Cathy Hughes was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1947, and began her radio career in 1969 at KOWH/Omaha. Her early success in Omaha radio led her to Washington, DC, where she took a position at Howard University and became general sales manager of the university station, WHUR-FM.
During her time at WHUR, Hughes was credited with creating the romantic evening radio format known as “Quiet Storm.” The station’s revenues increased by more than $2 million and the station moved from No. 35 to No. 3 in the ratings. Hughes’ passion for radio and her entrepreneurial skills led her to WYCB/Washington DC, which became the country’s first 24-hour gospel station in 1978.
In 1980, Hughes began the Radio One network when she and her then-husband purchased WOL/Washington DC. Hughes transformed the station’s format from music to all-talk, and backed her decision by hosting the station’s morning show. Radio One currently owns more than 50 stations, making it the largest African-American-owned radio company in the United States. In 1999, Radio One went public, making Hughes the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded corporation. In 2004, Hughes launched TV One, a cable television channel aimed at the African-American community, where she hosts the talk show TV One on One.
Cathy Hughes was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2010.
of the images on this page is strictly prohibited.