The Open Line Legacy continues after the loss of the show’s founder Bob Slade on March 23rd of 2019. From it’s beginnings in the early 1980’s on WRKS-FM, Open Line has continued to inform, inspire, educate and call to action, citizens of the Greater NYC Community and beyond.
Fatiyn Muhammad (BRO. FATIYN) is a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from George Westinghouse Vocational & Technical High School located in downtown Brooklyn, NY. Bro. Fatiyn furthered his education in the field of Electrical Engineering Technology at S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale Agricultural & Technical University in Long Island. He graduated with A.A.S. Degree in the field of Electrical Engineering Technology from S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale. He was named, “Outstanding Minority Student” and was on the Dean’s List with a G.P.A. of 3.79. In the late 80’s, Bro. Fatiyn’s became a member of the U.A.M. (United African Movement) under the leadership of; Rev. Al. Sharpton and attorneys Alton Maddox & C. Vernon Mason. That same year, Bro. Fatiyn became a member of 98.7 KISS-FM’s softball team, not knowing that these two paths would cross, and create a new career path for him. The new career path that was created while working at a bank in the NY Tri-State area was the “Producer” position of the OPENLINE Show heard on 98.7 KISS-FM under the direction of the Radio Station’s News Director, Bob Slade. Today, Bro. Fatiyn is still producing the OPENLINE Show, as well as being an On-Air Contributor on the OPENLINE Broadcast, on 107.5 WBLS-FM in the NY Tri-State area. Bro. Fatiyn is the Executive Producer for two Nationally Syndicated Radio Shows for the Rev. Al. Sharpton; “KEEPING IT REAL w/ REV. AL. SHARPTON” & “SUNDAY MORNING w/ REV. AL. SHARPTON.” Bro. Fatiyn has been producing both of these shows respectively, for eleven (11) & ten (10) years. As Bro. Fatiyn’s Radio Career began to flourish, he met a beautiful young lady, Sharon “Hanifah” Simmons-Stroman, who become his wife. From that union came two daughters: Fatiya Yaasmiyn Stroman & Rukaiya Janae Stroman. Having children complicated Hanifah, life because she was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia SS. Bro. Fatiyn was not familiar with the disease or its complications, nor knew anyone with sickle cell until he met his wife. As the years progressed, Bro. Fatiyn noticed the challenges his wife and others faced. Some of the negative comments about his wife and people living with sickle cell disease bothered him. The fact that many physicians, nurses, and at times, pharmacists often referred to members of the sickle cell community as “drug seekers” cause Bro. Fatiyn, to distrust people who provided Healthcare services. Since Hanifah had many complications due to sickle cell, Bro. Fatiyn decided to educate himself about the disease. He knew this was a huge responsibility but was committed to advocating for his wife and thousands affected by the disease. Today, Bro. Fatiyn continues the advocacy for Hanifah and the sickle cell community using his media platform to educate and spread awareness about the sickle cell.
JUDGE BOB PICKETT
- An Attorney At Law for 33 years with vast experience in complex litigation, both civil and criminal, and former Judge in the Administrative Courts of New Jersey;
- Chairman and Organizing Founding Member of Black United Fund of New Jersey now the African American Fund of New Jersey;
- On-Air personality & Co-Host for WBLS-FM’s Sunday morning public affairs program, OPEN LINE (10 A.M. to 12 noon)
- Executive Producer & Producer of The Legend Music Series for KISS-FM; Producer for KISS-FM’s Soul Beginnings (another music series) which won the NY Metro A.I.R. Award for “Best Evening Show” in NYC in 1997;
- The recipient of the 1998 & 2002 New York Metro A.I.R. Award for the “Best Public Affairs Program” for The “Open Line Show.”
- Juris Doctorate degree (1972) from The University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan;
- Former General Counsel to the Newark (NJ) Board of Education;
- A member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, United States Circuit Court for the Third and Sixth Circuits, a member of the State Bars of Michigan and New Jersey, The United States District Courts for Michigan and New Jersey, the American Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Michigan State Bar Association, the Essex County Bar Association of Newark, New Jersey, the National Conference of Black Lawyers, Former Pres., the Garden State Bar Association, a member of the American Bar Association and the National Bar Association.
- Counsel in nearly 40 published court opinions — State and Federal;
- Former Aide to U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Assistant Counsel to Governor (NJ) James Florio for Education;
- Former National Chairman of the National Black American Law Students Association while at The University of Michigan Law School;
- Appointed by Governors (NJ) Brendan Byrne and Thomas Kean as an Administrative Law Judge with the Administrative Court (OAL) of New Jersey (1981-1985).
JENNIFER JONES AUSTIN
Jennifer Jones Austin has joined us as co-host of “Open Line” heard Sunday Mornings on WBLS. Joes-Austin also serves as a designated fill-in host for Rev Al Sharpton’s daily “Keeping it Real” National radio show heard evenings 7-9pm on WLIB.
Jones-Austin is a fourth generation leader of faith and social justice. She currently serves as CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), an anti-poverty, policy and advocacy organization with 170 member agencies and faith partners. Jones-Austin is a published author and holds a law degree from the Fordham University School of Law along with degrees from NYU’s School of Public Service and Rutgers University. She resides in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.