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Monique is on the move! The official announcement re: my departure from WVON and my50 Chicago


On Friday March 16, 2012 I voluntarily ended “The Monique Caradine Show” which aired every Friday on WVON 1690 AM in Chicago. It was a difficult but necessary decision for me. I love talk radio and I adore WVON for providing me with a powerful platform for so many years.

WVON is the place where I “cut my teeth” in the radio game. It’s where I revolutionized the news department, integrated “email” as a new way to talk to our listeners, won awards as their youngest-ever midday host and realized the value of empowering my community.

Since day one, WVON’s president and General Manager Melody Spann-Cooper (who has been like a big sister to me) has allowed me to explore and experiment with so many of my crazy ideas as I created my unique brand of talk radio. She allowed me to discover my voice. I will always grateful to her for that!

However, as I looked toward my future, I knew that I did not want to spend any more of my time on air, re-hashing some of the same old ideas I did when I first started there back in 1996.

As I approached the end of my tenure with WVON, I had made a commitment to move the tone of my conversation in a different direction– toward new ideas on self-reliance and harnessing our personal power and away from what I felt was too much talk about victim-hood and endless blame of others for our problems, followed by too little action to change things. Ultimately, however, I decided that the best decision for me was to focus on growing my business and on projects that were profitable, innovative and that generated a return on my investment.

Nevertheless, I will always hold the WVON family close to my heart!

On leaving FOX Chicago/my50 Chicago…

On Tuesday, March 20, 2012 I was abruptly (and very nonchalantly) released from my position as host of Perspective on my50 Chicago.

Here’s a snapshot of how it played out:

- When FOX decided to launch Perspective in 2008 they brought me on as the host at the recommendation of Melody Spann-Cooper (again, my gratitude to her). From the beginning, they apologized that “there wasn’t a big budget for the program” so my talent fee would be “small.” Indeed it was, but I agreed to do the show anyway.

- After year one-and-a-half, budget cuts took effect due to the economy. Staff was cut and management changed but Perspective and I survived.

- I had always been hands on with the show, not just hosting but also helping to produce, book guests, write scripts and promote it through my social media outlets, my radio show and at speaking engagements. Despite my repeated requests, FOX made no effort to promote Perspective.

- I made it my duty to check in with Mike Renda, the General Manager of FOX on a regular basis. About every other month I’d meet with him to discuss Perspective, make sure we were moving in the right direction and run ideas past him. He always had positive feedback and was consistently encouraging and optimistic about the show. We seemed to have a good rapport.

- In December of 2011, as the economy started to turn around and the show’s ratings steadily improved, I began to talk to Mr. Renda about a talent fee increase. I was given the impression that that was indeed possible come early 2012 (it was kind of a “let’s look at the numbers” situation), so Mr. Renda and I set a meeting date in February to have the “money” conversation. I knew there were no guarantees, but I believed a talent fee increase was at least possible.

- The “money meeting” date arrived and I went to Mike Renda’s office as usual with a happy disposition, ready to discuss compensation that was fair and better suited for me as host, writer, booker, promoter and co-producer of Perspective for the past four years.

- Before I could put my money request on the table, I was abruptly told there would be no increases and that in fact, they might be moving the show “in a different direction.” Mr. Renda said a decision would be made in two weeks. I left the office surprised but I proceeded to the studio. I had two shows to tape that day.

- Three weeks later, I phoned Mr. Renda to get an update and was cavalierly told that indeed, there would be a new direction for Perspective and that new direction did not include me.

And that was the end of it!

Was my release due to the fact that I had the audacity to ask to be paid what I was worth? I’m not sure but it certainly seems that way. However, I hold no negative feelings about it. I did a lot and learned even more during my 4 years at FOX. One of my biggest lessons learned is that you must know your value and command that others acknowledge it as well, from the outset! Secondly, I learned that everything that glitters is not gold!

What’s next for me?

Since leaving WVON and being released from FOX, I have had more opportunities to do what I love. That includes doing voice overs, speaking, coaching and training others on marketing, branding, entrepreneurship and the power of media. Each and everyday, I wake up excited about working with people who are smart, creative and visionary! Now, I only work on projects and with people that I choose to work with!

Sure I still love hosting and producing TV and radio shows and will continue to do so independently and if the right opportunity comes along. Yet, I must say, it’s amazing what happens when you stop stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. Now that I can focus on growing a profitable business, I’m actually growing a profitable business! Momentum Media Group will be a “gamechanger” in the marketplace!

