Management at 1180/WAOK-AM brought Al Sharpton and Warren Ballentine into Atlanta Wednesday to introduce them to the radio station. They met with fans at Sweet Auburn Bistro.
Sharpton told the crowd not to let the fact a black president is in office to let their guard down. “This is not a time to relax,” he said. “It’s time to make real mileage out of this.”
In a separate interview, Sharpton said he will stay on doing a weekend show for Majic 107.5/97.5 as well as five days a week on WAOK-AM. He started his radio show three years ago and said many folks believed he wouldn’t be able or willing to go on the radio every day. “But I’ve done holidays. I’ve been on Christmas Day. It doesn’t matter where I am. I can do my radio show,” he said.
He said he really enjoys being so close to the people, that he can gauge what issues are hot and which ones are not much easier by being on the radio. For instance, the economic stimulus package was of much keener interest than he expected. “It’s easier to know the pulse of the people now,” he said.
His take on Obama’s first 100 days: “I think it’s premature to judge. But if I had to make an assessment, I think he’s done a great job. He’s been very positive. I talk to him and he said, ‘You may not like everything I do but I’ll be honest.’ He’s been honest.”
Radio One, which syndicates them, dropped the pair from Grown Folks 102.5 a couple of months ago when Praise took over that spot and the station disappeared. (Steve Harvey and Michael Baisden found a new home at Majic 107.5). The ratings for Ballentine and Sharpton were far below Harvey and Baisden on 102.5.
But WAOK seems to be a perfectly fine home for Ballentine and Sharpton, though it meant the loss of two local personalities, Rick Joyner and Rob Wilson. Ballentine is from 10 to 1 p.m. and Sharpton 1 to 4 p.m.
Ballentine said losing his Atlanta gig was a disappointment but he was gratified WAOK picked him up and he had so much support, including a protest outside Radio One’s office (albeit it drew only about 15 people.).
-Atlanta-based Adult Swim is picking up the U.K. version of “The Office” for its summer schedule. This is the most high-profile British series the network has picked up in recent months. The other shows: “The Might Boosh” and “Look Around You.”