Radio Host Resigns After Biden Interview


President Joe Biden arrives for the NATO summit in Washington, Wednesday July 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(AURN NEWS) – A radio host at Pennsylvania’s only Black-owned talk radio station has resigned following a controversial interview with President Joe Biden, the station announced on Monday. Andrea Lawful-Sanders, formerly of WURD Radio in Philadelphia, voluntarily stepped down after conducting an interview with President Biden using questions provided by the White House. The interview, which was Biden’s first following the recent debate, sparked concerns about journalistic independence.

In a statement, WURD Radio said, “The interview featured pre-determined questions provided by the White House, which violates our practice of remaining an independent media outlet accountable to our listeners. As a result, Ms. Lawful-Sanders and WURD Radio have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately.” 

The station, founded in 2002, emphasized its commitment to maintaining trust with its audience. WURD’s statement also highlighted the historical significance of Black media, dating back to the founding of Freedom’s Journal in 1827, and stressed the importance of independent voices in journalism.

“Black media has a long history of advocating for the interests of the Black community dating back to 1827 when the first Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, was founded. Our outlets deserve to have a seat at the table especially because mainstream media has historically ignored, marginalized and stereotyped Black people in their coverage,” the statement noted.

The incident has prompted WURD to review its internal policies and procedures to reinforce its independence. “WURD Radio is not a mouthpiece for the Biden or any other Administration. Internally, we will commit to reviewing our policies, procedures, and practices to reinforce WURD’s independence and trust with our listeners. But mainstream media should do its own introspection to explore how they have lost the trust of so many Americans, Black Americans chief among them,” the station said.

Sara M. Lomax, President and CEO of WURD, addressed the issue on air Monday morning, discussing the importance of accountability and access in Black media. 

Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Jamie Jackson:

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