I have a new freedom and a new sense of purpose but I still have the same passion for empowering people through media. So even though you won’t hear or see me on the old media outlets, I’ll still be doing my thing and sharing my message because absolutely nothing can stop me.

The Black Woman’s Manifesto for 2012

I have had it.

Too many black women on TV appear to be making a concerted effort to hijack our image and set us back 850 years!

What the hell is going on?

I’m talking about the reality show, so-called housewives of this, that and the other. Their frequent displays of violence and aggression, their obvious lack of self-esteem and their inability to show any semblance of adult-like behavior is downright embarrassing.

Yet, the criticisms of these displays, which should be coming from upstanding black women in our society, are either being ignored, are too rare or not being voiced loudly enough.

Or, maybe these toxic displays have become accepted as the norm for black women.

This is NOT okay! I say, enough is enough. It’s time to set a new standard for women everywhere. So I decided to draft the Black Woman’s Manifesto for 2012. It’s intended to be a working document with a few recommendations of how we as strong, proud, respectable, admirable, loving black women should conduct ourselves. Is this too much to ask?

1.) We will strive for better health–mentally, physically and spiritually. We will get therapy, coaching, training, counseling or whatever it takes so that the hurts of our past no longer hinder our future. We will work to achieve ultimate wholeness and healing in EVERY area of our lives so that our thoughts, words and actions become a true reflection of our GOD-like nature. We will elevate ourselves in an effort to command a new level of respect.

2.) As mothers, we will put the BEST interest of our children FIRST, especially as it relates to giving them the best education possible, spending quality time and creating a nurturing and affirming family environment. We will not leave them in situations where their safety and well-being might be jeopardized (i.e. with boyfriends or friends of friends or with crazy-ass relatives just because we can’t find a babysitter). We will see them as precious gifts, not burdens. We will lovingly prepare nutritious meals for them so that they will not rely on fast food. We will teach our girls to value themselves and raise our boys to be MEN. At our best, we will serve as the living example of the type of woman our sons would want to marry. Even when they become “difficult” or “defiant” we will protect our children at all costs and NEVER give up on them.

3.) We will absolutely NOT flirt with, lunch with, spend time with, share personal information with, engage in long conversation with or have sex with another woman’s husband, period! He is off limits no matter how smooth a talker he may be. We will show self-restraint and show respect for that wife and her marriage because we would want her to do the same for us. We will also stop holding every man accountable for the sins of our fathers who may have left us. It is not their fault that he may have been ill-equipped to prepare us for womanhood.

4.) We will raise our standards and level of expectation when it comes to relationships. We will only connect with men of high moral character. If he does not get along with his mother, we will either help him repair that relationship first or run in the opposite direction. We will STOP engaging in casual sex with multiple partners because that’s just nasty! Just because a man is “sexy” or has “swag” does not mean he deserves the very essence of who you are. Allow him to earn it. Challenge him to put a ring on it. Show him your value goes far beyond the bedroom. Your life depends on it and he will he be a better man if you do.

5.) We will vigorously protect our image in the media. When we see women on TV clowning and acting a damn fool, we will confront them, call them to the carpet and lovingly correct them. Nowadays, shaking our heads as we continue to watch the train wreck is not enough because these women are negatively influencing an entire generation.

6.) We will create a multiple-streams-of-income lifestyle. We will refuse to rely on one check from one job that is not guaranteed to be there for us tomorrow. We will establish businesses that give us the freedom to do what matters most and we will earn what we deserve. We will commit to tithing, saving, giving and systematically getting out of debt.

7.) We will ONLY speak words that give life. We will encourage, uplift, support, empower and inspire each other with our words. We will refuse to tear others down with rumors, gossip, lies, half-truths, violence, aggression, negativity or deceit. No longer will we say, “I’m broke, I’m not good enough, I’m too short, I’m too fat, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not smart enough…” We will recognize that our words have POWER and every word we speak is a seed being planted. We will NOT speak our current situation. Instead we will ONLY speak the reality that we deserve and desire thereby calling it into existence with our WORDS.

8.) We will lovingly forgive ourselves for bad decisions and stupid mistakes. The past is the past. We are still here. The lesson has been learned. It’s a new day. Move on and let your breakthrough overtake you!

