Tallahassee’s Hallelujah 95.3 gets praise (and recognition)

Photo courtesy: Tallahassee 95.3

Some radio hosts and operators distinguish themselves by the way they utilize their platforms, receiving praise and nominations from their peers in the industry.

Which brings us to local Tallahassee radio station Hallelujah 95.3. It is being recognized for its astounding work over the years with nominations for small market radio station of the year as well as one of its hosts being nominated for host of the year — both coming from the Stellar Gospel Music Awards and the Tampa Bay Gospel Awards.

The Stellar Gospel Music Awards, dubbed the greatest night in gospel music, is an award show that spotlights and acknowledges gospel music icons as well as individuals within the music industry who have used their platform to uplift and expand the industry.

The Tampa Bay Gospel Award’s specific aim is to honor those who continuously spread their love for the ministry of music in Tampa and surrounding areas. To be nominated for either award comes with high esteem.

Darius “Doc D” Baker, Hallelujah 95.3 station program director, spearheaded creating one of the few Black-owned news radio stations in Tallahassee. The station has grown exponentially, being recognized as one of the prominent voices within the community.

“We had to make people believe in us first in order to see the change. We started changing up the building, the painting and all that good stuff. First things first we had to get an automated system in here that was current which we did. We built the systems up to be self-sufficient with traffic, programs, and commercials to play by itself,”  Baker said. “We had to invest in ourselves first before we could expect anybody else to invest in us.”

The nominations are a few of the prospective awards that Hallelujah 95.3 has acquired over the years. The radio station boasts having three staff members who have received Host of the Year awards. Darius Baker received his in 2019.

This year the station hopes to add on to that legacy with Michael Cork, who has been nominated.

Cork is a man of many talents aside from hosting the morning shows. Cork is a radio personality, photographer, as well as a marketing specialist for Cork Solutions, which is his marketing firm that serves as a marketing collateral for multiple small businesses.

Cork has been with Hallelujah 95.3 for over a year and has already made his presence known. This will be Cork’s first individual nomination for an award.

“It’s a can of emotions right now. The first one is excitement, it’s always good to feel appreciated, but it’s also humbling because I am a man of faith so I understand that any gifts or talents that I have come from God,” Cork said. “I’m so grateful that he’s put me in a position to be a person of influence and also to be something that’s well respected.”

As Cork reflects on his journey leading up to the awards he offers a word of advice to young people who are looking to make their way into the broadcasting world.

“A lot of people have dreams and aspirations to do things and they’ll constantly be in the planning phase and never actually get out and start growth. Do the research it takes to get started but never forget to actually start,” Cork said.

The 38th annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards will be held July 15 and the Tampa Bay Gospel Awards on Oct. 7.

The Hallelujah Morning Show with Michael Cork and Friends hosts a broadcast every weekday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. where you can enjoy exuberant and creative radio segments.