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Cathy Hughes, born Catherine Elizabeth Woods in Omaha, Nebraska on April 22, 1947, is an American entrepreneur, radio and television personality and business executive.



Ms. Hughes was born to Helen Jones Woods, a trombonist with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, and William Alfred Woods, who was the first African-American to earn an accounting degree from Creighton University (a university which Cathy herself would later attend). The family lived in the Logan Fontenelle Housing Projects while Hughes' father attended college.[1]

After working for KOWH, Hughes was offered a job as a lecturer at the School of Communications at Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 1975, she became general manager of the university's radio station, WHUR-FM.

In 1979, Hughes founded Radio One, and with then-husband Dewey Hughes bought AM radio station WOL 1450 in Washington, D.C.[2] After the previous employees had destroyed the facility, she faced financial difficulties and subsequently lost her home and moved with her young son to live at the station. Her fortunes began to change when she revamped the R&B station to a 24-hour talk radio format.

Hughes and Radio One went on to own 70 radio stations in nine major markets in the U.S. As of 2007, Hughes's son, Alfred Liggins, III, serves as CEO and president of Radio One, and Hughes as chairperson. Hughes is also a minority owner of BET industries.

In January 2004, Radio One launched TV One, a national cable and satellite television network which bills itself as the "lifestyle and entertainment network for African-American adults." Hughes interviews prominent personalities, usually in the entertainment industry, for the network's talk program TV One on One.

Both Cathy Hughes and her son, Alfred Liggins have been named Entrepreneur of the Year by the company Ernst & Young. She is also a notable member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

See also


  1. ^ "Owning the airwaves - Cathy Hughes buys radio stations for African-American programming." Essence. Jones, C. October 1998.
  2. ^ The Reeler (July 9, 2007): "Talking the Talk - Is the biopic over? Talk to Me's Don Cheadle on life, liberties and pursuing a hero", by S.T. VanAirsdale




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