In January 2010, former BET host Donnie Simpson left his post as morning show host on Washington, DC’s WPGC 95.5 FM after 17 years.
On March 14, 2011, I reported for the now defunct AOL Black Voices that Simpson “struck a deal” to return to radio as the nighttime host of WHUR 96.3 FM’s slow-jam show, “The Original Quiet Storm” from 7:30pm – 12am. At the time, WHUR was hoping to syndicate that show and have Simpson go up against Keith Sweat’s slow jam show “The Sweat Hotel,” which was in upwards of 50 markets.
Simpson denied that my report was true on his Facebook page. Technically, he was right, as the contract was not yet signed.
There was a deal on the table for the Detroit-bred talent to sign in 2011 with WHUR, however, Simpson was then approached by Radio One with a counter offer to potentially host a syndicated afternoon show that could rival the then-thriving “Michael Baisden Show.” When Simpson abandoned his original deal offer from WHUR to negotiate with Radio One, the station rescinded their offer. When talks with Radio One did not pan out as planned, Simpson’s return to radio never happened at all.
Much to my surprise, AlwaysAList.com got a correspondence from the 59-year-old radio veteran declaring that he is “ready to explore various radio opportunities.”
An outward overture towards the media is not known to be Simpson’s style, but apparently he’s eager to return to broadcasting and wants the industry to know it. The Washington, DC resident has brought on Ed Pearson, owner of talent and program development company Esome Media Group and president of Doug Banks Media, to help facilitate his return to radio.
“I consulted with my management team, looked at the landscape and after careful deliberation, decided Ed was the right person to partner with. He knows radio and he’s a friend. I’m confident that Ed will deliver something really kool,” said Simpson in the statement.
There were some recent rumblings that Simpson was quietly having dialogues with WHUR again about taking over Michael Baisden’s former afternoon slot from 3pm – 7pm. Regardless, WHUR has been conducting a “competition” called “Washington’s Next Big Voice” that has allowed many of their current marquee talent, some local radio favorites, popular syndicated shows like the “Doug Banks Show,” and some blasts from the past to host a five-day run on the station.
Famous for his green eyes, Simpson hosted BET’s hugely popular music video program “Video Soul” for 14 years. Despite never having had a nationally syndicated radio show, Simpson was the first urban-format radio personality to have an annual salary over $1 million.