9.) We will honor ourselves (and the God within us) everyday by acknowledging the authority that we have been given to change ANY situation. We will reclaim our role as cultural gatekeepers and we will be respected for our brilliance AND beauty on earth and in heaven.

The Monique Caradine Show

Each Friday from 9 – 11 a.m. CT you can hear me LIVE on WVON 1690 AM.   Listen live online at www.wvon.com

I talk about news, politics, hair, beauty, fitness, money, relationships, family, God and everything in between!   We call it revolution radio!

Media black-out of qualified mayoral candidate compromises our democracy; disrespects Chicago voters

Candidate for Mayor, Dr. Patricia Van-Pelt Watkins

I think Chicago Mayoral candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins is a force to be reckoned with.   In my opinion, she represents what it means to be a true public servant.   I recently had the pleasure of interviewing her on Perspective (the show airs Sunday, January 30th on MY50 Chicago) and earlier today by phone.   You can hear the unedited, 5 minute phone interview here:


In short, she has a long and impressive background.   Watkins has spent the last 30 + years as a public servant.   As the founder and CEO  of the  Target Area Development Corp., she grew a budget  from $10,000 to $3 million and generated hundreds of jobs.   She also shepherded passage of landmark criminal justice legislation through the Illinois legislature by uniting states attorneys and the ex-offenders they prosecuted.

Watkins  also taught residents how to empower themselves by staking out corners and peaceably banishing drug-dealers from their neighborhoods. Her legacy of public service doesn’t stop there.   Watkins has  worked for decades to improve education by recruiting more diversity to the teaching profession and promoting efforts to reduce violence in our schools.

Needless to say Dr. Patricia Watkins has been committed to “we the people.”   Not the establishment.   Not a specific political party.   Not one race, group, union or organization.   She simply wants what is best for the citizens and communities of our great city.   But now that she’s running for mayor, her message has been almost completely ignored.   You would think she’s some kind of peon out here just trying to detract from the process.   But that is not the case.   She is a legitimate candidate whose voice deserves to be heard.

So why (until just recently) has the media almost completely ignored her message?   Why has she literally been shut out from participating on the major candidate debates?

The only answer I’ve been able to get from the organizers of one of the upcoming debates is that “she’s not showing up in the polls” and “we can’t just have everybody in on the debates…” Huh????   So you mean you are having a mayoral debate featuring the candidates but not all of the candidates will be featured???   How can someone “show up” in the polls if they’re platform isn’t given any publicity via the news media? Why is it that an outsider like Rahm Emmanueal is annointed and basically chosen for Chicagoans by the media? That makes no sense.   In fact, it is a complete infringement upon the right of chicagoans to hear and get to know the candidates that they have to choose from in this election.

By not allowing Van-Pelt Watkins to participate, the media and debate organizers are trampling on democracy as we know it. If citizens of Chicago don’t raise their voices and demand that the media and mayoral debate organizers allow all legitimate candidates to have their say, they might as well get ready for more corruption, more cronyism, more shady contract deals, more homelessness, less opportunities for hard-working people  and more business as usual in our “world-class city.”

February 22, 2011  will be  a  game-changing election day here in Chicago.   Chicagoans must decide if they truly want a city that works for everyone or just for the chosen few.   I believe that our silence about the shut-out of lesser known but no less qualified candidates will bring us exactly what we deserve: more of the same warmed-over and oppressive policies that only work to the benefit of the elite. This is an election to get fired up about. We’ll see if citizens are courageous enough to send a powerful message that Chicago truly is ready for change.

This week’s top stories from a different perspective

There’s never enough time to cover all the news I’d like to on the Monique Caradine Show.   Therefore, I’m offering you these links to the stories that caught our attention this week.   If you’re interested in looking at these stories from  a deeper, more unique point of view, check  these out:

I always like to see what the rest of the world thinks about what’s happening here, so I checked out this media outlet from the UK to get their take on the Tucson shooting.

A look back at Haiti one year later – This is a great story from PBS

Media outlets all over the country have weighed in on Illinois’ recent tax hike.   Some believe it’s potential crushing effect will send businesses (and subsequently, jobs) running for the hills to get out of the state.   Here’s what the Wall Street Journal had to say about it.

We were able to discuss Chicago’s upcoming mayoral race and the candidacy of Carol Moseley Braun.   Here are two great takes on her chances of winning:

Monroe Anderson says her chances are slim to none…

Gaper’s Block offers an unbiased take on CMB and the other candidates in the race for Chicago mayor.   Check it out.

