Cathy Hughes is the Chairperson and Founder of Radio One, a multi-media company that includes radio and television operating 55 broadcast stations in 16 markets across the country. It is also the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the U.S. Based in Washington, D.C. Hughes started the company after working at the Howard University radio station in 1979, becoming the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded company. Shortly after buying the radio station with her husband, they divorced and the station faced several setbacks. Determined to keep the station afloat, Hughes and her son slept on the station floor.
As the company began to take shape again, Hughes took on several hats including working as the President, General Manager, General Sales Manager, talk show host, and later the Chief Executive Officer of Radio One from 1980 to 1997. Today, Hughes’ son, Alfred Liggins works alongside his mother as the Chief Executive Officer, Treasurer, President and a Director. Hughes remains a busy as she participates on several boards including the advisory board for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and the board of directors for Broadcast Music, Inc.
Vision 2020 recognizes Hughes representing its National Goal of women in shared leadership positions.