Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of Urban One, Inc., was making history Monday as she prepared to be inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The trailblazing media maven will become the first African American woman to receive such an honor in the radio category when the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) hold its Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner in Las Vegas.
“Cathy Hughes is a truly remarkable broadcaster and entrepreneur whose contributions continue to greatly influence and drive our industry,” said Gordon Smith, CEO and president of NAB. “We look forward to honoring Cathy with this well-deserved award at this year’s NAB Show.”
Among her many accomplishments, Hughes became the first woman to own a top-ranked radio station in a major market.
Her iconic career began at KOWH-AM in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Today, Urban One, formerly known as Radio One, holds the top spot as the nation’s largest Black-owned multimedia. With 59 broadcast stations nationwide, the company, which is operated by Hughes’ son, Alfred Liggins III, is a leader in the urban market.
Urban One is an integral part of Black culture—entertaining, informing and inspiring the African-American community.
TV One, a television network that reaches more than 60 million households, is among Urban One’s components that impact our culture. The company also connects to millions in our community through Reach Media, Inc. (blackamericaweb.com), which broadcasts the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” and other syndicated radio programs.
Hughes displayed her business acumen when she became a lecturer at the newly established School of Communications at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1971. Under her leadership as general sales manager at WHUR-FM, Howard University Radio, the station’s revenue increased from $250,000 to $3 million in her first year.
Among the many firsts in her career, Hughes was vice president and general manager of a station in the nation’s capital and showed her creative touch by designing a radio program format that many have others have incorporated called the “Quiet Storm.” That format has had a lasting impact on urban radio.
We salute our founder and chairperson on her induction into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor.