Willis Johnson and KKDA Were Booted Off the Air Yesterday to Make Way for a Korean Radio Station
The writing's been on the wall, one supposes, since KKDA-AM, a.k.a. Soul 73, abruptly laid off Bobby Patterson and most of the rest of its on-air staff, but the terse announcement posted to the station's website yesterday still comes as a shock:
"Soul 730 KKDA is no longer broadcasting on the radio," the statement reads. "The frequency has been sold to another company. We thank you for listening and for all of your support."
The post directs listeners to a phone number which instructs listeners to an anodyne recording repeating the news, plus the added tidbit that veteran morning host and political watcher Willis Johnson "is currently considering all of his options and has yet to make a decision regarding his future on the air."
So, after 42 years as a voice for southern Dallas, that's how it ends.
RadioInsight.com reported that the station's purchaser is SKR Partners SKR Partners. DFW Radio Archives puts the price at $1.9 million. And the new occupant of KKDA's spot on the radio dial is Dallas Korean Radio.
All of this has Dwaine Caraway rather pissed, as he told WFAA last night.
"This is stripping the voice," he said. "I have no problems with Koreans at all" -- undoubtedly, some of Caraway's best friends are Korean -- "but as it relates to African Americans, this man made millions and to say nothing to us at all?"
The individual he's referring to would be Soul 73 owner Hyman Childs, who completed the sale with nary a peep while holding onto his less esteemed but decidedly more profitable FM station, K104.
"To turn around and ignore us like we have not been fiercely loyal to him -- he's really disturbed our community, and we just may start boycotting K-104," Caraway told WFAA.