All Articles Tagged "radio"

Cafe Mocha’s Sheila Eldridge: It’s Not Just About Getting the Job. Own A Piece Of The Industry.

February 25th, 2014 - By Karen Taylor Bass
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Welcome to our new column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career. 

SE Photo #2

Sheila Eldridge, CEO and President of Miles Ahead Entertainment/Broadcasting is winning in a male-dominated world; creating meaningful synergy with brands is her passion; managing relationships to win is her blueprint; and, pressing reset until it feels right is how she stays competitive.

A graduate of Howard University’s School of Communications, she began her career at WHUR-FM. She later completed a two-year program at UCLA specializing in Crisis Management and New Communications Technology. Eldridge is credited with conceiving the branding campaign for one of the ‘90s most popular and successful female groups, En Vogue, not to mention working with Janet Jackson and bringing hit makers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis into primetime when they were in the purple’s one’s shadow.

Three years ago, Eldridge purchased a small station from Radio One founder Cathy Hughes. At the tender age of 50, she moved to Augusta, GA to engage her listeners and launch a niche radio program called, Café Mocha. After testing hosts and content to find the right formula, Café Mocha radio was re-launched and packaged for syndication with CafeMochahosts Angelique Perrin, MC Lyte and Loni Love (right, and now Nicole Ari Parker, not pictured). Now celebrating three years in syndication, it has 25 stations (#1 in most African-American major markets), and can be found on multiple formats, including Sirius XM and

Eldridge says, “Think not just about getting the job, promoting a product, but owning the brand to create jobs and opportunities for others. Drive the conversation about not just doing the ordinary thing but being authentic to yourself and setting exceptional goals while empowering women about health, lifestyle, careers and education.”

Embracing the journey of life is a challenge; understanding that you are never too wise to press RESET is what I learned from Sheila Eldridge. Here is what she shared with MadameNoire Biz.

MadameNoire: The number of African-American owned broadcasting/media companies is dwindling. Did you have trepidation about launching Cafe Mocha Radio?

Sheila Eldridge:  Absolutely. I was a little nervous, however, excited for the challenge. After moving into local ownership in Augusta, GA, I realized that there was a need for quality niche programming and Cafe Mocha Radio is just that. The landscape and the market have changed. Women of color are now driving the conversation.

MN: Who is the Cafe Mocha Radio audience?

SE:  She is 21+, aspirational, on a quest to find herself and be the best she can be. Our audience knows the importance of ‘me’ time and will seek the information to keep her life on track.

MN: What has been the response to Cafe Mocha Radio?

SE: In the beginning there was resistance, now (thankfully) we drive the conversation and are #1 in major markets. This is a lifestyle show that is music and talk from a female perspective. Women want to hear subject matters that pertain to them and radio is, unfortunately, dominated by men and can’t always connect on life issues pertaining to women.

MN:  Did your background prepare you for Cafe Mocha Radio?

SE: I always had a passion for radio, went to HU  (Howard University) School of Communications, and was too shy for TV. Cafe Mocha Radio is a manifestation of love for radio, communications, and opportunity to reach women on a national platform. Yes, having 27 years of public relations/marketing skills did help.

MN:  What are the challenges of being a CEO and owning several radio stations?

SE: Money. The radio business is not an easy start up. To be fully financed, you need $250,000 in capital to start. Also convincing stations that there is need for niche programming and to give us a chance. Women want more. Yes, we love entertainment news. However, ultimately we want information to make life better.

MN: How does Cafe Mocha Radio make money?

SE:  We make money via our market share. Cafe Mocha is represented in 48 percent of markets and is three years old. Not bad, still building… Cafe Mocha is on traditional radio, satellite, tune-in, syndication, online and most importantly, across all platforms. My motto is, “I want to meet people where they are.”

MN:  How did you press RESET?

SE: My RESET was moving, taking a risk during my mid-life and feeling comfortable to start a new business. Lets face it: it’s one thing to move at the age of 20. But at 50 was something interesting.

