We’re celebrating the 42nd anniversary of Radio One on October 3rd in honor of our founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes. The vision started with WOL News Talk 1450 & 95.9 in Washington DC and now has grown into a network of over 50 radio stations serving the African American community nationwide.
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Take a walk down memory lane learning of Radio One’s story from the very beginning in the interactive timeline below.
Hughes, who celebrated her 75th birthday back in April, began to build her empire as a young 20something on AM radio for KOWH. The years following would result in a move to Washington, D.C., where she’d become the state’s first-ever female General Manager of a radio station. Later she’d do other monumental things in the history of Radio One, including creating The Quiet Storm format, spearheading The Cathy Hughes Morning Show for 11 years, helping to introduce Urban Adult Contemporary as a radio format, and finally partnering up with her son, Alfred C. Liggins III, to reign as CEO with her as Chairperson. Then came TV One — it’s now the largest Black-owned TV network — and REACH Media which brought you this very website.
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It was only fitting that she was inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame earlier this summer, with Hughes being honored as a Foundational Inductee and respectfully given the title of “Queen” on her plaque. Gushing over being positioned next to dear friend T.D. Jakes, Mrs. H says enthusiastically of the honor, “I couldn’t have better positioning! I’m so thrilled to know that it’s here in Atlanta, and how many people will past that, look down, and read them as they go along.”
You deserve it all, queen!
The story of Cathy Hughes and Radio One is a truly inspiring tale of Black excellence, which came with many nos but much persistence until it became the yes she needed to succeed. She once told The Baltimore Sun on the topic of pushing through adversity, “For every 99 people who tell you ‘no,’ the chances are that the 100th will say ‘yes.’,” later adding for reference, “My daddy was an accountant and he used to always talk about the law of averages.”
Given her dad was the first Black person to earn an accounting degree from Creighton University, we’ll go out on a limb and assume he knew exactly what he was talking about.
Happy 42nd birthday Radio One, and much congrats to its founder, the one and only Mrs. Cathy Hughes! Here’s to another half a century and more.
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Radio One Turns 42! A Timeline Of How Cathy Hughes Built A Black Empire was originally published on blackamericaweb.com
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