Houston Emcee Calls KTSU a "Concentration Camp," Station's Assistant General Manager Responds
Somebody hearing Diana Krall's interpretation of "Body and Soul" on KTSU may not associate the jazz standard, immortalized by Billie Holiday, with a "concentration camp." But according to a longtime Houston entertainer, that's exactly what's going on behind the scenes at the local radio station.
In addition to the Nazi Germany motif, local emcee Chris Tucker says that Donna Franklin has created a "slave mentality" environment at The Choice KTSU 90.9 FM. Franklin, the assistant general manager of Texas Southern University's radio station, says this isn't true and that Tucker is acting on a "personal vendetta."
According to the two, the hubbub started to conflagrate with the formation of the Concerned Legends of KTSU, an anonymous group that, to date, has published and distributed five e-mails.
The manifesto-style letters (each entitled "What Are They Doing to the Black Jewel?") pines for KTSU's "keepers of the flame," ranging from The Frog Prince and Maurice "The Gangster" Jackson to Shirley Wolford and Pam Collins. These legacies, explains the unknown author, have been left for dead for dentist-office jazz.
"'The Black Jewel' is now experiencing a dulling effect of its uniquely shiny and beautiful glow, and is in grave danger if not checked and soon, of being forever changed by the current leadership regime absolutely bent on changing everything this 'Jewel' shines for," states one of the letters.
The cause of this so-called sheen-altered jewel, according to the Concerned Legends, is Franklin, who, three years ago, started at KTSU as an on-air DJ and in the sales department after a stint at The Wave KHJZ FM 97.5. A year and a half ago, Franklin was promoted to assistant general manager at KTSU.
"The radio station is in a serious decline," Tucker tells Hair Balls. "The quality of the music has really declined greatly and the employees are under siege. They're just there because there's money involved. When they come to work, they have a feeling of a slave mentality. It's just an awful environment....[Franklin] runs the place like a concentration camp."
As of the time this post was published, attempts at talking to other KTSU DJs were unsuccessful.