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Radio One
Type Public (NASDAQROIA)
Founded 1980
Headquarters Lanham, MD
Key people Catherine Hughes, Chairperson and Founder
Alfred C. Liggens III, President & CEO
Industry Entertainment
Products radio

Radio One, Inc NASDAQROIA is a U.S. company which owns and operates 69 radio stations in 22 American cities. The company is headed by Cathy Hughes, Chairman and her son Alfred Liggins, CEO. The company's target listeners are African Americans in urban areas. Radio One also owns a 40% interest in TV One, a cable and satellite TV network begun in early 2004 in partnership with Comcast and a handful of investors (including DirecTV, which added the network to its lineup and became a minority shareholder in January 2005). As with other large radio broadcasting companies, Radio One has a strategy of acquiring stations in a given market and making sudden format changes they believe will be profitable. Radio One tends to favor urban-based formats targeting African American listeners, and makes format changes to target their demographic. One example of this occurred when Radio One acquired country radio station WCAV, near Boston, Massachusetts, in 1999, and transformed the station into WBOT, "Hot 97.7," with an Urban format.[1] The station was subsequently resold a short time later and transformed to a hard rock format, much to the ridicule by the local African American community.[2]


Acquiring stations

In 1996, Radio One acquired Philadelphia station 103.9 WDRE, and changed the format from Modern Rock to Rhythmic CHR as "Philly 103.9," WPHI, which was later renamed "103.9 The Beat." The airstaff of WDRE was released, and much of the airstaff found jobs with the city's other Modern Rock station, 100.3 WPLY which was known as "Y-100". Not long after, Radio One acquired "Y-100", and left the station alone for many years. This is believed to have been because the station received good Arbitron ratings and made a decent amount of revenue annually. However, upon the announcement that WPLY's popular morning show, Preston and Steve, was moving to another Philadelphia station, WMMR, Radio One decided to convert the station to an urban format. Subsequently, the format of WPHI, moved to the more powerful 100.3 signal, and Radio One launched a urban contemporary gospel format on the weak 103.9 signal, to be known as "Praise 103.9," WPPZ.

In 2002, Radio One entered the Dayton, Ohio market with WDHT 102.9 after changing the format from Classic Rock to Rhythmic and Hip Hop urban format, sparking a competition against the previous station 92.1 WROU in ratings. After numerous attempts to keep WROU running in the format of urban, it was soon acquired by Radio One and change its format into Rhythmic CHR and R & B. There were petitions to keep the radio station in the previous format, but as of today the station still operates under the current format.


In the mid-2000s, Radio One began to consider selling non-core stations, stations that don't target African Americans or those in very small black markets. The first case of this happened on August 22, 2006, when Radio One announced it would divest WILD-FM in Boston, the WILD for now is still owned by RO; however, it too will be divested. On May 18, 2007, Radio One also divested its Louisville and Dayton clusters which included various stations such as WDJX and WLRS and WGTZ among others, citing the low percentage of African Americans in both cities as well as the amount of Non Urban stations. In 2008, the company sold KRBV in Los Angeles.

Accounting Problems

On March 19, 2007, the NASDAQ Stock Market informed Radio One that it could face delisting from trading for failure to file its 2006 10-K annual report with the SEC.[1] [2] The company had previously announced it would delay issuing its annual report due to accounting issues concerning backdated stock options, subject of an informal SEC Inquiry.[3]

Radio One Markets

Major cities


See also

External links

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