SFist sadly notes the passing of Charles "Chuck" Johnson today. He will be truly missed by friends, family and the larger Oakland community. Mr. Johnson founded Soul Beat TV as a cable station in 1977 after many years as a succesful radio DJ and producer. Soul Beat TV was the only "100% Black-owned" television station in the country, and was a great resource for nurturing local talent.
Comcast pulled the plug on channel 29 last November, citing unpaid leasing fees. Soul Beat continues to broadcast over FM radio in the East Bay at 104.1, and stream video live over the internet at www.soulbeattv.com. SFist discovered Soul Beat one night while cruising the channels, and while the production values were quaint, the programs and indiviuals were truly unique. The station featured community talk shows, gospel sermons and music videos, all produced by - and featuring the talents of - folks from the 'town.
Services will be held at the Union Baptist Church in Oakland. Contact SoulBeat TV via email to offer support and condolences. SFist is going out to pour a libation to honor a magnate of local media.