And last but not least, Chicago’s ABC7 is feverishly working to develop a brand new show that would replace Oprah once her show leaves the air this coming fall.   They’ve hired a team of producers who have worked with some of the biggest names in TV including Phil Donohue and Jane Pauley.   They are also considering some notable Chicagoans as possible hosts of the new show.   As I figure out how to get MY name into consideration :)  you can get the details of that story here.

I always love to get your feedback!

Does fear of success drive Black men’s self-destructive behavior?

For the record, I love Black men. I absolutely adore them. Throughout my life I have been surrounded by strong, loving, caring, responsible Black men. Now, I’m raising one.

I believe that Black men truly have the potential to rule the universe. This occurred to me several months ago when Lebron James had the world at his feet, waiting for him to announce what team he was going to play with for the 2011-2012 NBA Basketball season. That moment in time illuminated for me the fact that–when they are determined, focused and have the encouragement and support to display their brilliance, follow their passion and be celebrated for it–the power and potential that Black men innately possess can absolutely trancend all limitations.

However, the behavior we see displayed in some young Black men today is disturbing. The violence that happens at the hands of young black men, the poor school performance and the apparent lack of self love, in my opinion, reflects among other things a fear of success; a fear of what they could actually acheive IF they did not allow themselves to fall victim to society’s negative view of them which is further exacerbated by pop-culture and media images that are destructive at best.

So what should we do? How do we start today raising confident, strong, bold young Black men who are NOT afraid of brilliance or the massive success they could enjoy if they would only embrace the vastness of their potential?

How can I ensure that my son will be celebrated and not chastised for the fact that he is an academic high-acheiver?

We must rally together as Black mothers and fathers and grandparents and God-parents and not depend on any outside institution to raise our boys because they have consistently proven that they are not capable of handling that responsibility.

The video and audio below reflect the pain caused when we don’t do our part. At what point will we care enough about our children to put our lives on the line for them?

Derrion Albert’s Mother Anjanette Albert featured on the Monique Caradine Show

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Are the voices of aspiring black political leaders being muffled by the “Harold Washington” generation?

Boston highlighted 4 of it #39;s black political hopefuls back in 2009

This is a multi-layered and very complicated issue that warrants further discussion.  In the meantime, here are the articles I referenced today on the program:

The Gallup Poll says young black voters are NOT poised to make an impact this election season.  What’s up with that? – Click here to find out why.

Hip Hop and the Labor Movement have forged and alliance – Great article.  To read, click here.

Washington’s New “Black Pack” – March 2009 – Highlighting  a dynamic group of young, black, high-ranking White House  staffers, brought on after President Obama entered office.

Young, Black and In the Running – Boston Globe 2009 – Highlighting some fresh faces of color who emerged to change Boston’s political landscape.

The Joint Center always has great info on blacks and politics.  Here’s how they see black voter turnout impacting the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, why do you think there aren’t more young aspiring political leaders emerging here in Chicago?  Are their voices being muffled or are they just not standing up?

5 ways to slow the aging process

Anti-aging supplement

There is no way to completely stop the aging process but there are simple things you can do to at least slow it down.  Celebrity Fitness Trainer (and my personal body transformation guru) John Hall offers these tips:

-getting more rest and relaxation, laugh more,

-more water

-flax oil

-regular activity to keep you moving

-anti oxidant rich diet

-daily supplements like multi-vitamins

John’s peeps over at Prograde also offer a great product called Longevity.  I will be ordering my bottle this weekend!  Another great age-slowing product is called EFA Icon a.k.a. Krill.  I’ve raved about how it’s worked for me. Check out my previous post here.

I’ll post a recording of the interview soon!

ReserveAge Organics

You are “Superman”: How to transform your child’s school.

What would you do to change your children #39;s schools?

The film Waiting for Superman has sparked a nationwide discussion on the quality of public education.  However, conversations are not enough.  Jacqueline Edelberg’s book How to Walk to School: Blueprint for a neighborhood renaissance pushes us past empty dialogue and offers a specific and detailed plan on how any concerned citizen, no matter what their educational or socio-economic background can exercise their power and transform their children’s schools.

