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Cathy Hughes

Founder & Former CEO of Urban One (formerly Radio One)

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Cathy Hughes Biography

Cathy Hughes is a dynamic media pioneer who demonstrates the power of one – one woman, one vision, one company – Urban One, formerly known as Radio One. As Founder and Chairperson of Urban One, Inc., the largest African-American-owned and operated broadcast company in the nation, Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate that generates original content across the spectrums of radio, television, and digital media. Her humble beginnings in Omaha, Nebraska, were not a deterrent to her success but rather part of the catalyst that fueled her ambition to empower African Americans with information and to tell stories from their perspective.

Hughes began her radio career in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, at KOWH (AM), a station owned by African-American professionals. In 1971, she moved to Washington, D.C., and became a lecturer in the newly established School of Communications at Howard University. During her tenure, she served as General Sales Manager at WHUR, Howard University Radio, increasing the station’s revenue from $250,000 to $3 million in her first year. She also became the first woman Vice President and General Manager of a station in the nation’s capital and created the format known as the “Quiet Storm,” which revolutionized urban radio and was aired on over 480 stations nationwide. In 1980, Hughes purchased her first radio station, WOL-AM, in Washington D.C. and pioneered another innovative format – “24-Hour Talk from a Black Perspective.” With the theme, “Information is Power,” she served as the station’s morning show host for 11 years.

In 1999, Hughes became the first African-American woman to chair a publicly held corporation, following the sale of more than seven million shares of common stock to the public. Since then, she and her son and business partner Alfred Liggins III have grown Urban One into a multi-media company that is an urban radio market leader with 56 stations comprising hip hop, R&B, gospel, and talk radio formats. Urban One is the first African-American company in radio history to dominate several major markets simultaneously and is the first woman-owned radio station to rank number one in any major market. Its success has earned Hughes hundreds of prestigious awards and recognitions, including the ADColor Lifetime Achievement Award, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Chair’s Phoenix Award, the NAACP Chairman’s Award, the Giant of Broadcasting Award, the Uncommon Height of Excellence Award, the Essence Women Shaping the World Award, the Ida B. Wells Living Legacy Award, and induction into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame.

Hughes’ philanthropic works are also on par with her success in the business arena. Her passion for education is evident in her efforts to continue her family’s work and legacy at The Piney Woods School in Piney Woods, Mississippi. She is a staunch supporter of the school, which was established by her grandfather in 1909 and is the largest of only four African-American boarding schools in the country. In addition, she is a champion for the hungry and homeless, a mentor to countless women, and an advocate dedicated to empowering minority communities.

Videos
News
  • NYC Mission Society Honors Cathy Hughes, ‘She Embodies Our Mission’

    NYC Mission Society gathered on Tuesday, April 24th to celebrate over 200 years of service to NYC’s most underserved communities of children through education, work internships, and music education through the annual Champions For Children Gala. Urban One, Inc. Founder and Chairman Cathy Hughes was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Omaha Dedicates Cathy Hughes Blvd

    Cathy Hughes, was honored in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, where she received several recognitions for her life of service. Some of the highlights are listed below with photos and video from the various occasions. Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Cathy Hughes visited the Omaha Star newspaper, where she worked as a teenager and Duchesne Academy…

FAQs
  • How do I book Cathy Hughes to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Cathy Hughes for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Cathy Hughes, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Cathy Hughes or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Cathy Hughes

    Speaking fees for Cathy Hughes, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Cathy Hughes are $50,000 - $100,000 for live events and $20,000 - $30,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Cathy Hughes, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Cathy Hughes speak about?

    Cathy Hughes is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Black History, Broadcasting, Business, Diversity Speakers, Entertainment, Entrepreneurism, Influential Women, Leadership Speakers, Virtual Speakers, Women's Issues.
  • Where does Cathy Hughes travel from?

    Cathy Hughes generally travels from Maryland, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Cathy Hughes’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Cathy Hughes for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Cathy Hughes for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Cathy Hughes or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

Founder & Former CEO of Urban One (formerly Radio One)

Travels From:
Maryland, USA
Speaking Fee:

Cathy Hughes Biography

Cathy Hughes is a dynamic media pioneer who demonstrates the power of one – one woman, one vision, one company – Urban One, formerly known as Radio One. As Founder and Chairperson of Urban One, Inc., the largest African-American-owned and operated broadcast company in the nation, Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate that generates original content across the spectrums of radio, television, and digital media. Her humble beginnings in Omaha, Nebraska, were not a deterrent to her success but rather part of the catalyst that fueled her ambition to empower African Americans with information and to tell stories from their perspective.

