Ryan Cameron, recuperating from sepsis, has been off the air on Majic 107.5/97.5 for several weeks but came back Monday to talk about the George Floyd protests and ponder the possibility of running for public office.
Cameron isn’t considering mayor or the House of Representatives. He wants to starts more grassroots.
“I don’t know what I’ll do,” he said. “School board, maybe City Council.”
He was born and raised in Atlanta, a hometown radio personality whose nickname became “The Ryan King.” He has been on the air locally for three decades on three different stations: Hot, V-103 and now Majic. He has been in-game announcer for the Atlanta Hawks for 15 years.
And on his various morning shows, he has consistently discussed major news events and scandal in Atlanta and nationwide since the early 1990s, including the Rodney King riots in Atlanta while he was a V-103 night jock.
If he does run for office and remains on the radio, there are federal rules that require “equal time” for opponents even if the radio host candidate never mentions the candidacy on the air.
So it’s possible Cameron would have to step down from his radio job if he were to run for office, said Mo Ivory, a former V-103 and WAOK host who ran for City Council in 2018 after she left radio but did not win. She worked with Cameron on the his morning show on V-103 in 2013 and 2014.
He’s not the first radio personality in Atlanta to consider politics. WSB consumer talk show host Clark Howard in 1997 was so angry with then-mayor Bill Campbell, he publicly considered running against Campbell. In the end, the likable Howard decided to stick with radio instead.
Former WSB host Herman Cain ran for president in 2012 but had to step down from WSB while doing so. After his run was over, he returned to WSB for another few years.
On Monday, Cameron called in to Rashan Ali, who is subbing in for him on his afternoon radio show, to express his own outrage and anger over the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis a week ago. He was also dismayed by reports that white people were seen spray-painting “Black Lives Matter” graffiti, thinking they were just sowing racial divisions.
As a black man, Cameron said he has experienced a lifetime of trauma. “We’ve been conditioned that any time a police car gets behind us, we automatically go into a panic,” he said. Even when his son Cayden drives seven minutes from his house to his ex-wife’s home, he said he goes into a panic, worried the teen might get pulled over.
“We’re not trying to start a race war,” Cameron said. “We’re trying to end it.”
As for the protests, Cameron added, “What we saw over the weekend kept escalating and escalating. People are tired and fed up.”
He also provided a brief update on his health situation. He landed in the hospital in April for heart valve replacement surgery but then caught sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body's response to an infection that damaged his kidneys.
Cameron told Ali and the Majic listeners that he’s been on dialysis during his recuperation.
“I learned how sepsis attacks your body,” he said. “You realize that there’s only a 50% survival rate, and you are on the right side of the survival rate. It puts you in the right perspective.”
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