Nick Cannon quietly returned to hosting his syndicated “Nick Cannon Radio” program on Tuesday, nearly two months after he was forced to step away amid a controversy over anti-Semitic comments that spurred him to apologize.
Cannon returned to the microphone on the five-hour daily talk show, which is syndicated by Skyview Networks and Meruelo Media, the parent company of Los Angeles’ Power 106 station. Cannon is expected to resume his morning berth on Power 106 (which is separate from the syndicated program) within a few weeks, a source close to the situation said.
Cannon opened Tuesday’s show by thanking fans for reaching out during his seven-week break. The host of “Masked Singer” and creator-star of MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out” franchise fueled outrage in late June after an airing of his podcast “Cannon’s Class,” which featured former Public Enemy member Professor Griff. At one point in the episode, Cannon said Black people are the “true Hebrews” and talked about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories involving the Rothschild family.
Cannon has since apologized and vowed to meet with Jewish religious and community leaders to better understand the history of anti-Semitism. In recent weeks, Cannon has held meetings and interviews with such figures as Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; Anti Defamation league CEO Jonathan Greenblatt; Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of Foundation for Ethnic Understanding; and Rabbi Noam Marans of advocacy org AJC, among others.
“Tough times don’t last, tough people do,” Cannon said in the opening minutes of Tuesday’s syndicated program. “I’ve been going through it and I’ve been growing through it. As we’ve been saying — we atoning, y’all. We making the right decisions for 2020.”
In a news release announcing Cannon’s return to radio, Marans called Cannon “a new friend.” At a time of heightened racial and ethnic tension in the U.S., Cannon’s effort to recover his career momentum after a bad misstep is being closely watched in the industry.
“We will learn from one another and open the window to go beyond that which originally brought us together, seizing this opportunity to expand the conversation to the two-way street of Black-Jewish relations,” Marans said.
After the controversy flared in late June, ViacomCBS cut ties with Cannon on “Wild ‘N Out.” There have been rumblings that the parent company of MTV and Cannon’s camp are working out some kind of rapprochement.
For now, the radio show is a trial balloon to test the response to Cannon emerging from a hastily imposed hiatus from his many media ventures. Plans for Cannon to launch a daytime syndicated talk show this month with Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury were put on ice until next year at the earliest, pending the success of his image rehab campaign.
Cannon is also set to return as host of Fox’s reality hit “Masked Singer” on Sept. 23.
“We are so appreciative of Nick Cannon’s affiliates for their commitment to Nick during his period of reflection,” said Steve Jones, president and chief operating officer of Skyview Networks. “We recognize that he is an incredible entertainer with a powerful voice that will continue to command the interest and attention of radio listeners during this volatile time in America.”