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Home | MediaMakers | Skip Finley
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Color: Black
Food: Corn Chex
Quote: None
Season: Summer
Vacation Destination: Martha's Vineyard
Birthplace
Hanover , Michigan United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 08/23/2017 |and| 8/22/2018

Radio executive Skip Finley was born on July 23, 1948 in Hanover, Michigan to Ewell W. Finley and Millie Finley. He attended Malverne High School in Long Island, New York and later studied at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Finley first began working in the radio industry as a floor manager at WHDH-TV in Boston in 1971, and later as an assistant director and producer at Boston’s WSBK-TV. The following year, he joined the sales department at WRKO-AM radio station, where he helped develop the RAB radio sales training course. Finley then joined Humphrey Browning MacDougall advertising agency’s media department as an account manager in 1973. While account manager, he marketed products for clients such as Lionel Trains, Dutch Boy Paint, and the Salada Tea Company. Finley accepted a position as sales manager at WAMO AM-FM in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation’s radio division in 1974, and was later promoted as Vice President of the division in 1977. The following year, he began working as the company’s eastern sales manager and, in 1981, was promoted as President of the network. In 1982, Finley left Sheridan Broadcasting and founded Albimar Communications. Through Albimar, he owned and managed WKYS-FM, a popular black radio station in Washington, D.C. Finley was then recruited as chief executive officer of American Urban Radio Networks. While at AURN, Finley created The Light, a 24-hour syndicated black gospel radio station. He remained at American Urban Radio Networks until his retirement to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts in 1998. In 2012, he joined the Vineyard Gazette Media Group as director of sales and marketing. While at the Vineyard Gazette, Finley wrote for the Vineyard Gazette’s weekly Oak Bluffs Town column. In 2015, Finley founded M&M Community Development, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to educating local high school students on professional radio station management and operation.

Finley has been the recipient of many awards during his career in the radio industry. He was awarded the Radio Wayne Award for Best Overall Broadcaster by Radio Ink Magazine in 1994 and the Ward L. Quall Leadership Award by the Broadcaster’s Foundation of America in 2012. Finley also received the Urban Knight Hall of Fame Award from the American Urban Radio Network.

He has also served in leadership positions for many community organizations. In 1988, he joined the Carter Broadcast Group, Inc., the nation’s oldest black-owned radio station company, as the executive vice president of the board of directors. He also served as the chairman of the board of directors for Inner City Broadcasting Corporation from 2001 until 2011.

Finley lives in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Skip Finley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 23, 2017.

Speaker Bureau Notes: