now had a big platform.
We had an overwhelmingly positive reaction. The only people who had anything negative to say talked about the fires and looting. They kept asking, “What does looting and burning buildings have to do with protesting?” We handled it by getting the message out that white people can’t possibly understand what people of color are going through or how they feel.
The message being that we are standing with people of color and showing our support. I knew we had to do something. Going on with the regular show would have sounded stupid.”
In between callers, the show played The Black Eyed Peas song, “Where Is the Love.” Dave says, “It’s a musical way to show awareness and compassion. That song is still powerful all these years later. Maybe even more powerful today than it was back then.”