Sheila Eldridge’s RESET lesson: Know that it’s okay to want more than a career. You want to drive the conversation and own it. Dream big.

No More Remakes, 3D Versions, Sequels Or Slave Movies–Can We Get Some Original Ideas On The Big Screen?

April 4th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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woman watching tv bored pf

We’ve only gone through a few months in 2013, but so far, I’m not mad impressed with what has been offered to us as moviegoers and what is on the way to the big screen this year.

While sitting in front of my television this evening, I saw a commercial for the 3D version of Jurassic Park (how old is that!?), another one celebrating G.I. Joe: Retaliation hitting number one at the box office, and I recently saw online the release date for  Twelve Years a Slave was recently announced (December 27). When will it all end?

The numerous remakes, from the Sparkles of last year to this year’s releases of sequels for Evil Dead, Iron Man, Star Trek, Despicable Me (though I might have to check that one out), Thor, Hobbit and billions of others mean this will be another year of a huge lack of creativity. Even some of the independent films I’ve checked out so far have been a little stale. And in a moment of bad judgment, I decided to let the trailers for Tyler Perry’s Temptation woo me in to a big movie theater and per the usual, things didn’t end the way I had hoped. Blame it on predictability.

All of these things leave me to wonder, what has happened to creative storytelling in films over the years? You know, complete films with morals, surprise endings that made you go “Whaaaaaaaat!?”, characters you admired like you knew them personally, and stories that just kept you glued to your seat? These staples in film have been pushed into the background for too many parody movies, sad remakes of movies our parents went to the theaters to see back in the day (really, do we need that Carrie remake??), one too many horror films, enough I-got-drunk-now-lets-party-and-tomorrow-we’ll-forget-everything-that-happened films, and predictable rom-coms. Is this really all that big studios are willing to shell out money to make and all they think we want to see?

There are enough books by prolific authors out in the world for all of us to know that there are some really imaginative and just plain ‘ol dope stories needing to be brought to the masses on film. From books like The The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz to Wild Seed or Kindred by Octavia Butler, Sula by Toni Morrison, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (I know there was a miniseries based on it though…) or Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin (we can go even further back if you like), I’ve played enough of these novels in my head like they were movies, and I’m thirsty to see someone adapt them for the big screen. If done right, these can have as big an impact as turning a book like PUSH into Precious did a few years ago.

And can we get some more heroines on screen? And not your conventional ones? Like a Nola Darling in She’s Gotta Have It? Diana Guzman in Girlfight? Maggie in Million Dollar Baby–anybody? 

I just honestly miss the days of new movies that were so great that they got passed on by word of mouth and when you watched them, they were just as good as people hyped them up to be. Movies that explored ways of thinking that you’d never imagined, including the possibility of being able to erase an ex-lover from your mind forever (and then deciding at the last minute that those memories were too great to get rid of), the idea of being able to stop murders before they happen, or the hunt for serial killers who plan murders that go after people who openly commit the seven deadly sins. Even stories that made you look with depth at incredibly real and sad issues (such as, how possible sexual abuse can affect the sex lives of victims as they get older–see Shame). And I miss movies about black folks that weren’t just rom-coms (and if they were, they were damn good ones) or about black female characters always and only going through terrible things, including dealing with abuse or tepid home lives. Beasts of the Southern Wild was a refreshing look at black folks trying to thrive after Hurricane Katrina–can we have more of these stories? All of these types have been done to great results, but these days, all we’re being served is the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. What’s up with that?

