Radio Play: Radio One Increases Investment in Tom Joyner´s Reach Media

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Veteran businesswoman Cathy Hughes knows a good deal when she sees one. Hughes’ Radio One has just announced an increased partnership with Tom Joyner’s Reach Media. Radio One’s Syndication One Urban programming now combined with the Reach Media line-up, which includes Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Russ Parr, Yolanda Adams, Reverend Al Sharpton, Warren Ballentine and CoCo Brother, will make it the leading black network radio company. The new programming will start in 2013.

Previously, Radio One acquired a 53 percent stake in Reach Media. Under the new deal, reports EUR, Radio One will increase its ownership stake in Reach Media to 80 percent.

“Radio One has a commitment to be the leader in radio and online programming with compelling entertainment and information for the African-American audience. Combining our assets under Reach Media offers an incredibly broad platform for affiliate stations and advertisers to connect with our loyal audience,” said Radio One CEO and President, Alfred Liggins, in a statement.

The move could help strengthen the state of black radio, which has been on life support for the last few years. Several large, long-running radio networks have fallen, such as New York’s WRKS (98.7 KISS-FM), which after 31 years on the air merged with rival WBLS and ceased operations. Radio One too has seen its fair share of station closings and the selling off of stations.

There is even a coalition of black radio advocates pushing for the FCC to step in to aid the survival of black radio, reports Radio Survivor. “Media consolidation has made it harder for people of color to own radio outlets,” they wrote in a letter to the FCC chairman in June 2012. “African Americans own just 3 percent of all full-power commercial radio stations. And many urban radio stations that purport to serve black audiences air little local programming and are seldom responsive to the needs of their communities.”

How often do you listen to black radio?

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