It’s Monday night on Broadway, and upstairs in the Zion Baptist Church – as a soundtrack of upbeat music plays over the airwaves – the smooth voice of Bishop Robert Brown resounds through the radio mic and welcomes everyone to the weekly ‘Talk Time’ Internet radio show.
With his co-host Patti Cheever chiming in on the welcome, both hosts are experienced and ready to guide listeners and guests through an entertaining and thought-provoking hour of radio.
“Welcome to Talk Time…,” begins Bishop Brown this past Monday as he introduced the show and jumped into a discussion with Cheever about the Derek Chauvin trial in Minnesota and then local issues going on in Everett and the region.
‘Talk Time’ has been on the air for about one year – though COVID-19 did delay the show a little bit – it has been a strong weekly standard on RGB Internet Radio, which is based in the upstairs studio of Zion Church – where Bishop Brown has been the pastor for 41 years. Other highlighted shows include ‘Winning Women,’ hosted by Regina Shearer weekly on the station as well. The radio station is an offshoot of a long-time marketing company Bishop Brown has operated called RGB Enterprises. It was a little more than a year ago when he began to put together a station that would use the growing power of radio to highlight national and local events in Everett and the region – always focusing on positivity and accurate information and helping small businesses to amplify their customer base.
“I was playing with the idea for a little over a year and then we got really held up at the height of COVID-19,” he said. “Then, we got our studio in order and invested in personnel and equipment. We’ve also recently changed the format of the station. You can’t be everything to everybody, but one standard we have is nothing foul or nothing negative…Radio has become a much more powerful medium than it had been. COVID-19 has helped to boost radio even more and in particular, internet radio. You have the standards in radio like WBZ and the other licensed stations, but with internet radio you have more reach and none of the hang-ups. It’s good to know our boundaries aren’t restricted by a frequency.”
Many years ago, Bishop Brown said he had hosted a show with Cheever on ECTV, and he had fond memories of the successes of that show. Both of them may not have always agreed 100 percent on everything, but he said they were always on the same page.
“I got a phone call from Bishop Brown and I knew it had been coming,” she said. “I told him, ‘Whatever the project is, you know I won’t say no to it.’ And that’s now the ‘Talk Time’ came about.”
Added Brown, “We had always worked well together and were on the same page. Patti has made a fantastic co-host and adds a perspective on things and keeps me grounded as a host.”
So far, the show has included Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Supt. Priya Tahiliani, Cambridge Health Alliance Dr. Kristin Meisinger and Everett Police Officer Jermaine Bellard – president of the local police officer’s union.
In addition to special guests, they also include “shout outs” to local efforts that help the community of Everett and surrounding areas, but don’t always get publicized.
“There are so many people doing so many good things, not just in Everett, but in surrounding communities,” said Cheever.
One stalwart of the show no matter what the topic, from local issues with Mayor DeMaria to national issues regarding police officer misconduct trials, is relaying correct and accurate information. Bishop Brown and Cheever said they offer information and a viewpoint, but they’re not looking to force their viewpoint on listeners.
“We stay away from negativity or overly opinioned discussion,” Brown said. “Our job isn’t to necessarily make you see it from our viewpoint, but to share information that needs to be shared and let people make up their own mind on matters. There are two sides to every story and we want to present that to people and let them make up their own minds.”
The station also offers hourly news updates, and plays a wide variety of music in between talk shows. Meanwhile, Bishop Brown has postulated that once restrictions with COVID are lifted, the show might be able to broadcast live from community events like the Church’s annual Community and Unity Block Party or City celebrations as well.
“We’ve had a lot of great guests and we have some really great energy going and we hope we can continue that through the year,” said Brown.