Radio Legend Bob Slade Passes Away
Slade had been hospitalized for an illness relating to long-term kidney disease, according to a statement from WBLS/Hot97/WLIB where he worked for many years, he made his transition on Sunday.
Born in Harlem, Slade’s earliest aspirations were to be an actor. He pursued this as a student at Queens College, a member of the Harlem YMCA Theater Group and the Negro Ensemble. It was during his performances in Off-Broadway productions that he began cultivating his interest in radio broadcasting.
In 1971, he began delivering the news at a Long Island radio station and a station in Upstate New York. About nine years later, Slade joined WRKS-FM and became the News Director.
Since 1989, Open Line has reached millions of listeners and was most provocative during election season during a segment Slade dubbed “politricks.”
His show touched many people, Slade’s friend and colleague Lenny Green expressed his fond memories of the fallen “Bullet Blade,” on Twitter. “I worked with him for over 20 years on NYC radio. His warm spirit, presence, wisdom, and knowledge will truly be missed. My heart is heavy. Rest in peace and comfort, Brother Bob.” For a quarter of a century we struggled together,” tweeted the Rev. Al Sharpton, “you are irreplaceable. Thanks for everything.”As we go to press the reflections on Slade’s life and legacy are abundant, and they are just a sample of what he meant to our community.
No funeral arrangements or memorial services have been announced.
From Michael Baisden:
I met Bob Slade for the first time back in 2003 when I began my radio career in afternoons on 98.7 Kiss FM. His energy and smile were infectious. Although I was an outsider from Chicago, Bob always made me feel at home, and he was always supportive.
New York is a very difficult radio market to break into, especially as someone not raised in the city but Bob always encouraged me to keep going and supported me in every way he could, whether it was a kind word or an education about the importance of community.
Out of all of the radio people I ever came in touch with over the past 20 years, Bob was one of the most authentic and dedicated I’ve ever met. My only regret is not having seen him before he passed away to tell him, “Thank you.”
Bob, I love you, I’ll never forget your kind works and most of all how passionate and dedication you were to the Kiss FM listeners and to the black community.
Rest In Peace Brother