The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Karen Slade

Radio station manager Karen E. Slade was born on October 18, 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio to Violette Crawford and Charles Slade. In 1977, Slade earned her B.S. degree in telecommunications from Kent State University, where she was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She went on to obtain her M.B.A. degree from Pepperdine University in 1991.

Upon graduation from Kent State University, Slade was hired as an account executive at Xerox Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. For the next decade, she worked in various positions for Xerox, including as a marketing consultant, project manager and dealer sales manager. In 1988, Slade was promoted to a regional sales manager in Atlanta, Georgia. Then, in 1989, she returned to Los Angeles, California to work as vice president and general manager of KJLH, the radio station owned by R&B artist Stevie Wonder. As general manager, Slade led programming and sales as well as the station’s efforts to address local and national issues in the African American community. Under her leadership, KJLH Radio received the distinguished George Foster Peabody Award and the NAACP Image Award.

Slade has been honored by the California Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and the Black Business Association, and received the Phenomenal Woman Award from California State University, Northridge. Radio Inc. magazine named Slade one of the 25 most influential African Americans in radio. She served on the board of the Los Angeles Urban League from 1989 to 1995, and has been a member of the Black Media Network and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters since 1989.

Karen Slade was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 28, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.213

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/28/2014

Last Name

Slade

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Eileen

Schools

Moses Cleaveland Elementary School

Robert H Jamison School

John F Kennedy High School

Pepperdine University

Kent State University

First Name

Karen

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

SLA03

State

Ohio

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/18/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Short Description

Radio station manager Karen Slade (1955 - ) was the vice president and general manager of Stevie Wonder’s KJLH radio station in Los Angeles, California.

Employment

Taxi Productions, Inc.

Xerox Corporation

KJLH Radio

Timing Pairs
0,0:3806,84:4142,89:6494,136:9098,192:9686,200:14584,231:15152,245:15720,255:16501,268:18276,353:22607,447:33500,578:43060,699:46012,756:47078,763:47488,770:48226,781:52940,831:53570,841:56230,905:57210,921:59100,959:60010,971:60850,985:66288,1038:66756,1045:68345,1055:68735,1062:69255,1073:71556,1101:72216,1112:73866,1138:74262,1146:74592,1152:74988,1159:75648,1170:76836,1193:86135,1303:89390,1345:95480,1446:100999,1481:102725,1494:108334,1650:110890,1698:114080,1725:114695,1731:123054,1940:125055,1967:130509,2120:132284,2145:141540,2217:141940,2222:142740,2233:146976,2264:149244,2308:152352,2371:152688,2376:155370,2386:156822,2433:157086,2438:157482,2446:158472,2469:164808,2599:176150,2768:181350,2862:182550,2881:186646,2911:187690,2941:188676,2966:190358,3015:198110,3132:200405,3165:202550,3171$0,0:392,3:888,8:3050,23:17158,175:17704,182:18068,187:18432,192:19797,209:20434,218:21708,237:22527,247:29520,267:29880,275:30120,280:33378,322:33650,327:33990,333:34398,340:35350,358:36642,402:41570,453:44580,529:45070,538:46260,566:48080,597:49340,621:52890,634:56874,699:57372,706:59613,744:71537,864:72169,873:73512,896:74144,905:76860,946:77140,951:77630,960:78330,972:95856,1224:98712,1279:99972,1299:100392,1305:100728,1310:117300,1627:139526,1867:141806,1905:142110,1910:142794,1925:154760,2074:155360,2083:158810,2164:159785,2181:167052,2293:167972,2307:171008,2350:174304,2406:174584,2412:174864,2418:175424,2432:175648,2437:177272,2473:177720,2482:178392,2497:178896,2508:179288,2521:179848,2532:183740,2574:186096,2580:187692,2624:189820,2665:190580,2676:191340,2687:198040,2780:198607,2788:199255,2799:199660,2805:202414,2873:202981,2881:203386,2887:203710,2892:208732,2971:209056,2976:209947,2994:215940,3036:216480,3043
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Karen Slade's Interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Karen Slade lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Karen Slade describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Karen Slade remembers her maternal grandfather's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Karen Slade talks about her maternal grandparents' life in Cleveland

