Plans to launch the first national talk-radio network geared for a black audience are currently being discussed by Radio One Inc.
According to BlackNews.com, Radio One Inc. Chief Executive Alfred C. Liggins III is planning the national talk-radio network in order to “diversify Radio One from a pure radio company into a catchall for black consumers.”
“We’re in the black people business,” Liggins said. “We are in the business of aggregating audience for this particular demo and providing content to them.”
Although there is a national down-slow in the radio industry brought about by competition with satellite radio, internet radio and MP3 players, Liggins hopes the national talk-radio network will help the 69-station company grow.
“We think the market for talk is there,” Liggins said. “There are tons of talk options for non-African Americans.”
Liggins said that he has not researched whether or not there is a market for a black national talk-radio network, but is convinced of its need due to the lack of black news programs.
Students agree, stating that they are excited about the introduction of a national black talk-radio network.
“I would definitely listen to the radio network,” said Howard University senior economics major Candice McCollough. “I believe it will become a tool used to unify black communities throughout the country. Many people listen to the radio, making for easy access to information pertinent to the well-being of black America.”
While the network is still being developed, it is planned to air from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Programming is scheduled to include a political morning show hosted by Al Sharpton, a three-hour sports/hip-hip show hosted by Brothers Doug and Ryan Stewart of “The 2 Live Stews.” Other works are currently under negotiation.
Liggins plans to put the talk-radio network on some of Radio One’s AM stations in early 2006 as well as selling it to other urban outlets.