Hughes began her radio career in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, at KOWH (AM), a station owned by African-American professionals. In 1971, she moved to Washington, D.C., and became a lecturer in the newly established School of Communications at Howard University. During her tenure, she served as General Sales Manager at WHUR, Howard University Radio, increasing the station’s revenue from $250,000 to $3 million in her first year. She also became the first woman Vice President and General Manager of a station in the nation’s capital and created the format known as the “Quiet Storm,” which revolutionized urban radio and was aired on over 480 stations nationwide. In 1980, Hughes purchased her first radio station, WOL-AM, in Washington D.C. and pioneered another innovative format – “24-Hour Talk from a Black Perspective.” With the theme, “Information is Power,” she served as the station’s morning show host for 11 years.

In 1999, Hughes became the first African-American woman to chair a publicly held corporation, following the sale of more than seven million shares of common stock to the public. Since then, she and her son and business partner Alfred Liggins III have grown Urban One into a multi-media company that is an urban radio market leader with 56 stations comprising hip hop, R&B, gospel, and talk radio formats. Urban One is the first African-American company in radio history to dominate several major markets simultaneously and is the first woman-owned radio station to rank number one in any major market. Its success has earned Hughes hundreds of prestigious awards and recognitions, including the ADColor Lifetime Achievement Award, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Chair’s Phoenix Award, the NAACP Chairman’s Award, the Giant of Broadcasting Award, the Uncommon Height of Excellence Award, the Essence Women Shaping the World Award, the Ida B. Wells Living Legacy Award, and induction into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame.

Hughes’ philanthropic works are also on par with her success in the business arena. Her passion for education is evident in her efforts to continue her family’s work and legacy at The Piney Woods School in Piney Woods, Mississippi. She is a staunch supporter of the school, which was established by her grandfather in 1909 and is the largest of only four African-American boarding schools in the country. In addition, she is a champion for the hungry and homeless, a mentor to countless women, and an advocate dedicated to empowering minority communities.

Cathy Hughes Videos

  • Cathy Hughes Is Honored In Her Hometown Omaha
    Cathy Hughes, was honored in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, where she received several recognitions for her life of service. Some of the highlights...
  • Cathy Hughes Interview - YouTube
  • Cathy L. Hughes: Radio One Documentary (2017) on Vimeo

FAQs on booking Cathy Hughes

  • How do I book Cathy Hughes to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Cathy Hughes for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Cathy Hughes, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Cathy Hughes or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Cathy Hughes

    Speaking fees for Cathy Hughes, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Cathy Hughes are $50,000 - $100,000 for live events and $20,000 - $30,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Cathy Hughes, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Cathy Hughes speak about?

    Cathy Hughes is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Black History, Broadcasting, Business, Diversity Speakers, Entertainment, Entrepreneurism, Influential Women, Leadership Speakers, Virtual Speakers, Women's Issues.
  • Where does Cathy Hughes travel from?

    Cathy Hughes generally travels from Maryland, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Cathy Hughes’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Cathy Hughes for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Cathy Hughes for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Cathy Hughes or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Cathy Hughes is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Cathy Hughes for your event is $50,000 - $100,000. Cathy Hughes generally travels from MD, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Ursula Burns, Dominique DiPrima, Ellen McGirt, Tonya M. Evans and Lindsey Granger. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Cathy Hughes for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Cathy Hughes Speaker Videos

  • Cathy Hughes Is Honored In Her Hometown Omaha
    Cathy Hughes, was honored in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, where she received several recognitions for her life of service. Some of the highlights are listed below with photos and video from the...
    Cathy Hughes Interview - YouTube
  • Cathy L. Hughes: Radio One Documentary (2017) on Vimeo

Cathy Hughes News

  • NYC Mission Society Honors Cathy Hughes, ‘She Embodies Our Mission’

    NYC Mission Society gathered on Tuesday, April 24th to celebrate over 200 years of service to NYC’s most underserved communities of children through education, work internships, and music education through the annual Champions For Children Gala. Urban One, Inc. Founder and Chairman Cathy Hughes was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Omaha Dedicates Cathy Hughes Blvd

    Cathy Hughes, was honored in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, where she received several recognitions for her life of service. Some of the highlights are listed below with photos and video from the various occasions. Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Cathy Hughes visited the Omaha Star newspaper, where she worked as a teenager and Duchesne Academy…

Tell us about your event!

During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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Speakers Similar to Cathy Hughes

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

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