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Karen Slade describes her mother as a young adult

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Karen Slade describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Karen Slade describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Karen Slade remembers the Lee-Miles neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Karen Slade describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Karen Slade recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Karen Slade describes her favorite subjects in school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Karen Slade remembers her favorite teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Karen Slade recalls her maternal grandmother's influence on her academics

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Karen Slade talks about her high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Karen Slade remembers the music of her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Karen Slade recalls her decision to attend Kent State University in Kent, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Karen Slade talks about her decision to major in telecommunications

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Karen Slade remembers Arsenio Hall and Steve Harvey

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Karen Slade describes her radio internships

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Karen Slade recalls her college extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Karen Slade talks about working at the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Karen Slade remembers moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Karen Slade talks about her mentors at the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Karen Slade remembers transitioning to radio broadcasting

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Karen Slade describes the origins of the call letters at KJLH Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Karen Slade recalls her work at KJLH Radio in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Karen Slade talks about KJLH Radio's format

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Karen Slade describes the radio market competition in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Karen Slade recalls upgrading KJLH Radio's signal

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Karen Slade talks about the ratings system for radio broadcasting

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Karen Slade describes local disk jockeys at KJLH Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Karen Slade talks about the community leaders of Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Karen Slade recalls her station's coverage of the Rodney King riots

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Karen Slade remembers winning a George Foster Peabody Award

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Karen Slade talks about LAPD violence against minorities

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Karen Slade describes her work as manager of KJLH Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Karen Slade recalls the creation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Karen Slade talks about KJLH Radio's identity as a black owned station

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Karen Slade remembers KJLH Radio's involvement with Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Karen Slade talks about the future of KJLH Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Karen Slade describes her hopes for the future

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Karen Slade reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Karen Slade talks about black owned radio stations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Karen Slade reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Karen Slade remembers influential coworkers at KJLH Radio in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Karen Slade describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Karen Slade talks about her network of coworkers and friends

