ABOVE PHOTO: “E” gives his wife Lisa a smooch at his birthday party.
(Photo: Courtesy Radio One)
The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of longtime member and beloved friend, E. Steve Collins.
E. Steven was an award-winning radio broadcaster, a community leader, mentor to many Black journalists and friend to PABJ.
He worked at WDAS for 30 years before becoming Radio One’s Director of Urban Marketing and External Relations and the host of his weekly show, “Philly Speaks” on Old School 100.3. E. Steven was also featured on numerous television news shows, including MSNBC, CNN, PBS and Fox 29.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, E. Steven was a family man, who loved his wife Lisa and sons Rashid and Langston. In addition to his role as a family and industry leader, E. Steven was committed to creating opportunities for African Americans of all backgrounds, to enter and achieve in the communications industry, not just on-air, but also in the executive suites of local and regions news and boardrooms.
In addition to personal mentoring of students, E. Steven was key in connecting young generations of journalists, and those new to the area with the region’s key political, business, and community professionals.
On Saturday, Sept. 7, E. Steven opened the doors of his personal home to host the organization’s end of summer gathering. Since 2011, the event grew to become an annual tradition among the organization’s members and regional leaders since 2011. However, E. Steven ensured this was more than just a social.
It was his effort to encourage the region’s Black media professionals, politicians, and civic leaders to engage informally, and begin collaborating on the issues that faced the region’s Black community, as everyone headed back to work for the fall season. Attendees included Jerry Mondesire, president of the Philadelphia NAACP and publisher of the Philadelphia Sunday Sun along with longtime Comcast anchor and past NABJ President Arthur Fennell.
PHOTO: E.’s sons Rashid (background) and Langston (at the mike) this week on Old School 100.3 talking to listeners about their very special dad and thanking them for all the thoughts and condolences over his passing.
(Photo: Courtesy Radio One)
“Brother E was a tireless supporter of PABJ and believed in speaking up and mentoring the next generation of Black journalists in Philadelphia,” said Johann Calhoun, president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. “E took me under his wing as a mentor and greatly supported my efforts in becoming president of this organization. As long as you were positive and possessed a drive to help others to make the community better, you had E’s support. If there’s anything we can learn from knowing E, is that humility, kindness and being a friend to all will take you a long way in life. Philadelphia has lost a great individual.”
In his role as mentor, he formally introduced NBC 10 Vice President and News Director Anzio Williams to the region, saluted former PABJ President Sarah Glover on her recent run for NABJ’s presidency, and applauded Calhoun’s leadership as the organization prepares a celebration to mark its 40th anniversary.
“E. Steven was a giant in Philly radio,” Glover said. “To me, he was a big teddy bear with an even bigger heart who loved to help and improve the lives of others. His passing leaves a huge hole in the hearts of many. Philly’s airwaves will never be the same. E. Steven worked tirelessly to connect community members with the media and advocated to ensure diversity and equality were central to those conversations. His passion for family, radio, journalism and media lives on in the many lives he touched.”
Plans to honor the legacy of E. Steven Collins at PABJ’s annual awards ceremony on October 26 are in the works.