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The Open Line Show In New York Gives Back People What They Won’t Get Elsewhere

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header_openlinleBy Biko Agozino

Radio listeners in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut may be familiar with Open Line, the multi award-winning talk show that airs on Sunday Mornings from 8-9 AM. Hosted by Bob Slade and Bob Pickett on WBLS FM 107.5, the show has won the 1998 & 2002 New York Metro A.I.R. Award for the “Best Public Affairs Show” in the New York Market.

A Harlem, New York native, Bob Slade’s original dream was to become an actor. He attended Queens College where he studied acting, and he was a member of the Negro Ensemble and the Harlem YMCA Theater Group. While partaking in his dream to act, he discovered an interest in radio while he was performing in various off-Broadway shows. 

He began doing news radio in 1971 at a Long Island radio station, and then he proceeded to a radio station in Upstate New York. It was in 1980 that Bob joined the WRKS-FM family and became the News Director. 

Bob’s ability to answer almost any question regarding entertainment, sports, music, past events, and current affairs has made him the office historian. His diverse knowledge on Black History and the Women’s movement is simply impressive; he is a man who definitely knows his stuff. 

Bob has won two Achievement In Radio Awards; one for the Best NightTime Show, and the other in 1997 for Soul Beginnings. He also received the 1998 Award for Public Affairs for “Open Line.” Bob was also the recipient of the Peabody Award for “The Rise and Fall of the Vee-Jay,” and two Armstrong Awards from Colombia University (one of them was for his documentary on the history of Black music). Other awards he received were CEBA, United Press International, and International Radio Festival of New York. Bob has accomplished a lot in his life and his accolades are endless.

The second host, also Bob, has been an Attorney At Law for 33 years with vast experience in complex litigation, both civil and criminal, and former Judge in the Administrative Courts of New Jersey. Bob Pickett is the Chairman and Organizing Founding Member of Black United Fund of New Jersey now the African American Fund of New Jersey. He is also the Executive Producer & Producer of The Legend Music Series for KISS-FM; Producer for KISS-FM’s Soul Beginnings (another music series) which won the NY Metro A.I.R. Award for “Best Evening Show” in NYC in 1997; and holds a Juris Doctorate degree (1972) from The University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Dr. Agozino is a Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies, Virginia Tech. He blogs at www.massliteracy.blogspot.com

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