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CoCo Brother leaving radio, including Praise; James Fortune takes over

CoCo Brother

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CoCo Brother is stepping away from his Atlanta-based syndicated evening radio show "Spirit of Hip Hop," which had been heard locally on Praise 102.5.

He said he has struggled the past 18 months whether to leave or not. He finally pulled the trigger last week May 22. "I cleaned my office out a month ago," he said in an exclusive interview.

CoCo (real name: Cory Condrey) wrote a resignation note, which included this: "If you are wondering, I will continue to do radio, but I feel like I need to spread my wings in order to grow at the level that I'm being called to."

Indeed, he said he plans to return to radio after the summer but "not in the capacity I have been in."

He wants to be running his own radio show with his own radio company but can't be providing details yet.  He plans to sign other talent to said company.

He added in his note to Radio One:

This is not a good bye guys....
It's moving more into destiny and purpose. I look forward to spending time with you ALL in the future.
I'm here for you.... ALWAYS willing to serve however I can

Gospel artist James Fortune, who is based in Houston, will be in Atlanta the next two weeks as his show "The James Fortune Show" takes over CoCo's Praise slot starting May 28 from 7 to 10 p.m.

CoCo Brother, who is now married with two daughters, began his career at R&B/hip hop Hot 107.9 as an intern in 1995, then got hired first as a producer and promoter. He worked briefly at V-103, then moved to Macon to work with Mike Roberts to be on air in 1999 for a year. "I never chased money," he said. "I always chased a dream and vision."

In January, 2000, he moved to D.C. to be the night-time guy at an R&B/hip-hop station. V-103 wanted him but instead, he moved to Hot 97.5 in 2002 to do nights. In 2004, he heard God to leave secular hip hop to gospel radio.

"People thought we were out of our minds," he said. But he became the first successful syndicated night-time jock in that genre.

Now he said God is telling him again, this time to take a break from radio to focus on Exodus Youth Camp in six weeks in Carrollton with 400 kids: "I'm tired of reading news stories of his kid got killed. This is an opportunity we can ignite a fire in these youth and let them know we not only love them but support them."

On his website, he wrote this:

I never thought after being obedient on that day, God would give me everything I desired in radio! My goal was to be the first African American male syndicated at night on a mainstream platform. Syndicated on R&B, Hip- Hop and Gospel stations.... ministering the Gospel of Jesus across the country. No one believed that a night time urban radio show could be syndicated, this was truly The LORD'S doing!

His popular BET show "Lift Every Voice" won't be affected. He recently shot 14 more episodes, he said.

"Atlanta is my heart. For me to leave and still think about the team at Hot and Praise. That was the hardest thing for me because of the love and passion I have from them," he said.

His show was heard on more than 40 stations, including New York and Chicago every night.

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