Today, check out popular radio host Michael Baisden—affectionately self-billed “The Bad Boy of Radio” on The Michael Baisden Show, syndicated and currently heard in 82 cities nationwide—as he returns to his author roots: he’s signing his new hardcover, Maintenance Man II, 1–5 p.m. at Amber’s African American Pavilion booth (3486).
“It’s been many years since I was at BEA,” Baisden says, explaining that his previous visit “was back in the ’90s, in Chicago.” There, he was promoting his first book, Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat, a collection of interviews, which pubbed in 1995. “I remember being overwhelmed by the floor—it was my first time, and I was a self-published author.”
After Never Satisfied, Baisden self-published three bestselling novels, later picked up by Simon & Schuster. It was Baisden’s books, with their envelope-pushing focus on infidelity, that led to the launch of his call-in radio show, originally called Love, Lust and Lies, in 2003. The Michael Baisden Show now has an audience of more than seven million.
Baisden returned to self-publishing with Never Satisfied: Do Men Know What They Want? (2011) and Maintenance Man II, out in April. The latter, described by Baisden as “James Bond and The Bourne Identity meets Shaft!” revisits his protagonist, gigolo Malcolm Tremell, and adds murder, suspense, corporate greed, sex scandal, and political corruption. “The character is more evolved, and it takes place in the present day. I wanted to connect his life as a high-end male escort to powerful people. He’s in the military, so honor is important to him, yet he took the job out of desperation because of hard economic times.”
Here in New York is where Baisden’s radio show launched nine years ago on local station WRKS-FM. However, just over a month ago, the station was merged with another, and Baisden’s show was dropped in the process, although it streams live online, and listeners are petitioning for its reinstatement on the new station.
Baisden and his show have evolved into platforms for social activism and philanthropy, with a mission “to antagonize and expose in an effort to elicit change for the betterment of society as a whole.”