Photo: Cody Duty
After a more than 30-year career in radio, Urban One, Inc. founder and chair-person, Cathy Hughes, will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Broadcasting Hall of Fame on April 8, reports Black Enterprise.
In 1980, Hughes started the broadcasting network formerly known as Radio One with her then-husband Dewey Hughes. That network eventually grew to become the largest African American owned media corporation in the nation. In 1999, when the network went public, Hughes became the first African American woman to lead a publicly traded corporation.
Hughes told Black Enterprise in 2017 that she launched the radio network in an effort to give voice to the issues and needs of the Black community. Today, her network, which is renamed Urban One, operates 59 radio stations across the country.
“I felt our opinions, desires, needs, likes and dislikes were not being adequately addressed except by Black newspapers on a weekly basis or Black magazines on a monthly basis,” she said. “We needed a daily outlet to talk about what’s important.”
Hughes, who is now considered one of the most influential African American business leaders, first began her radio career in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska at KOWH-AM. Then, in 1971, she became a lecturer at Howard University’s School of Communications, which is now renamed after her. During her time at Howard, she served as general sales manager at the radio station WHUR-FM, and later became the first woman vice president and general manager of a Washington, D.C. station.
“Cathy Hughes is a truly remarkable broadcaster and entrepreneur whose contributions continue to greatly influence and drive our industry,” NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said. “We look forward to honoring Cathy with this well-deserved award at this year’s NAB Show.”