But then again, as I said, it’s early in the new year, and the movies could definitely get better (we all know the last few months of the year bring out the heavyweights to prepare for Oscar season). But until then, I think I’ll cling to my Netflix subscription and enjoy my blasts from the past in filmmaking, because the present gets two thumbs down…


From Radio To Real Estate: Egypt Sherrod Talks To MN About Taking On Atlanta

April 1st, 2013 - By C. Cleveland
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Egypt Sherrod, host of "Property Virgins," broadcaster, and philanthropist

Egypt Sherrod, host of “Property Virgins,” broadcaster, and philanthropist

Egypt Sherrod’s voice has become a staple in urban radio. The award-winning broadcaster has hosted shows in top media markets like New York’s 105.1, 100.3 The Beat in Philadelphia, 92Q in Baltimore, and now V103 in Atlanta, in addition to serving as a pop culture pundit on television shows like Access Hollywood. But, you may be surprised to discover her empire includes a successful career in real estate and a charity helping families in her new hometown.

Despite her success in New York City, Egypt felt a pull to relocate from the bustling metropolis to a city with a style all it’s own, Atlanta. The move allowed her to grow her brand to reflect her many passions in life. In addition to taking over hosting duties for HGTV’s Property Virgins, she launched her charity, Egypt Cares Family Foundation.

I caught up with Egypt to discuss how she is navigating the changes in her life, and the variety of ways she promotes her special brand of female and financial empowerment.

MadameNoire: You recently relocated to Atlanta. How did the move impact your career?

Egypt: The move to Atlanta marked the opening of a new chapter in my career. My 12 years on New York radio and television were great for me but I felt like I needed to GO so I could continue to GROW. Atlanta is a different city with a pulse of its own and I was just ready to see new people, places and things. So, currently I’m on V103 in Atlanta & filming season 10 of Property Virgins here.

Madame Noire: How did the opportunity to do Property Virgins come about? How does it complement your brand?

Egypt Sherrod: I’ve always been an HGTV fanatic. As a licensed real estate agent and someone who genuinely has a passion for the industry, I was truly drawn to watching Property Virgins even with its former host. So imagine my surprise when a casting director contacted me because he remembered me from a previous audition and thought that with my real estate expertise I would be a perfect match as the new host of Property Virgins.

MN: When did you become a licensed realtor? What made you want to get involved in that industry?

ES: I’ve been licensed for about eight years. I started out as a real estate investor in my 20’s flipping properties for profit. Then I got wise to the game and figured out if I could become a licensed agent I could keep that commission in my pocket. I got bit by the real estate bug in the process.

MN: Are you an active realtor? How do you juggle running your own business in the midst of everything else you have going on?

ES: Yes my license is active, and my real estate business partner and I still do a number of deals annually. In addition to being involved in residential transactions as part of a successful real estate team doing direct deals, because I speak to millions of viewers nationwide each week by way of my show, we also refer out quite a bit of business to a network of agents across the country. There aren’t enough hours in a day, but by having a great partner and an awesome support staff, we make it work!

For some people the definition of success is attaining a lot of material things. For others it’s fame or fortune. For me, success means being fulfilled and leading a balanced life. I feel that I have truly been blessed in all areas of my life and the only true thing to do is to give back. I compare it to tithing, but I’m tithing of my time, spirit and knowledge.

‘Every Chick On This Show Has Smashed A Homie’ Raqi Thunder Goes In On Her Love & Hip-Hop Castmates

January 3rd, 2013 - By madamenoire
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Source: Blog.VH1

Source: Blog.VH1

From Hello Beautiful


When the DJ that’s interviewing you calls you a “professional side piece,” it’s obvious that nothing you say will be taken seriously. Maybe that’s what “Love & Hip Hop NYC” cast member, Raqi Thunder thought when she sat down with Hot97 to discuss the latest season of Vh1′s cash cow. Raqi was being reckless with her tongue as she provided the hosts with insider information about Joe Budden’s bedsheets, his drug problem and her being the reason he’s even on the show.

Calling herself the “Hip-hop confidant,” Raqi lets is be known that she knows the ins and outs of the industry and has no problem calling anyone out, including the host, Ebro. Raqi goes on to tease about a rapper who wears a diaper, Joe Budden’s p*nis photos and even calls him her “gay bestie.”

