By Mark F. Gray
AFRO Staff Writer
Joe Madison has never looked at himself as a radio guy or a talk show host. For him, that theatre of the mind platform which has earned him a daily national following and has been his forum for activism. For over three decades, the “Black Eagle” has been policing the
ills of society one poignant interview with a newsmaker or interaction with his audience at a time.
After 35 years, the one time D.C. radio icon, whose presence on satellite radio has given him a greater reach than ever, has earned a place in American broadcast history. Madison was recently inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame Nov. 8 in New York City. The former WOL-AM personality, who is a pillar in the foundation of the Radio One empire joined an llustrious group of broadcasters to earn the honor.
“Joe is exacting and speaks with no chaser,” Michelle Williams, the former general manager of Radio-One D.C. said. “He’s a legendary civil rights advocate who’s standing in the cut ready to talk about the issues of today within a historical context.”
Madison, who is known more these days by his handle “The Black Eagle” has crossed generations. His frankness and candor have been been a thorn in the side of the
American conservative agenda and its mouthpieces. He has taken on Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck regularly by calling them out for the fallacies of their arguments regarding issues that affect minorities in America today.
The Black Eagle continues to soar in radio circles as his popularity rises across the country. Satellite radio has proven a dynamic platform and Madison, the consummate broadcasting baby boomer, delivers a message that connects with all generations. He is popular with generation X’ers and millennials and is able to educate by creating thought provoking contemporary social commentary daily.
“He genuinely cares about young people and wants to make sure they know how history repeats itself and to be prepared for what that means,” Williams added. “He will put it in plain terms.
From barbershops in the suburbs to the HBCU campuses around the country, the one time WOLAM (DC) morning drive host has built a national following that rivals any of the heavyweights in the industry, he constantly reminds the audience. According to Talkers Magazine, the talk radio industry’s most significant trade publication, Madison was ranked No. 6 among its top 100 radio hosts around the country right behind Howard Stern in 2019.
Each year, 24 nominations in six categories are determined by the organization’s nominating committee, which is comprised of 23 industry leaders. Madison’s class
of 2019 includes music and entertainment broadcaster Ryan Seacrest of American Idol fame, nationally syndicated sports radio icon Jim Rome, former Entertainment Tonight cohost John Tesh, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer, host of the long running Sexually Speaking program.
The Radio Hall of Fame website says its mission is to honor notable radio personalities and showcase their accomplishments in the Chicago-based Museum of Broadcast Communications.