Philadelphia radio legend Cody Anderson dies at 78

Philadelphia broadcasting pioneer Cody Anderson has died at age 78. He was a former general manager at WDAS-FM and WURD-AM, and a former owner of WHAT-AM.
Philadelphia broadcasting pioneer Cody Anderson has died at age 78. He was a former general manager at WDAS-FM and WURD-AM, and a former owner of WHAT-AM. Photo credit Courtesy of WURD Radio
By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia broadcasting pioneer Cody Anderson has died, leaving a legacy of community advocacy and media representation. He was 78.

His son Bill Anderson, a reporter for FOX 29, confirmed Anderson's death in a Facebook post, writing that his father was sick, but "wasn't afraid to die because his faith was strong and he would get to see so many loved ones that passed before him."

Anderson was the general manager at WDAS-FM for many years. He was also a former owner of WHAT-AM, and later general manager of WURD-AM.

Most recently, Anderson co-hosted a weekend show for WURD, called "The Electric Magazine."

"Losing Cody Anderson is like losing a treasured member of the family and the community," said Paul Bennett, a founding member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, as well as former editor-in-chief of the Philadelphia Tribune.

Bennett explained that because Anderson was the first general manager of WURD, the only Black-owned and operated talk radio station in Pennsylvania, Anderson saw it as an honor, as well as a responsibility, one he took to heart.

"When I was the editor of the Tribune and he was the general manager of WDAS, we did a lot of things together that were designed to enhance the life of the African American community," he said.

Current PABJ president Ernest Owens said Anderson wore many hats at WDAS, including community advocate.

"He was promoting and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in a lot of these major broadcast stations in Philadelphia," he recalled.

In addition to being a "boots on the ground" advocate and force behind WDAS' UNITY Day on the Parkway, Anderson's legacy will also be the doors he propped open for generations to come.

"He mentored a lot of people and gave a lot of people a big break, I consider him to be the broadcasting godfather in Philadelphia."

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke wrote on Twitter, "It is on us now to carry on in his memory and in service to others."

In addition to son Bill, Anderson leaves behind his wife Verna, daughter Theresa and another son, Kyle.