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Karen Slade describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Karen Slade talks about her decision to major in telecommunications
Karen Slade describes her work as manager of KJLH Radio
Transcript
Did you have any idea that you could make a living as a mathematician?$$You know at that time I didn't, I thought you could either be a teacher or you could be a nurse. I mean I had a really limited scope on what I could do and I knew I wasn't ready for marriage and family and I wasn't going to college [at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio] to get a husband, I was going to figure out how--what I was going to do with the rest of my life; so I remember watching--I must have been home for a break and I saw Dorothy Fuldheim, that's a name of the past. She was a female news anchor in Cleveland [Ohio] and I said I can do that, all she's doing is talking, I can do that, I can talk (laugher), so that was, you know, in my mind's eye I could do that, so that's when I declared a major in journalism. Well at--even though it was broadcast journalism at the time it was called telecommunications, it was before the word broadcast journalism, but you studied television, radio, print, which were the only platforms then. And I joined the Family Tree, the Family Tree was a production company--college production company. It had a public access, cable access television program and you cycled through all the jobs, so you started with the, I believe you started with the lighting and then the audio for sound and as you, I guess matriculated at some point you did the interviewing of the guests and I was lucky enough to interview [HistoryMaker] Angela Davis, which was big at the time and she came down with her brother who played for the Cleveland Browns, he was a good looking guy.$$Ben Davis, right?$$Ben Davis, oh, he was a good looking guy and subsequently I, I--Ben and I worked together at Xerox [Xerox Corporation], small world. Let's see, [HistoryMaker] Julian Bond, Angela Davis (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Did you know Fania Davis, the sister, the other sister?$$No, I never met the other sister.$$I know she spoke on her behalf when she was in, in prison, you know. Fania would go--she looked just like her pretty much, yeah.$$No, well I met the other brother [Reginald Davis]. I can't think of the other brother's name. I think he may have been at Xerox too. But, so, but what I determined at that time was I could not be on camera. I was terrible. I got nervous. I talked with my hands, which you see I'm consciously trying to hold them, hold them down, but when I was in college and interviewing I would talk with my hands and I would make gestures and I was so demonstrative it was distracting, so when I looked back and even though you're college kids you're there to learn. When I looked back I wasn't comfortable with what I saw, or how I sounded, I was so critical, but then I cycled through and we produced some shows and I, I liked that, you directed some shows, I liked that even more, so I--there were so many other aspects that you could--if this was your field you could just find what field you were comfortable. So where I initially thought I wanted to be in front of the camera and be a news anchor, I determined that that was not for me (laughter). So I ended up, from there I ended up going to Xerox and, and got into sales.$So does this, does the radio station's, I guess, community stance mirror the, the, the, I guess the, the outlook of Stevie Wonder, the, the owner?$$I'd say yes. I don't know anyone else that would commit the level of resources to their community that Steve does. I like to tell people I'm a capitalist and I usually say that right before people ask me for something (laughter) because I want them to understand that I'm really here you know, to run a business and it has to be successful, I've got to meet payroll, I've got to cover my expenses. It's got to be a profitable asset or there's no reason for the owner to keep it. Of course the owner is Steve and he is a philanthropist and he is a really good guy, so he would give, give away stuff and I'm trying to say, no, no. I remember we got into a discussion with Don Cornelius of 'Soul Train,' they were changing channels or something, changing stations and he's like, "Well you should just tell the people what station they can find it on," and da, da, da, da, da. And I said, "I will if you pay for advertising, right, you pay for advertising I'll tell you" (laughter). "Do you know I'm friends with Stevie," and da, da, da, da, da. And I was like, "Stevie's a good guy, I'm sure you are his friend, but this is his business and if you truly care about him you won't take advantage, you'll pay for advertisement." The next thing I know he gets Steve on the phone, I'm like--my boss is on the phone (laughter) and Don Cornelius is on the phone and I'm fighting to get money for the station so I held my own, so I said, "Steve he's got to spend money, that's how we make a living." "Well give him a break Karen [HistoryMaker Karen Slade]." "Okay, Mr. Cornelius I'll give you a break, what's your budget?" Now this is, I'm a little nervous because I'm playing hardball, right, but I want them to understand that this is a business and you can't just take advantage because it's owned by a fabulous philanthropist, this is his asset and it's got to make money for him to do with as he pleases, so I think I got two thousand dollars out of him. It wasn't a lot but it was a victory you know, 'cause Steve allowed me to do what I needed to do, and Don you know, he accepted it, so that's just one of the stories that I've had over the years. But I always try to put the business in the best light, so KJLH [KJLH Radio, Los Angeles, California], I don't think it's run like most companies, or especially most radio stations because it's a profit and loss, it's a commercial business, but we have an owner that has a heart that is sympathetic and has empathy for the community, so in that light we try to do worthwhile things and make good business sense. Like we do feeding for the homeless, we do all kinds of community related events, so we're very attached to the community and I think that is good business to support those that support you. The line you have to draw is, is the economics of it; what's the true value, what's the cost and can you afford it and what's the return.

Charles Warfield, Jr.

Broadcasting executive Charles M. Warfield, Jr. was born in in Washington, D.C. in 1949. Warfield attended Hampton University and graduated from there with his B.S. degree in accounting in 1971.

Upon graduating, Warfield began his career as a staff auditor at Ernst & Young, and then joined RCA Corporation as supervising senior auditor in 1974. Warfield’s broadcasting career includes managing some of New York City’s top radio stations including twelve years at Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC). He joined ICBC as a corporate controller and was promoted to vice president and general manager of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM Radio. Warfield was later hired at Summit Broadcasting Corporation, where he served as vice president and general manager of WRKS-FM Radio in New York City.

