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Editorial: An open letter to the readers and listeners of Redding News Review

By Wade Simmons


WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2013, 11 a.m. - Once again, I would like to thank each and every one of our readers and listener for supporting us. We have endured, persevered and overcome many challenges. And we will overcome this one, too.

As editor-at-large, it is extremely important to communicate with you that have gone beyond the call of duty to: comment, call, write, email, boycott SiriusXM
(SIRI) for abandoning an all black/political news format for 128. I want each of you to fully understand what you are supporting when you standup for Redding News Review and Rob Redding.

I have been knowing Rob, for about 14-years now. I am not sure who introduced me to Rob but they said that he was a journalist. I responded: “Really? Where did you get your degree?” Rob candidly said: “I don’t have one.” I said: “Why am I talking to him?” I said that because he did not have a degree.

I was a little arrogant at that time, however, somehow Rob and I became friends. There was something about his character that intrigued me. He had spunk. He had charisma. He was definitely articulate. However, the  most important characteristic that I liked is that Rob did not take "no" for an answer. No situation, or person would deter him from his goals.

How Redding New Review got started

I watched Rob do his thing and I did mine. Rob worked for a small weekly publication in Prince George’s County, Maryland. I was in politics in a small Prince George’s County, town. We would see each other often, as he reported and as I politicked.

I watched Rob work fulltime  - for a journalist full time means: until you finish the story -at a weekly. Then worked full time, delivering pizzas for Dominos. There were times when he was exhausted and flat out tired. Though I could see the exhaustion in his eyes, he was unwavering. He went to work and still reported - tired.

I was doing a news show for our local cable station in Glenarden, Maryland. We came on three days a week and the production was shabby to say the least. But I had fun doing it.

Rob came to me about doing another show to air at the cable station. I do not remember the name of the show, I think it was Sunday Speech, but Rob was the host and I would co-host with him at times. That was the first time that I heard Rob say: “Is this thing on?” while tapping into the mic. I thought "creative."

We taped each show. Some of the tape was so blurry that people could not make out Rob or me. Each night after doing the news show or Rob’s show the crew would retreat to the BET Soundstage, in Largo, Maryland for a drink. That was our spot. However, while everybody would partying, Rob and I would talk strategy (plus get a little partying in too).

Rob lived out in Temple Hills, Maryland. One day I went to his apartment. I recall, he went jogging and I look at his computer and he was building his website: ReddingNewsReview.com.

I said: “Rob what’s this?”

“This is the website I want to build,” he responded.

I told him, "Rob we got enough news websites out there. People can get news anywhere now? What is going to make this site unique?”

“Because black people can get news that concerns black people in one place,” he said.

I said: “Interesting.”

By this time, Rob was working for another weekly (which was owned by the Washington Post Company,) Dominos Pizza, doing our TV spot on Sundays, going to BET Soundstage in between and updating headlines on his Web site way up until 1 or 2 in the morning.

At that time, everything that was done on Redding News Review was done by Robert Redding, Jr.

Somewhere along the line, Rob got a job in a busy newsroom at the Washington Times. Let me remind you all that he still did not have a degree.

After that, I was out of the net for about three-years. Let’s just say I had some legal issues that dampened things and during my hiatus Rob moved to Atlanta. Still he was doing Redding News Review and now talk radio.

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Even after my unforeseen circumstances, we still manage somehow to stay in touch. For me, this is what friendship is all about. Loyalty, is a concept that many of us black people love and respect in a person.

Rob offered me a job in Atlanta to be a radio correspondent. I declined it to stay in Washington, D.C., plus I had already lived in Atlanta for six years. At that point, I became the Business Editor for Redding News Review.

I enjoy business. I enjoy politics. I regularly read these boring reports, anyway, so I did not mind being the business reporter. However, the business section was not as simple as it might sound. Rob told me that the business section is geared towards “black entrepreneurship.” For Rob that meant more than just posting business headlines. Let me just say that there is not a whole lot of news that geared toward black business entrepreneurship.

Before, reality TV shows like: "The Apprentice" and "The Shark Tank" and before blogging became as popular, Redding News Review was "reality blogging.”  I own a small energy consulting business. At the time, I was building-up my consulting business. I went to Rob and ask him to start a section where I would be able to blog about my everyday hustle being a small businessman with very little start up money. Readers would read about every aspect of my day. They would read about how I felt and how I did not feel. It was straightforward and uncensored. All of my spelling and grammatical errors appeared in the blog in real time. Readers would be able to comment and give me suggestions on what I should do next. The readers did just that they were engaged and interacted with me.  

During this time Rob just got accepted to the University of Louisiana where he pursued his bachelor in journalism. Sometimes, I would like to think that I was the fuel that put the press on him to go back to school and get that paper. I was very proud of him. In fact, I have always been proud of him. Despite all he has been through: the many people who looked at him as if he was some crazy fool, lacked resources, he always managed to update the Web site and find stories of interest.

Some years later, we are still here. Every Sunday a team of super-journalists, Rob and I gather together for a conference call that sometimes last for hours. (The talk is always going to be long when you get a bunch of journalists on the phone). We talk about every issue that you can think of. We are in depth and explore every area of the topics. Sometimes we agree, however most of the time we disagree. Something like Congress, however we are professionals. We know how to disagree and still get the job done.

I am very honored to be a friend to Rob Redding and being a member of this team. I thank you, our readers and listeners for allowing me to share my take on Robert Redding, Jr. I hope that after reading this you understand that you, Rob, myself and our team are dedicated to the cause of African-American news that matters.

See, this business started from zero dollars but 100 percent dedication, love and endurance to ensure quality news for our community. Whatever SiriusXM does they need to know that our team is not going away. We worked hard to get here and will work harder to stay.

Best regards,

Wade Simmons


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