Jacqueline will be a guest with me today on the Monique Caradine Show to explain how she joined with other concerned parents and did it in her own community.  She’ll also be appearing on Perspective with me on Sunday at noon on MY50Chicago

Jacqueline Edelberg has been the driving force behind the Nettelhorst School’s dramatic turn around, a story that has been featured on Oprah amp; Friends, NPR, CNN, 60 Minutes, Education Weekly, and in the local Chicago media. A community organizer, writer, and nationally recognized fine artist, Jacqueline has led workshops for the Community Schools Initiative, Northside Parents Network, and Chicago Public Schools on how public schools and reformers can galvanize communities to improve public education. She has consulted with schools and neighborhood groups on issues of strategy and organizational development. Before devoting herself to art, community organizing, and cutting the crusts off bread, Jacqueline taught political science at the University of Osnabrück in Germany as a Fulbright scholar. She earned her bachelor’s degree and doctorate from the University of Chicago, and resides in Chicago with her husband Andrew Slobodien, and her two children, Maya and Zack.

So what are you willing to do to transform your children’s schools?

How to Rise in a Down Economy – A special 3-part series
More Americans are living in poverty now than at any time since the federal government first began keeping track 51 years ago, according to new Census figures that dramatically illustrate the toll of the lingering recession. Never have so many Americans been classified as poor. About 4 million Americans fell into poverty last year, bringing the total ranks of the poor to nearly 44 million. And not since 1994 has the proportion of those living in poverty — one out of every seven people — been as high.

When I saw these statistics, it scared me, but almost instantly my fear turned to excitement when I heard Mellody Hobson of Ariel Capital being interviewed on the topic. In a nutshell, Mellody  said that the jobs just aren’t there and they aren’t coming back any time soon. Therefore, now more than ever, Americans are going to have to become more innovative and create their own opportunities. In that moment, this 3-part series was born.

I have hand-picked several experts who have unique levels of insight, expertise and passion in very distinct areas. They are all very well-respected in their industries and they work with people just like you and me everyday. I’ve learned from everyone of them. They all have my stamp of approval.

During these interviews you will hear a lot of non-traditional–even revolutionary ideas. Be open to them. Take notes.  The economy is forcing us to change the way we build wealth and do business. Don’t wait for a job, listen to these experts and create your own.

This 3-part series originally aired in September/October 2010  on WVON 1690 AM, “The Talk of Chicago.”

Part 1 –  Multiple Income Streams Expert Milana Leshinsky on  how to create a Multiple Income Stream Business

Milana Leshinsky

Milana Leshinsky had a zero chance of success. She came from a country where business didn’t exist, some of the most brilliant people lived in poverty, and the world’s best books could only be bought on the “black market.” In just a few short years–after   looking for ways to stay home with her two small children–she figured out how to create simple, money-making information products and turned her favorite topics into a million-dollar business from home. Starting her business with just a hundred dollars in the bank, Milana is now considered one of the top experts in her field. Through her programs and events Milana has trained thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs on how to turn their passion into cash.

Listen to Milana’s interview on how to create a multiple streams of income business.

Milana referenced this website during her interview:  www.MembershipSite1000.com

Part 2 – The Power of a Strong Personal Brand with Re-invention Strategist Marshawn Evans


In this kind of economy, knowing how to leverage your unique skills, talents and experience is an absolute MUST.  As an author, entrepreneur, former Ms. America contestant and as one of the stars of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice (season 4) Marshawn Evans has definitely mastered the art.

She joined me for part 2 in our series and offered some powerful tips on getting noticed, effective networking and landing the opportunity you REALLY want.  She’s got a big event coming up in November which will explore personal branding in more detail.  She’s calling it ME University and the live event will take place in Atlanta.    Need more details?  Check out her website  and listen to the interview below for some  excellent tips.

Part 3 –    The Secrets to a Powerful Resume + Companies that are hiring RIGHT NOW with Career Coach and Resume Expert Lauren Milligan

Career Coach and Resume Expert Lauren Milligan

Even though the climate is right to start your own business, the reality is, not everyone wants to do that.   So how do you make yourself stand out when you’re looking for a job?   It starts with an exceptional resume.

In the absence of a pre-existing relationship with potential employers, your resume has to speak for you.   It has to paint a picture of your leadership skills, your problem solving skills and your ability to deliver results.

In part three of our series, Lauren reveals the secrets to creating a resume that “pops” and increases your chances of getting hired.   She also names major corporations that are actually looking for people to hire RIGHT Now.

Lauren offered a special, limited-time  opportunity exclusively for my listeners.   If it’s not too late, you may still be able to take advantage of it!   Otherwise, check her out at ResuMayday.




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