Raqi Thunder: I didn’t get on the show by exposing the quote on quote ‘rappers…’

That you’ve had sex with…

RT: Right. Absolutely not. I kind of keep that in the cup until a major payday…just kidding. That’s not how I got on the show, but ironically, yes, every chick on the show has smashed a homie.

Check out more of her interview, including her confession that Joe Budden is sleeping on Target sheets, on

Is This The End? Are Tom Joyner And Donna Richardson Calling It Quits?

December 22nd, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"TomJ DonnaR pf"

Katherine Christine/WENN

Well, it was good while it lasted. I guess. Maybe.

The NY Daily News is reporting that radio personality Tom Joyner and his wife, fitness guru and ESPN correspondent Donna Richardson, are no longer together.  A source has told them that Joyner and Richardson split up weeks ago in a “mutual but not exactly amicable” decision.  They’ve been married for 12 years.

The source also added that there were “outside parties” involved which lends to this divorce.  One can only assume that “outside parties” are another man or woman, suggesting that there was infidelity. This could get ugly, folks.

Unfortunately, I’m not able to hear the Tom Joyner Morning Show where I live anymore but I’d heard that he hadn’t been mentioning Donna’s name on the show as often as he used to. At one point, Tom would add a “You know, Donna and I…” to just about every sentence.  They’ve always come across as a really good couple so it is unfortunate to hear that it has come down to this.

The couple have no children and neither Tom’s nor Donna’s reps returned calls or emails from the Daily News.

Did you think they’d make it or were you one of the people who didn’t really see how the two of them got together in the first place?

Update: Tom Joyner Pays $10,000 Student Loan On Behalf of Grieving Mother

December 4th, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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Photo by Jeff Daly/Ford/PictureGroup via AP IMAGES

Yesterday, we reported on the tragic story of Ella Edwards, the grieving 61-year-old mom who started a petition to have her deceased son Jermaine’s $10,800 student loan forgiven. Today, we have a great update to this story: Tom Joyner has pledged to pay the loan on Edwards’ behalf. (Thanks again to our Facebook friend EarthyGirls Trapp for helping us keep an eye on this story.)

Edwards appeared this morning on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” telling listeners about her situation. (A transcript of the show is available on Edwards said her son died at the age of 24 of what has been deemed natural causes. There had been a life insurance policy (opened in 1986), but he died on March 9, 2009, six days after the final payment on her policy. So the insurance company refused to pay, she said.

Edwards has been paying the debt, but occasionally, the payment is late. She will call the loan administrators — “The National Co-League Trust First Marblehead out of Boston, Massachusetts,” she said — to give them advanced warning, but they still call to collect.

I call and say, if I’m going to be two, if I’m two days late I call them and tell them so they won’t call me, because the calls is so stressful.  If I’m going to pay like, if my payment is due on Wednesday, if I call Wednesday and tell them I’m going to pay Friday, they’ll write that down and they’ll tell me the calls is going to continue until you pay.  And they do. 

Even with the petition, which had collected about 200,000 signatures, Edwards said she wasn’t sure what was going to happen. At that point, Joyner offered to pay the debt.

“Would you stay on the line and give me your account number and all the information, and I’ll pay the $10,800 dollars,” quotes him saying on the air.

Jacque Reid, host of the show’s “Insider Her Story” segment, said Edwards had wanted to be on the show to warn other parents about this sort of thing. “You know, she didn’t want any money, she wanted them to forgive it so she could just go on with her life,” Reid said.

“And I want these parents to know these private loans ain’t nothing to play with,” Edwards added among her final comments. “It will come back. If you lose a child they will drive you crazy. They have been times, I mean, all I can do is fight off not taking my own life, because this stress.”

A Study In Stardom: 14 Celebrities Who Parlayed Their TV/Radio Hosting Gigs To Fame

October 15th, 2012 - By Blair Bedford
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You may have caught Rickey Smiley’s latest entertainment venture, The Rickey Smiley Show, on TVOne, or heard about Terrence J leaving his mainstay, BET’s 106 & Park to pursue other hosting and acting gigs. These celebrities are now coming from behind the mic of their hosting jobs and onto the big screen of television and movies.

