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09 Jun 2010

Cathy Hughes: When Blacks Turn Green

Listed under: Blog

When Blacks Turn Green

If Cathy Hughes were a White woman, Black America would be enraged, much too often being Black allows ill intent to go unchecked in communities of color. From the local drug dealer to America’s largest African American broadcaster– race, wealth and power have two sets of rules.

Race in America continues to be huge problem, while the gaps widen between rich and poor. How we approach racism needs a new lens. An old African proverb states, “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

Cathy Hughes the Founder and CEO of Radio One is a prime example of how wealth, not race are often better determining factors then complexion alone. Corporate America has one color and that’s — green. Corporations continue to profit by simply cashing in on underserved communities and Radio One is now the new poster child.

Hughes’ heralded rise as the brains behind the largest African American broadcaster is well-noted. From humble beginnings, Hughes connected with the Black community in Washington, DC representing a media void that continues to ignore people of color.

Hughes mantra at WOL was “information is power” and while taking on establishments like the Washington Post, Hughes built a reputation and support by serving the Black community. Reminiscent of BET, Radio One’s growth came with calculated losses. The calls for investors hide behind the needs of African Americans. Financing, sales and advertising were all based on quotas and race; Plans change quickly when striving for financial success.

News and information are now non existent. Syndication persists with local voices and images effectively muted. The communities that Radio One stations are licensed to serve see more music syndication than from any other broadcaster in the country. Corporations cater to stockholders and Radio One is also the poster child for cutting costs by any means necessary.

Hughes believes Black folks historically are easily deceived and with the largest grip on Black Americans she now is practicing her “dazzling deception beliefs. Look at this CNN clip.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdFFAuIW8Ro

If Cathy Hughes were a White woman, African Americans would hold her to a higher standard. The truth is Hughes continues to broadcast a bold-faced lie.

On 53 Radio One stations in 16 of the largest Urban markets in the country, Cathy Hughes has dominated the airwaves with a “Reality Radio”. The “Save Black Radio” cry is Hughes’s own “dazzling deception” in reaction to the Performance Rights Act also known as H.R. 848. The PRA is simply a labor issue that would pay a royalty for artist and musicians played on terrestrial radio. The PRA is not a black issue, if passed all radio stations would finally pay a royalty to performers just as they do for song writers.

Amazingly for more then a year Radio One has broadcasted an unprecedented amount of spots:

* Over 483,000 Commercials on the Performance Rights Act

* Totaling almost a million minutes of air time

* With a street value of over 45 Million dollars

It would be easy for Radio One to lead a movement but instead they have decided to point the crooked finger and deceive to protect the bottom line.

Hughes has boldly told listeners to vote against members of Congress that support the Performance Rights Act. Hughes has failed to tell you that Radio One has held the music logs from her stations that prevent Sound Exchange to pay royalties for her online broadcast.

The facts are clear. Cathy Hughes is screaming Black only because it will affect her green. As in politics I hope Hughes realizes that you can’t forget the people that supported you. Eventually even black folks will see through your “dazzling reception”, selective amnesia is no longer an option.

Paul Porter

Industry Ears