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Cathy Hughes, MONARCH Magazine cover

Source: Courtesy of MONARCH Magazine / other

 

Today we pay tribute to world-renowned media maven Cathy Hughes, the founder of Urban One, Interactive One (iOne) and Radio One’s unstoppable broadcast media network. Our undeniable trailblazer turns 75-years-old and has so much to celebrate on this special day.

Ms. Hughes has a lifetime of notable things to celebrate. Last year, the inimitable powerhouse was inducted into the Cablefax Cable Center Hall of Fame, an achievement that honored the dynamic entrepreneur’s foray into the TV industry with the success of TV One in 2004 and Cleo TV in 2019. Hughes celebrated the historic award alongside her son and CEO Alfred Liggins III, who has helped tremendously expand Urban One into the incredible media company we know today. The company reaches over 100 million viewers and listeners monthly through Radio One, TV One, iOne Digital, CLEO TV, One Solution and Reach Media.

In celebration of Urban One’s 40th anniversary in December 2020, Ms. Hughes was honored by Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia and the Honorable Chris Van Hollen of the State of Maryland, both of whom showered the former radio host with praise on the floors of the US House of Representatives and US Senate for her impact on the national media landscape.

“Mr. President, I rise today to honor a tenacious, entrepreneur, visionary radio personality, and powerful advocate for the African American community, Cathy Hughes,” said Senator Van Hollen during his speech. “Cathy Hughes has left an indelible mark on the State of Maryland and inspired millions of listeners across the country.”

The National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Famer said that she was “deeply humbled “by the prestigious recognition.”

“The year 2020 will long be remembered as a year that challenged and changed our country, and while we faced unprecedented trials, this honor and our opportunity to be of service to the black community are among the highest distinctions we have received,” the media icon added.

With grit, determination, and unrelenting fearlessness, Ms. Hughes acquired her first radio station WOL-AM 1450 in 1986, a move that was set the blueprint for Urban One’s historic legacy to come. That year, the multihyphenate launched The Cathy Hughes Morning Show which amplified topics impacting the Black community and perspective. The star’s show pulled in millions of listeners and eventually became so successful, that after a year of broadcasting, Hughes was able to purchase a second station, WMMJ-FM, in 1987 and the rest was history. Now, the company has expanded its broadcast media fortress into 54 radio stations across the country. Radio One owns stations in Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Cleveland and Houston among others cities. Urban One, the largest African American-owned broadcast network, also reigns supreme online due to its digital media branch iOne that includes BOSSIP, MadameNoire, Global Grind, HipHopWiredNewsOne, Hello Beautiful and Cassius. 

Happy 75th Birthday to the incredible Ms. Hughes! We honor you, your womanhood, leadership and success.

May your day be filled with lots of joy and love.

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