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RADIO HAS LOST ITS COJONES

So says Donnie Simpson.

He recalls a radio station environment where “We used to have a DJ rolling up and down the hall, roller skating.” (D.C. radio fixture Simpson didn’t name that onetime WPGC Washington jock, but it sounds like Albie Dee.) Donnie says “now when you go in a station, everybody’s quiet.”

He’d been away from Washington DC radio for five years when he was coaxed back by the chance to do afternoons at Radio One’s urban AC “Majic 102.3” WMMJ (and TV at its related TV One channel).

But while Donnie did utter the “lost its balls” comment while talking about how homogenized radio is, he also thinks a lot of today’s music is that way, too. He says “when I left [five years ago], I said I don’t want to be a part of this anymore...it had lost its magic.”

Part of Simpson’s appeal is his spontaneity. When Garth Brooks was coming to DC years ago, Donnie played snippets of several Garth songs, which earned him a visit from management. But the next day – and he still smiles over this – the front page of the Washington Post Style section featured Garth. And it asked “How big is Garth Brooks? Even Donnie Simpson” at urban WPGC played some of Brooks’ country music on his show.

Still, Simpson’s enjoying his return to DC radio – and he’s leading the station in ratings now.

REPRINTED FROM TOM TAYLOR NOW with portions edited.