Philadelphia radio legend Cody Anderson dies

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Cody Anderson, 78, is being remembered as a Philadelphia radio legend. Many in the city are mourning the news of his passing on Saturday due to complications with COVID-19.

Anderson was a radio host and former station general manager of WURD. He was also the long-time general manager of WDAS 105.3.

"Cody really understood how transformative media can be for Black people and for people who have been marginalized and caricatured and stereotyped," said WURD CEO Sara Lomax-Reese.

She explained it was Anderson who convinced her father to purchase WURD, helping to keep Black talk radio alive in Philadelphia.



"My father bought WURD in 2002 at Cody's insistence and introduction. And then Cody was the founding general manager of WURD and came up with the original format," said Lomax-Reese.

Many Philadelphia City Council members and fellow radio hosts posted online tributes to Anderson as they learned of his passing.

"My family and I want to express our deepest condolences on the passing of Philadelphia radio icon Cody Anderson," said Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson. "As the longtime leader at WDAS and WURD radio stations, he was an icon in the African American press. He always spoke truth to power. I will also remember Cody as a wonderful father and family man who was a role model to other fathers like me. He is a pillar in the Black community and his legacy and impact in the lives of Philadelphians will last forever. Rest in Power Cody Anderson."

"There wouldn't be Black radio in Philadelphia if Cody Anderson didn't exist," said Pastor Marshall Mitchell of Salem Baptist Church of Abington.

Mitchell co-hosted a morning drive show with Anderson for WURD in the early 2000s. He called Anderson a "moral compass" when navigating tough conversations on the air.

"He would listen to me and then I would end, and then almost like a Buddhist monk he would pull us back to where we needed to be," said Mitchell.

Anderson was still hosting several radio shows until very recently. Colleagues say it's just another example of his commitment to radio and the community.

Anderson leaves behind a wife and three children.

His oldest son, Kyle, said in a statement, "Our family has been humbled and honored by the tremendous outpouring of love and support. In between tears... we're heartened by the stories so many of you have told us about our dad. Thank you all so much for sharing with us as we celebrate his life and contemplate our lives without him."
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