Radio host and influencer Dede McGuire, has stamped her legacy in the radio industry through her Dede In The Morning show. As one of the only black female nationally syndicated radio hosts, she is using her platform to directly impact the African American and Dallas community. Her recent appearance on the Steve Harvey Show, is one of the many reasons why she is one of Dallas’ most notable public figures.
I had the pleasure of catching up with this trailblazer for a quick interview below. Dede candidly discussed The DeDe McGuire Foundation, breaking barriers and being on top.
Check it out below.
Dede McGuire Interview
Respect: What is the most rewarding thing about being a radio ?
Dede: The ability to help people, our community and many non profit oganizations through exposure, monetary donations and information (oh, and the paycheck! Ha)
Respect: In what ways have you defied the odds as an African American woman in the entertainment business?
Dede: I believe I defied the odds by my journey from radio market #141 (Killeen, TX) to becoming a major market talent. Having worked in five of the top ten cities in the country is a huge accomplishment, but it’s staying there that can prove difficult. ( I either worked or broadcasted through syndication in the following markets 1 (New York), 3 (Chicago), 5 (Dallas), 6 (Houston) and 9 (Philadelphia).
I also believe by my longevity in the business (over 20 years) and my current position as the host of my own nationally syndicated morning show is not what many expected and not many can do consistently and successfully.
Respect: I understand that you are working on several entrepreneurial projects, can you expound upon them?
Dede: I am working on my media company along with the recent purchases of several franchises in our area. I’ve just recently joined a female investment club and want to next explore online retail opportunities.
Respect: As a public figure and notable influencer in Dallas, how have you used your talented to impact the culture around you?
Dede: As a woman I am very passionate about navigating women through this delicate #metoo movement. I want to celebrate our strength and contributions as mothers, daughters, wives, bosses etc. This is why I launched The DeDe McGuire Foundation which heavily focuses on scholarships for low-income women whose college education was interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances With a chance to go back and obtain a degree.
I also host my annual charity women’s luncheon which benefits my foundation as well as I lead the Dallas Women’s March every year and have taken a very public stance against domestic violence. I use my show as a vehicle for those survivors of domestic violence to tell their stories. I sit on the Board of Directors for an organization here now and every year hold a charity Bowl-a-Thon to raise funds for a shelter.
Recently, gun violence in our community as well as in the Hip Hop world, has been in the news at an all time high. The drug and gun culture is so prevalent in our country period, that I recently asked my boss to stop the music on the station and talk about it.
We shut the music off for two hours and spoke with ex gang members, criminal judges, Pastors, Lawyers and concerned listeners to address how we can fix the problem. It was one of the best programs I’ve done on radio in recent years.
Respect: What was your experience like being on the Steve Harvey Show?
Dede: First I am so proud of Steve Harvey. To watch his career journey and see where he is at today is inspiration for us all! I will tell you though, doing the show was not what I expected. It moved faster than I thought, the mics were projected out towards the audience so when I spoke I thought no one could hear me because I swear I COULDN’T HEAR ME!
It was like I was having an out of body experience! I was on the “Straight Talk” segment and it was me along with two other ladies and we were supposed to debate. Well, I don’t debate as much anymore because as my position of the “HOST” of a show I mediate and listen more now, than aggressively giving a comment.
Also as the host of my own show, I get the right of way and if I want to give my opinion I just give it. I found out that day that I have clearly graduated to giving people opportunities to respond and respecting their opinion, because I failed miserably at jumping in and talking over the other guests. Ha!
Respect: How important it is for you to give back to your community?
Dede: It’s very important. I feel the black community has always looked for the church and black radio for help. It’s been this way for a long time and I’m very aware of my role as a community leader now.
I have been truly Blessed and and learned a long time ago that you can’t just open your hand to receive, you must first open it to give. That’s why I’m expanding my DeDe McGuire Foundation this year to include more help with daycare, fun do for start up black businesses and more.
Respect: What message would you send to aspiring millennials wanting to have a career in radio?
Dede: I think millennials have the tendency to move fast or want things to move faster than they should. There is a process to everything, so I would advise them to slow down and enjoy the moment. Learn from their elders, find a mentor and do their best to stand out.
As she continues to break barriers and use her voice to cultivate change, Dede McGuire wants the world to know that she has only just begun!
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