In July of 1997, Warfield was appointed as the vice president and general manager of heritage stations at WDAS-AM/FM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He later became the senior vice president of urban regional operations for Chancellor Media Corporation in March of 1998, with oversight of KKBT-FM in Los Angeles, California; WJLB-FM and WMXD-FM in Detroit, Michigan; WGCI-AM/FM and WVAZ-FM in Chicago, Illinois; WUSL-FM and WDAS-FM in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and WEDR-FM in Miami, Florida. Warfield was promoted to senior vice president of regional operations in October of 1998, and assumed responsibility for Chancellor Media Corporation’s thirty stations in Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami and Puerto Rico. From 1997 to 2003, Warfield served as senior vice president of regional operations for AMFM, Inc.; and, from 2000 to 2012, he served as vice president and chief operating officer of Inner City Broadcasting Holdings, Inc. In October of 2012, Warfield was named president and chief operating officer of YMF Media, LLC.

In 2009, Warfield was elected president of the Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch of the NAACP. The following year, he was appointed as the chairman for the National Association of Broadcasters board of directors. He also served on the Radio Advertising Bureau Executive Committee. Warfield’s community involvement includes organizations such as the American Red Cross, the National Urban League, the Salvation Army, the United Negro College Fund, the Partnership for a Drug Free Greater New York and the Harlem Young Men’s Christian Association. In 2010, Warfield received the National Radio Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Charles M. Warfield Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.281

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/9/2013

Last Name

Warfield

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Morris

Occupation
Schools

Hampton University

James G. Birney Elementary School

Kramer Middle School

Thurgood Marshall Academy

Anacostia High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

WAR17

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Saint Martin

Favorite Quote

Straight Talk Makes For $Straight Understanding

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/10/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Broadcast executive Charles Warfield, Jr. (1949 - ) served as president and chief operating officer of ICBC Broadcast Holdings, Inc., and as vice president and general manager of WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM Radio.

Employment

Ernst & Young

RCA Corporation

Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, Inc.

WBLS Radio

WLIB Radio

Summit Broadcasting Corporation/WRKS-FM

WDAS Radio

Chancellor Media Corporation

AMFM, Inc.

