Philadelphia, PA. – It was with great sorrow that Radio One had to inform the Philadelphia community of the passing of E. Steven Collins, Radio One’s own broadcast legend and host of “Philly Speaks” on WRNB. Fans and friends around the country were dismayed to learn that E. Stevens Collins suffered a fatal heart attack on Monday, September 9th just after midnight. Mr. Collins was rushed to Chestnut Hill Hospital and was surrounded by his family and close friends at the time of his passing.
E. Steven Collins, affectionately known as E., devoted over 30 years to broadcasting and spent the last 10 years of his career with Radio One Philadelphia. Countless lives were impacted by his compassion and concern for the common man in our community. His positive influence was widespread, garnering respect from state and city officials, clergy and local citizens for whom he became a “voice”. E. Steven Collins was often called the “Unofficial Mayor of Philadelphia” as his influence and friends included U.S. Congressman, Governors, Senators, City Council, and more.
As Radio One’s Director of Urban Marketing and External Relations E. was known as a consummate professional and loyal friend. He had a unique way of making everyone feel special while strongly embracing the concerns of the community. Radio One Chairwoman and Founder Cathy Hughes fondly recalled, “I personally recruited E. Steven Collins to join Radio One, where he remained a valued member of the Radio One family for over a decade. E Steven Collins was able to bring all facets of our community to the table, corporate, civic, clergy and community for positive good and became a major catalyst for change. My heartfelt and profound condolences go to his wife, Lisa and sons, Rashid and Langston and his legions of listeners.” Regional Vice President of Radio One, Christopher J. Wegmann says, “A tremendous loss for the Radio One Family; a true leader who cared immensely about his family, his community and his co-workers.
E. was no stranger to the national spotlight, his unique insight and perspective has been featured on a variety of local and national media including CN8, Comcast Newsmakers and Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia. During ‘08 Presidential election period E. appeared numerous times on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews; and MSNBC Weekends. He also appeared on CNN Midday, CNN’s American Morning with John Roberts, CNN Weekend and PBS News Hour.
E. will also leave behind his Clear Channel family at WDAS where he worked almost 30 years prior to coming to Radio One. According to Radio One Operations Manager, Elroy Smith, “E. is a true institution in the City of Philadelphia. He spent a number of years at WDAS where he helped spearhead the success of “Unity Day”. He could have literally run for Mayor of this city and would have become a strong contender. He was the heartbeat of this city and Radio One, Philadelphia and will be sadly missed.”