Hughes is the founder and chairperson of Radio One in Silver Spring, Md., the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the U.S. She is the first and only African-American woman to chair a publicly held corporation.
Cathy Hughes of Radio One Inc., was named to the board of directors of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Radio One is the parent company of TV One, a partnership with Comcast, and Syndication One, Reach Media and Music One. It is also the first African-American company to dominate several major markets simultaneously and is the first woman-owned radio station to rank number one in any major market.
Born in Omaha, Neb., Hughes moved to Washington in 1971 and became a lecturer in the school of communications at TMCF member-school Howard University. In 1973 as she became the general sales manager at WHUR(FM), increasing station revenue from $250,000 to $3 million in her first year.
In 1975, Hughes became the first female vice president and general manager of a station in the capital. She purchased her first station, WOL(AM) in 1980 and pioneered “24-hour talk from a black perspective.” Hughes also served as morning show host for 11 years.
Hughes has been honored with the Lifetime of Achievement Award from the Washington Area Broadcasters Association and the Seventh Congressional District Humanitarian Award.
“Her story from an entrepreneur to chairman of the first woman-owned radio station to rank number one in any major market is a perfect message for our students,” said Johnny C. Taylor Jr., TMCF president and CEO.
Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include public historically black colleges and universities, medical schools and law schools.