Before they were known for the Fast & Furious movie franchise, their upcoming fashion or make-up line or their OWN television network, these 15 celebrities paved their way to stardom as television and radio hosts.

Rickey Smiley

As the star of his own syndicated morning radio show, The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, Rickey Smiley has more to smile about. He is now coming from behind the mic and onto the television screen with the premiere of his TVOne sitcom, The Rickey Smiley Show.

To Get Her Start In Radio, Wendy Williams Had No Friends and No Sex

August 7th, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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Image via @WendyWilliams on Twitter

Before Wendy Williams was Wendy Williams, she was a college student at Northeastern University searching for radio jobs.Soon after graduation, Wendy made a pit stop in the Caribbean  taking her first job at WVIS in St. Croix with the intention of staying one year before heading back to the U.S.

“When I got to the island, there were a few things that I already knew. Number one: I am not here to make friends or fall in love,” she says. “…So, I had no friends by design. I had no sex by design because I couldn’t afford to slip up and get pregnant.”

When she finally made it to New York, it was at Hot 103.

“The DJs were all Hispanic and Italian; they didn’t have a black,” she says. “Blackie at your service…Ironically speaking, you know what he loved about me? He loved that my skin was black and my delivery was white.”

Soon, she was on the radio, making public appearances and making cash. Williams goes into detail about her beginnings in a Mediabistro interview, care of their program “My First Big Break,” available below.

Full Disclosure: I was an editor at Mediabistro before coming to Madame Noire.

Jobs on Jobs on Jobs: Steve Harvey Set to Host Talk Show

March 13th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that Steve Harvey is the black version of Ryan Seacrest…or better yet, the black male version of Ellen. These are people who a lot of other people seem to like, and therefore, they get asked to hold like every job available in entertainment. Already  the host of a highly popular radio show, an author, and the host of “Family Feud,” Steve Harvey is now set to host a syndicated talk show in Chicago that will be ready in the fall. According to a statement given to the Chicago Sun-Times, Harvey’s show will bring a “funny, fresh, insightful and common sense approach to life’s everyday moments.”On top of that, he’ll be covering everything from family issues, to parenting and you guessed it–dating and marriage. Sounds like we will have a TV-version of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man on our hands. The 55-year-old TV and radio personality will definitely be trying to save some relationships and doing so in a comedic manner. Sounds like a pretty good idea and not too many people are doing it anymore…but I’m just saying, can he share some of the many forms of employments he’s got? Next thing you know, he’ll be trying to be a judge on American Idol

Will you be watching Steve’s new talk show?

More on Madame Noire!

Michael Ealy Says Halle Berry’s Not Crazy

January 5th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Michael Ealy doesn’t have to say anything to get our attention but we especially love it when he’s saying good things.  When the actor stopped by the Breakfast Club this morning to talk about some of his upcoming roles, he cleared up the persistent rumor that Halle Berry’s “crazy” just because she’s had her share of bad relationships. He also talks about wanting to get married and pressure to have kids, plus I love his noticeable discomfort with some of Charlamagne’s questions and how he keeps it professional.

Here are some of the highlights of the interview:

 Is Halle Berry really crazy?

Listen, she’s a good friend of mine. I never felt like she was crazy. Not once.

Thoughts on Reality TV

What bothers me the most about reality shows is the content itself. I think it’s disturbing and I don’t think it’s contributing to the betterment of society in any way. People like to see a train wreck and it speaks volumes about society as a whole but I’m worried abut the children coming up thinking the way to resolve a problem is to grab somebody’s head and start fighting.

On whether he’d like to get married
I would love to do it technically “the right way” if possible. Listen, my parents have been together 43 years so I think that has kind of set a certain mold.

Are your parents ready for  grandkids?
They’re more than ready. I told them that I can give them grandkids….I can literally give them to them [but] I’m not quite ready. I think it’s important to be responsible.