Darcell set to replace Baisden on WDAS

“The Frankie Darcell Show” will fill the drive time slot left by Michael Baisden on WDAS-FM.—PHOTO/ABDUL R. SULAYMAN TRIBUNE CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER

"The Frankie Darcell Show," chosen to replace the 3-7 p.m. drive time slot previously occupied by "The Michael Baisden Show," make its' debut on Monday, March 4 on 105.3 WDAS-FM radio. Frankie Darcell, a popular air personality whohas spent the last 18 years working in Detroit, will be broadcasting live from the WDAS-FM studio on Presidential Boulevard, while also maintaining broadcast ties with Motown.

"She will be heard simultaneously in Philadelphia and Detroit, but it will not be the same show," said Derrick Corbett, director of urban programming, Clear Channel Philadelphia. "She will be live in Philadelphia and she will be voice-tracked to Detroit. She will have a presentation on WDAS which will be live and local every day, and she will also have a presentation on WMXD in Detroit, but they will be different presentations."

Darcell, a sassy and stylish Brooklyn native, recently arrived at Clear Channel Philadelphia headquarters to meet her new broadcast family and capture a little Philly flavor as she began to develop and hone the concept of her new show.

"We're still in the process of working out what that's going to look like, but I'm over 21 and I get an opportunity to be me - what happens in the city, what's happening in the lives of the men and women in the community," said Darcell, a graduate of Morgan State University. "All of us share a lot of the same life experiences, so we're going to do that right on the air. I've been listening to 'DAS forever, quite frankly. Patty (Jackson) and I have known each other a long time. I've had great respect for WDAS, and who would think that I would be here having this conversation today? So in the midst of all the great music, and all the commitments that the station already has to the community, I will be just a huge asset to them. So I'm excited!"

Darcell, who last hosted the long-running "Afternoon Mix" radio show on Detroit's WMXD-FM, is also excited about moving to Philadelphia with her 16-year-old daughter and enjoying the city's rich cultural landscape. "I love music and entertainment," said the veteran broadcaster, who has written three books and produced a number of theatrical performances. The animated and outgoing Darcell is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority as well as Jack and Jill of America, and said, "I live life to the fullest! I don't want to leave anything on the planet when the time comes!"

In regard to her approach to broadcasting, Darcell observed, "I like to bring 'me,' and sometimes I bring too much! But I think when you can be honest with your audience, that's how they endear you. I want to live in the city of Philadelphia, I want to play in the city of Philadelphia, I want to have a great time in the city of Philadelphia, and I want to talk about the things that are important to Philadelphians, and the best way to be able to do that is to really get out there."

Corbett added, "With that being said, the key with taking the Baisden show off the air was making sure we had a talent that was worthy and dynamic and as gifted, so that the people of Philadelphia would understand why it would be taken. We feel like we couldn't take Michael, who was an incredible talent, off the air, and not present an incredible talent, locally, to the city, who could speak on some of the things that are happening within the city.

"Now it's not going to be a talk show all afternoon, it's going to be music – it's just a presentation, but at the same time, we now have the opportunity to address those issues with somebody who's comfortable with those things and knows how to make those things happen on the air."

There was a huge public outcry when "The Michael Baisden Show" was suddenly pulled from the WDAS-FM weekday lineup, with an unprecedented number of Philadelphia Tribune readers voicing their displeasure at PhillyTrib.com. Corbett personally addressed their concerns, saying, "It was a business decision. It was time for us to make a change, and yes, he was in the top five for 25-54, which is our core demographic, but at the same time, he was also not ranking as well as Steve (Harvey), not ranking as well as Patty (Jackson) and not ranking as well as Tony (Brown). So my thing is, being top five is fine, but if everybody else is number two or number one, that's where I need you to be."

Despite the backlash following Baisden's dismissal, Corbett is encouraged by the passion of WDAS listeners. "It's a credit to the community and it's a credit to the role that the station has played in the community, because the community feels as if, 'This is our station! Why did you take this away from us?' But it's a business, and we have to do things that make sense for everybody."

For her part, Darcell, a longtime 76ers fan who "loves football" is looking forward to getting acquainted with her new audience in her new hometown.  

"I love having an opportunity to talk to folk, and it's okay to disagree. I just want us to keep talking about it. So I'm going to rely on folks in Philadelphia to tell me how they feel! I want them to definitely check me out – give me an opportunity to be fair. I think that we're going to get along real well. Change, for folks over 21, is a little bit difficult, but at the same time, I think when you are speaking to people's passion, and when you're speaking to what they like, I think that transition is going to be real short-lived."


Contact Entertainment Reporter Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or kroberts@phillytrib.com.

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