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Rickey Smiley, left, and D.L. Hughgley. | Source: Thaddaeus McAdams / Getty

Urban One is beaming with pride after two of the Black-owned media company’s top talents have received prestigious nominations for awards recognizing their work in radio broadcasting.

D.L. Hughley and Rickey Smiley have each been nominated for Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year for their eponymous radio shows as part of the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2021 Marconi Radio Awards.

“I couldn’t be prouder to announce that two of Reach’s talents. D.L. Hughley and Rickey Smiley are each among the five final nominees selected in Radio for Network Syndicated Personality of the Year,” David Kantor, CEO, Urban One Radio Division & Reach Media, said in a brief statement on Thursday. “This is our industry’s highest honor. Both continue the legacy of my retired co-founder, and previous nominee and winner, Tom Joyner. They are entertaining, engaging, and totally committed to their audiences. Congratulations to both.”

The nominees were announced on Wednesday. Smiley won the award back in 2017.

This is the first time two Reach Media, Inc. personalities snagged nominations for the same award in the same year.

The winner is scheduled to be announced at NAB’s 2021 Radio Show in Las Vegas on Oct. 13.

NewsOne is part of iOne Digital, Urban One’s suite of online properties. Urban One in 2004 acquired a majority stake in Reach Media, which is home to the “D.L. Hughley Show” and the “Rickey Smiley Morning Show.”

Hughley, a comedian by trade, has had his own nationally syndicated radio show since 2009 and joined the Reach media family in 2013. Since then, Hughley has enjoyed significant success with rising ratings.

“I’m excited that my radio show continues to grow on a national basis, but the honesty and interaction with my audience make it the ‘biggest local and personal show in radio,'” Hughley said in 2017 after extending his contract with Reach Media.

The “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” has been called “one of the fastest growing radio programs in the country.” The show last year replaced the slot once occupied by the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” after Joyner retired.

“It’s an honor to continue the legacy of my boss and frat brother Tom Joyner,” Smiley said at the time while referencing their Omega Psi Phi bond. “Not only has he been a friend to my family and me over the years, but we consider him family. Tom’s mentorship has instilled in me valuable wisdom that I will carry with me through this new morning show.”

While there can only be one winner, we wish them both the best of luck for the Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year honor as part of the 2021 Marconi Radio Awards.

Hughley and Smiley are following in the rich tradition of standout radio programming that was set by Urban One founder Cathy Hughes, who in 2019 was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame during a ceremony held by NAB.

For more information about the 2021 Marconi Radio Awards and nominations, click here.

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