Cathy Hughes is a dynamic media pioneer who demonstrates the power of one – one woman, one vision, one company – Urban One. As Founder and Chairperson of Urban One, Inc., Ms. Hughes has created the nation’s largest African-American multi-media conglomerate, generating original content across radio, television, and digital media.
Ms. Hughes began her radio career in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. In 1971, she moved to Washington to begin teaching at Howard University. She served as General Sales Manager and then as Vice President and General Manager of WHUR, Howard University Radio, where she created the format known as the “Quiet Storm.”
In 1980, Ms. Hughes purchased her flagship station WOL-AM in Washington and pioneered the format “24-Hour Talk from a Black Perspective.” She hosted the station’s morning show for 11 years.
With her son and business partner Alfred Liggins, III, she grew what was then Radio One into a publicly traded urban radio market leader with more than 60 stations across the country.
In May 2017, Radio One became Urban One, now the parent corporation of several subsidiaries: TV One, the largest African-American-owned cable television network in the country; Reach Media, which presents syndicated radio programming; iOne Digital, home of several popular websites; and One Solution, a marketing firm for all of the assets under the Urban One brand.
Ms. Hughes has earned hundreds of awards and recognitions. Among her many philanthropic efforts, she supports her family’s legacy at The Piney Woods School, an African-American boarding school established by her grandfather in 1909 in Piney Woods, Mississippi.