YMF Media, LLC

Medger Evers College

Uptown Records

Favorite Color

Black, Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:1070,21:5140,67:6460,83:18670,278:35722,553:37642,594:38506,607:38986,612:40042,666:49354,812:50506,832:50890,837:53770,868:54250,873:61520,905:63845,960:64220,966:65420,993:65720,998:66170,1006:66470,1011:67295,1025:71120,1087:71645,1111:72395,1128:72920,1139:73220,1144:76820,1203:79070,1244:79445,1249:81320,1292:81845,1300:90432,1416:90792,1422:91296,1431:92376,1450:96120,1525:99072,1571:99504,1579:99792,1584:102096,1632:102384,1637:103176,1654:108700,1682:109636,1697:110494,1714:113926,1800:114238,1809:114706,1816:115408,1828:115954,1836:120274,1874:123829,1931:124303,1938:127463,1995:128806,2023:134810,2131:135442,2140:139945,2211:140656,2223:140972,2228:148115,2275:151260,2325:156468,2347:157800,2365:158466,2378:158910,2386:162980,2485:164238,2511:165126,2526:166162,2560:166754,2571:167124,2580:172717,2613:173001,2618:179320,2749:180243,2770:181947,2799:183580,2824:184077,2833:184645,2843:184929,2848:186491,2884:187059,2893:187556,2902:187982,2910:188479,2919:188763,2924:189970,2943:196840,2983:197270,2989:197958,3000:198474,3008:198904,3014:199506,3022:202258,3071:202688,3077:203548,3090:203978,3096:205440,3122:206128,3134:206472,3139:207246,3149:209912,3169:212400,3177:214220,3210:215970,3253:217440,3282:217790,3291:218490,3302:218770,3307:219470,3318:220030,3327:221990,3363:222760,3376:224370,3400:225910,3428:226750,3442:227310,3451:228640,3479:229340,3493:236375,3557:236750,3563:238775,3609:239075,3614:241700,3681:242750,3690:245225,3716:248580,3737:249318,3748:250384,3777:251532,3792:253828,3844:260935,3942:264066,3988:269329,4036:270830,4067:271541,4077:274622,4131:279283,4209:279994,4223:280389,4229:280705,4234:281337,4244:283154,4285:283549,4291:284339,4303:286156,4334:286472,4339:287420,4361:288447,4378:288763,4383:297100,4511:299170,4546:302689,4608:302965,4613:307740,4646:310290,4694:310965,4712:311940,4723:316215,4806:316740,4815:317865,4838:318240,4844:320190,4882:321165,4897:321765,4907:326890,4960:333067,5130:333351,5135:335907,5189:336475,5199:336901,5206:341130,5241$0,0:2666,51:4214,67:5590,88:6192,96:6966,106:7654,116:10664,171:11180,179:11782,188:12470,198:12900,296:19522,380:22962,440:23392,446:31020,501:33676,544:35668,578:36332,586:43628,676:44852,689:49238,761:51788,812:52604,820:65102,1054:70496,1192:71627,1207:71975,1212:72671,1222:73019,1227:75977,1274:81476,1285:82212,1297:83132,1308:83776,1348:84144,1353:90676,1450:91596,1465:92056,1471:94746,1484:95406,1496:96528,1519:99036,1570:99498,1578:103260,1672:103524,1677:105768,1737:107682,1750:107946,1788:108210,1793:114142,1845:114470,1850:115208,1860:118078,1969:120374,2009:122342,2035:125954,2045:127430,2063:128988,2088:129316,2093:131038,2132:135936,2172:138696,2243:139708,2255:150808,2442:151188,2448:151568,2454:153088,2474:157420,2575:157800,2581:158104,2586:163652,2716:163956,2721:164640,2734:169011,2756:169564,2767:170433,2780:171697,2800:172487,2812:172803,2817:173435,2827:175884,2877:176358,2884:176990,2895:177306,2900:178017,2910:180071,2953:184320,2968:187610,3020:188080,3026:191840,3105:193156,3117:194096,3126:195224,3140:199232,3170:200752,3206:201208,3213:210382,3399:211006,3414:211552,3423:213034,3448:213580,3458:214360,3468:214828,3475:216934,3552:217948,3567:218260,3572:218806,3581:225120,3698
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Warfield, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls spending the summers in Rappahannock County, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his early responsibilities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his brother with Down syndrome

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his relationship with his twin brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers lessons from his father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his family's holiday traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his childhood hobbies

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his experiences at Kramer Junior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his early academic interests

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his start at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his decision to major in accounting

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the student protests at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the closure of the Hampton Institute in 1971

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his time at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision not to live in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his work at S.D. Leidesdorf and Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his work at the RCA Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers joining the staff of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his career advice to African American youth

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his transition to the broadcast industry

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his interview at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his duties at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his coworkers at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the influence of radio deejays

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers Frankie Crocker

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his role in station acquisitions at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his contributions to the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his promotion to vice president and general manager of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers developing the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's human resources system

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the process of acquiring a radio station

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the challenges of managing a nationwide media company

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the impact of recessions on the black radio industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the Quiet Storm radio format

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the competitors to the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision to leave the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his decision to leave the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his decision to join WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remember Barry A. Mayo

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers developing the audience of WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his changes at WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his career at WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his departure from WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his attempts to invest in a radio station

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers working for Uptown Records

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about Uptown Records

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls joining the Chancellor Media Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls managing the Chancellor Media Corporation's urban radio stations

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the longevity of WVON Radio

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the role of syndication in the radio business

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the importance of community relationships in the radio business

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his experiences as senior vice president of the Chancellor Media Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his return to the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the financial crisis of 2008

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about changes in the radio market

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the introduction of the portable people meter

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about competition from satellite radio

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls serving on the executive committee of the National Association of Broadcasters

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the conflict between Cathy Hughes and Dionne Warwick

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the bankruptcy of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers the divestiture of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's assets

