W. Cody Anderson was many things to many people: radio icon, entrepreneur, community leader, father, husband, friend. He was the spark that breathed life into WURD – literally and figuratively. He was the person who, in 2002, encouraged Walter P. Lomax Jr., M.D. to purchase WURD and was the station’s first General Manager. But Cody Anderson’s career started long before WURD. He had more than 50 years of radio experience under his belt, beginning in the Sales Department of WDAS Radio eventually being promoted to President and General Manager of WDAS AM/FM. During his tenure at WDAS, Cody was the founder of the extremely successful Unity Day program, which grew to one of the largest outdoor events in the country at that time. He was also the driving force behind WHAT Radio where he was the owner and General Manager. His community-based programming philosophy provided the initial vision for 900AM WURD, a vision that was embraced and built upon by the late Dr. Lomax.
Up until the time of his passing on February 20, 2021, Cody Anderson was actively involved at WURD Radio in a myriad of ways. He was the co-host of The Electric Magazine with Vikki Leach every Saturday from 7 to 9 a.m.; co-host of biweekly 9 a.m. Saturday morning shows with City Council President Darrell Clarke and former Philadelphia School Superintendent Dr. William Hite; co-host of the weekly Laborers Live show; and he regularly guest hosted wherever and whenever he was needed.
His office was in the same building, on the same floor and just a few doors down from WURD’s offices. He flowed in and out of WURD’s headquarters, offering gentle but firm guidance to our hosts, producers, sales team – all of us. On Dec. 4, 2020, WURD honored Cody in a three-hour celebration at our annual Empowerment Experience event. During this
program, we heard from WURD hosts, radio pioneers Cody worked with during his long career, and friends and family who have been influenced by his life and legacy.
Additionally, Cody was featured in the first episode of WURD’s podcast, OnWURD: 2020 In Black, which explored the power, significance and possibility of Black-owned and operated radio. Both of these offer a powerful record of Cody Anderson’s thoughts and insights, in his own words. “WURD was his home. WURD was his family,” his oldest son, Kyle Anderson, said after his passing. We honor the life and work of W. Cody Anderson as we celebrate WURD’s 20th anniversary. We wouldn’t be here without his vision, grace and community commitment.