Cathy Hughes’ Urban One set to acquire four Houston radio stations

BY Preta Peace Namasaba April 22, 2024 7:31 AM EDT
Cathy Hughes. Photo credit: Nebraska Public Media

Cathy Hughes’ Urban One is set to acquire four radio stations from Cox Media Group (CMG) as part of its evolving strategy. It has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the company’s Houston radio cluster. Urban One is the largest African-American-owned broadcasting company in the United States.

“This acquisition is accretive and aligns with our long-term strategic goals by building our broadcast reach in Houston. Our current stations 97.9 ‘The Box’ and Majic 102.1 are market leaders, and combined with our new stations, allow us to strengthen our business footprint while offering the Houston community more diversified music and special event programming,” said Alfred Liggins, President and CEO, Urban One.

According to the terms of the agreement, the Maryland-based media company will acquire 93Q Country KKBQ-FM, classic rock station The Eagle 106.9 & 107.5 KHPT-FM and KGLK-FM, and Country Legends 97.1 KTHT-FM. Urban One will divest some of its Houston stations to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ownership regulations that limit the number of radio stations an entity can own in a single market. The deal is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2024, subject to regulatory approval and typical closing conditions.

The acquisition is set to position Urban One as a major player in the Houston radio scene. It will complement the company’s existing stations and offer listeners a more diverse range of music and special event programming. Urban One’s existing holdings are unlikely to face a lot of competition as the acquired stations cater to different music genres. The deal is projected to bring in a larger audience and increase advertising income, setting the stage for long-term commercial expansion.

As part of a long-term strategy, Urban One is expanding its broadcast reach in key U.S. markets with significant African-American populations. The company has an impressive portfolio encompassing 55 radio stations, Reach Media, Interactive One, and TV One, Urban One specializing in media properties catering to African Americans. It was originally founded as Radio One by Cathy Hughes who began with one radio station in 1980.

Hughes became the first African-American woman to lead a publicly traded corporation when Radio One went public in 1999. She now controls her media empire alongside her son, Alfred Liggins who serves as president and CEO of Urban One.