Influential journalist Bankole Thompson leaves WDET for new radio station

Bankole Thompson on his last radio show on WDET.
Bankole Thompson on his last radio show on WDET. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

Bankole Thompson, one of the most influential voices on racial and political issues in Detroit, is leaving National Public Radio’s WDET for a new station that he says will welcome more “vigorous” discussions on topics often ignored by the establishment media.

Thompson hosted “Redline with Bankole Thompson” on WDET for a year, shedding light on poverty, racial disparities, gentrification and problems plaguing Detroit’s schools.

His last WDET show aired at 11 a.m. today.

In April, Thompson will join the quickly growing 910AM Superstation and host his “Redline” show with a larger audience. Thompson, who also is a Detroit News columnist, plans to bring on a wide array of voices as part of roundtable discussions on topics that often are ignored by the local media.

Redline will be moving to 910AM in April for the new edition of Redline that will be more robust, more engaging and driving the conversation in Detroit,” Thompson told WDET listeners. “It will be different, unique with increased diverse voices and breaking down complex subjects for listeners

Thompson, who resigned from the Michigan Chronicle in June 2015 after a feud with the controversial publisher, Hiram Jackson, has earned a reputation as an objective, insightful and courageous journalist, who challenges his audience to talk openly about race, community and disenfranchisement. His national credibility has attracted many influential guests, including civil rights activist Jesse Jackson; author and academic Dr. Michael Eric Dyson; and executive director of the national Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK, Sister Simone Campbell.

“On this program, we have dealt with deeper cultural issues, like the role of the black church, Islam in a changing world and how America has changed since the Holocaust.,” Thompson said today on WDET. “That is the impact Redline has had on the airwaves, which is why I know many of you are looking forward to the next chapter of Redline.”

Thompson is expected to soon announce when he’ll be hosting his new show on 910AM.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • drbpor

    He should write for mlive

  • Michiagnexpat

    WDET has turned into milquetoast fluff