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The Death of Black Talk Radio in NY – Imhotep Gary Byrd goes off the air

Gary Byrd's 'GBE Mind Flight’ show, a longstanding institution of New York Black Talk Radio have left the air.

GaryByrdThe Daily News reported that  WLIB (1190 AM), Imhotep Gary Byrd’s “GBE Mindflight,” a weekly Sunday mix of news, talk and music heard from 9:00pm to 12:00 midnight and featuring leading Black journalists from U.S.,Caribbean and African press, had its last show on Easter Sunday.

Imhotep Gary Byrd’s “GBE Mind Flight: Gateway to the Black Experience” on WLIB was a major source of news and information focusing on the African Diaspora from the New York metro area through the global perspective.

Byrd’s “Express Yourself,” 7-9 p.m. Sundays, is now simulcast on WBLS and WLIB.

WBLS and WLIB program director Skip Dillard said cancelling “Mindflight” lets WLIB use its 9 p.m.-midnight slot for gospel music, the station’s primary format.

Black community spokespersons have expressed concern for several years, particularly since the disappearance of WRKS (98.7 FM, Kiss-FM), about the shrinking number of radio forums for black community issues.

Byrd told the Daily News that the lack of black radio it is a problem.

“The loss of the WLIB airtime and the overload of issues for our community means that I have to do even more with less,” he said. “But isn’t that a familiar situation for us as a people and community?”

He said he is “frankly disappointed about the cancellation of the ‘GBE Mind Flight’ show,” though he added, “I am thankful for the opportunity provided by WLIB management over the years.”

He said he is optimistic that “GBE Mind Flight” will fly again.”

bob_law2012_1Legendary radio host Bob Law recently discussed the death of Black Talk Radio on the People Before Politics Radio Show. Law, a nationally syndicated broadcast veteran, for many years could be heard across the nation on his radio “Night Line” talk show.

Changes in radio ownership means informative and influential voices like Bob Law and Gary Byrd are slowly becoming a thing of the past.

The longtime community activist said in a Final Call article, New York’s first and only Black mayor, David Dinkins, would have never been elected had it not been for Black radio.

An important vehicle for enlightening and mobilizing the community has suffered another crippling blow with the recent cancellation of Byrd’s show.

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Black Westchester - News With The Black Point Of View is an online news magazine for people of color for Westchester and the Tri- State area of New York at every economic level. Our mission is to promote the concept of “community” through media.
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