Michael Baisden is one of the most influential and engaging award winning personalities in radio history. His voice has reached over 7 million listeners in over 100 cities throughout his career. With nearly 2 million books in print, his books blend the perfect combination of entertainment, humor, provocation and sexuality. He has addressed relationship topics that have been controversial and sometimes considered taboo.
He is also a New York Times best-selling self-published author, filmmaker, philanthropist, and social activist who appeared on different talk shows.
Mr. Baisden has been honored often for his mentoring projects such as the “One Million Mentors” bus tour a national campaign to save our kids that visited over 70 cities to increase mentorships for youth. He has collaborated with affiliates of Big Brother and Big Sisters, National CARES Mentoring Movement, 100 Black Men as well as educational institutions to increase the discussion on mentoring opportunities.
His ability to encourage people through the airwaves as well as social media has served as a magnetic authentic voice in communities.
Mr. Baisden is a father and man of integrity who sticks by his words. Despite, having car troubles on a Saturday afternoon he made sure that he was able to keep his word and share his time with Industry Rules Magazine. During our discussion, I had the opportunity to gain insight on his creative journey as well as experience his hilarious personality.
MHC- Where have you been during your hiatus from “Grown Folks Radio”?
MB: I was actually mentoring young men at Evans High School in Orlando, Florida. It was something that I always wanted to do and I finally had the opportunity to focus and do it full time. During that time, I also wrote two movie scripts and two books.
MHC: You are known as the “Bad Boy of Radio”, also as a successful writer and entrepreneur. What journey did you take to achieve success, and what key life events had a significant role in you becoming the man that you are today?
MB: The Bad boy thing was what someone wrote in a local Chicago paper and it just kind of stuck. Obviously, by bad, it is not meant to be negative, it is meant because I am direct, I am brutally honest. So, by being candid is how the bad boy handle got started.
As far as the journey, it started with me writing my first book Never Satisfied: How and why men cheat. I toured around the country back in the day with the black expos and from that doing guest appearances on radio and doing seminars. I then hosted my first TV show called Talk or Walk. After the television show, I did a stage play. After the stage play, I started working from my home hosting a Sunday radio show for 97.1 QMG, a small radio station in Greensboro, North Carolina. That went from a Sunday show picked up by 98.7 Kiss FM in New York City, to later, guest hosting on Thursday’s with The Tom Joyner Morning show.
Kiss FM asked me to host my own afternoon show because during that time Wendy Williams, who was on BLS, was killing them in ratings, for that reason, the station wanted someone who would talk and have content, and I told them to give me the damn mic and they will win.
Since the radio station told me that they didn’t have any money or a budget to pay me, I told them I will do it for free but under the circumstances that after I get to number one that I wanted to get paid. I went to New York City and they put me up in a hotel. Within one month, the show ratings went from number nine to number three and in a three-month timeframe the show was number one. It was the first time an urban station in New York reached number one in 10 years.
When we reached number one Kiss FM started to negotiate a long-term deal, the money was ok (was not a lot) but I knew what my objective was and that was to go national. So, after a year of being on in New York City, and proving myself, I demanded that they syndicate the show and if it was not syndicated that I will leave. We started to pursue syndication was picked up by ABC radio and the rest is history.
MHC: How do you stay relevant in an ever-changing market?
MB: The one great thing about being a relationship author is that it will never go out of style. Relationships is a business that will be around as long as sex, alcohol, and all the other things tantric; a universal topic that will never diminish. It only gets more popular because relationships become more challenging as the world changes.
MHC: How do you use social media as a tool to foster the over 4 million followers that you have?
MB: That was the beauty of being away from radio it gave me the chance to concentrate one hundred percent of my time on social media. It is all about consistency; just as you have to be committed to radio, you have to be committed to writing. I was committed to social media, so I will login in everyday consistently during the same times and the audience kept growing and growing.
MHC: What advice will you give for those breaking into the entertainment industry?
MB: It’s not about the industry it’s about whatever your creative outlet needs to be its about people doing what they want to do. So, if you want to act, or want to be in radio or perform in any kind of way do it. I would not recommend the radio industry since it is very corporate. I think those trying to do radio are better off doing something else individually like podcast. It is better to pursue outlets that will allow you to be creative without controls. The movie and music industry is corporate but there is still more room to be creative and come up with new stuff.
As far as being an artist, there will always be new challenges, as well as new technologies in the industry.
Michael Baisden radio show is syndicated. He is also working on getting his books adapted to movies as well as to continue to build up his affiliations with his radio show. To find out if he is in a city near you or if you miss a show you can always check out his podcast on his website.