HITS Daily Double


Anchor Promotions founder and CEO Lionel Ridenour launched his venture in 2013, and the company has the distinction of being one of the only Black-owned, fully staffed radio and marketing companies in the business.

“It’s been overdue for hip-hop and R&B artists to have access to ‘major label’ Urban radio promotional services,” he says. “2021 was really a breakout year for the company, with five #1s, eight Top 10 records and 21 charted records.” The firm boasts partnerships with Warner Records, Geffen, Alamo, Hitco and 1501.

Ridenour cites his three-year Alamo partnership as a key achievement—his shop played a vital role in the breaking of Rod Wave. He adds that label chief Todd Moscowitz’s hiring of Juliette Jones as COO is unleashing new synergies.

“We were able to show what we can do with both independent and major labels who don’t have staff, that we are the ones to turn to,” he asserts. “Best way to say it is, ‘Anchor will hold you down.’ And we’re starting off 2022 strong.”

Recent accomplishments include getting Wale’s “Poke It Out” (Warner) and BLXST’s “Chosen” (Red Bull) to #1. Of the latter, he says, “We broke him out of the West Coast—shouts out to Doc and Ayo at Real 92.3 and the folks over at Power 106 for all their support. Being a part of breaking these types of records was really special.”

The promo veteran, who made his bones working records by the likes of Whitney Houston, the Notorious B.I.G., TLC, Usher, P!nk and OutKast, points out that most of the projects Anchor takes on are by baby acts. “It’s not like we’re dealing with a bunch of heritage artists who are preordained to have #1 records,” he insists. “The stuff that we work, we’re fighting for; whether it was Cee Jay, Yung Bleu or SpotemGottem, these are all brand-new acts. The challenge now becomes finding a balance between the stuff that can stream and is financially viable while also being able to make that equally viable for your radio partners.”

The dynamics of the moment, he reflects, bring to mind the words of a mentor. “This all goes back to something Clive Davis used to say: At the end of the day, it comes down to the song,” Ridenour says. “Yeah, you have to give people statistics and information, but the song does matter, even if songs take different paths to get there, whether it’s because of a TikTok thing or whatever the case may be. I’m excited about all the songs we take on; there’s one artist we’re starting on now who's going to be one of the benchmark breakouts of 2022, and that’s Muni Long (SuperGiant) and her single “Hrs and Hrs.” Ridenour promises more big records are on the way.

In conclusion, he says he'd prefer we not run any photos of him from our archives. No promises, Lionel.