910 AM radio host Ralph Godbee quits on air

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

Talk radio host Ralph Godbee quit 15 minutes into his midday show on 910AM superstation Wednesday morning.

Station CEO Kevin Adell told The Detroit News Godbee left because of a disagreement. According to Adell, Godbee wanted a show on The Word Network, a broadcasting station Adell owns, and Adell turned down his request.

“Ralph wanted to go on The Word Network, which is religion and gospel music. I didn’t need a show on relationships on The Word Network, it didn’t fit, so I told Ralph we’re going to look at it for 38 (WADL-TV), not for the Word,” Adell said, “... and he was mad, and so when I had Dave Sheffield tell him we can’t do a show that’s on The Word, he quit on the air.”

Godbee did not return repeated calls for comment Wednesday.

On a Facebook post about 10 p.m. Wednesday, Godbee wrote his “decision to leave 910AM Superstation as represented in the media based on a statement issued by Mr. Adell is unequivocally false; However, I would like to thank Kevin Adell and Adell Media for the opportunity extended to me, and I wish the network and the station all of the best.”

He also wrote that Adell asked him to host a TV talk show based on relationships for The Word Network, which contradicts what Adell told The Detroit News earlier Wednesday.

“Mr. Adell decided to shop the show on WADL TV38, and when I was advised of such, I had absolutely no consternation regarding Mr. Adell's decision as he indicated there would be advertising revenues for the show, in which I would be compensated,” he wrote. “I would have received no compensation for the show airing on The Word Network and was delighted at Mr. Adell's decision after weighing the two options.”

He added that he recorded the first two episodes of "The Ralph Godbee Show" on Sept. 28 and the second set of episodes were scheduled to be recorded Thursday.

Godbee said he plans to now focus on serving as senior pastor of the Inner Court Christian Center.

“I worked very hard to represent the station in excellence, and I pray that my work was impactful for our community,” he wrote.

This is the first time a host has quit on-air since the station launched nearly a year ago, but with 45 personalities — including former Detroit City Council President Monica Conyers, Christine Beatty, former chief of staff to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and Karen Dumas, former spokeswoman for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing — Adell said he “predicted this was going to happen.”

“I expected something like this because 99 percent of people on the air have no radio experience, so they don’t know how to leave right,” he said.

Adell said he was not paid for the show and had no contract, so “he was free to go.”

Godbee, the former Detroit chief of police, joined the Southfield-based station, dubbed the “largest voice for African Americans,” in November 2015. He was the host of “On Point” from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays.

Dr. Lee Bell of Flint said he was listening to Godbee’s show this morning when he walked off the air.

“He came on-air and he talked about not being a bought man, and he thanked Kevin Adell for the position and then he just said, ‘I’m out of here,’ at 9:15 and he left,” Bell said.

Bell, a longtime listener, said Godbee was “very supportive of us in Flint during the Flint water crisis, and that’s what kept me listening.”

Last month, 910 AM Superstation host Wayne Bradley’s show was taken off the air. On a Facebook post, Bradley wrote it was because he supported Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“I was put on ‘hiatus’ at 910 AM Superstation the weekend Donald J. Trump came to Detroit,” Bradley said. “I have not been allowed back on the air since. We had a great show going, with so much dialogue going with the community. Somebody wanted that dialogue to end. It’s supposed to be a Voice of the Community, not the silencer of voice and opinion.”

Adell told The News the following day that Bradley was fired “for violating corporate policy,” not because of his political views.

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Twitter: @Steph_Steinberg