Robert McCants, better known as Bob Slade, New York Radio legend who was the host of the public affairs show “Open Line” on WBLS 107.5 FM died on March 2019 from kidney disease which he had battling with for a long time.
Slade was on the radio for over 40 years. He mentored on-air talent and journalist and was the champion of those who did not have a voice.
Born in Harlem, New York, Slade attended Queens College with the dream of becoming an actor. He was a member of the YMCA Theater Group in Harlem and the Negro Ensemble. While acting in off-Broadway shows, he developed an interest in radio.
In 1971 Slade joined Long Island radio stations as a news reporter. In 1980 he became the News Director at WRKS FM and later joined Kiss-FM 98.7 in New York City as their news director.
While at Kiss-FM, he developed with co-hosts Bob Pickett, an attorney, and James Mtume, a musician the “Open Line” show, which discussed various urban issues such as politics, education, and police brutality. When the station changed the format in 2012, the show moved to WBLS.
During his career, Slade won in 1997 a Radio Achievement Award for “Soul Beginnings,” and another for the Best Night Time Show.
Slade also won in 1998 an award for “Open Lines” as Best Public Affairs Show, and a Peabody Award for “The Rise and Fall Of The Vee-Jay.”
He also received awards from United Press International, CEBA, and New York’s International Radio Festival.
Written by Barbara Sobel
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