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes the underrepresentation of African American radio executives

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the dissolution of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the future of black broadcasting

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Charles Warfield, Jr. remembers his contributions to the broadcasting industry

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Charles Warfield, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for African Americans in the radio industry

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Charles Warfield, Jr. talks about the future of the radio industry

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his career

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Charles Warfield, Jr. reflects upon his success

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Charles Warfield, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Charles Warfield, Jr. narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

2$10

DATitle
Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls his duties at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation
Charles Warfield, Jr. recalls managing the Chancellor Media Corporation's urban radio stations
Transcript
Can you describe the organization you're coming into; and who, who some of the key players are, and, and what--because at this point--let's see--Inner City [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation] began--I thought it began in (simultaneous)--$$ (Simultaneous) Began in '72 [1972] with--$$It's--$$ --the AM--'74 [1974] with the FM [WBLS Radio, New York, New York], and by '75 [1975], '76 [1976], going into '77 [1977], FM had overtaken AM as the primary band for entertainment on the radio. And I was a bit star struck when I--when I first went into the company. I had--you're listening to the radio in New York City [New York, New York], and I listened to a lot of radio. And I'm, I'm here with the home of Frankie Crocker and Ken Webb and [HistoryMaker] Vy Higginsen on the air. It's--this is Percy Sutton's company. This is a high profile job opportunity in New York City. So you're, you're struck with that. You have the artists that come through the radio station that you would see from time to time coming to pay homage quite honestly to the man, Frankie Crocker. There was also [HistoryMaker] Hal Jackson, who was there as a vice chairman of the country--company. And Pepe--Pierre--Percy Sutton, who was running for mayor of New York City against Ed Koch, was in and out. And Charles Rangel [HistoryMaker Charles B. Rangel] was in and out; and [HistoryMaker] Basil Paterson was in and out. And, and these kinds of people were in the environment all the time. David Lampel, who was the news director--people that you would hear on the radio, and now I'm here in this company, and it--yeah, it made--it made me feel very good. It was an important job, but then the reality of the work that you're facing, you know, sort of hits you in the face and says you got a real job here. All this was before computers. Records were maintained on handwritten cards, receivable cards. Human error was involved. They had a manual system for putting commercials on the air. And once the commercial ran--getting the commercial on an invoice and being billed, and how they handled the collection of money and offsets against accounts receivable, and, and the, the manual--our means of processing checks. There was a real need for the job at that point, and I embraced that, and I--and I worked hard as I was taught to always do--gained the confidence of, of people. One thing I learned at this point--and I, I guess I was learning it along the way is that I'm very good at the numbers; I understand the numbers; I can explain the numbers, but I wanted more in my life. I also had an interest in engaging with people. I wanted to learn the business, but I wanted to do more than be in the--the bean counter that's upstairs or downstairs or around the corner in accounting. And prep--Percy Sutton, when he lost the race for mayor and came into the company as chairman of the company, began to give me more and more responsibility and respect and, and counted on me. In the first year I was there I spent working with a consultant to the company, had engaged to raise money to buy radio stations in other cities, which was a very difficult thing to do in 1977 because African Americans--one you're in radio; you--it's a business you don't know because the entrepreneurs in radio at that point were successful business people in either arenas who are now investing in radio were not seasoned broadcasters, and they were surrounded by seasoned broadcasters. So we didn't have a lot of confidence in financial institutions to lend us money. But the first year I was there working with a consultant we were able to convince Citibank [Citibank, N.A.] to lend the company $15 million, which in 1978 allowed the company to buy an FM station in Detroit [Michigan], an AM/FM station in San Francisco [California], and an AM/FM station in Los Angeles [California] and get change back. Now today, you can't buy WLIB [WLIB Radio] in New York today for anything approaching--uh, maybe $15 million today you possibly could, but there's a valuation today that's totally different from what it was in, in those days. But I gained the confidence of, of Dorothy Brunson and, and Percy Sutton at that point, and he allowed me to learn more about the business and become more involved in, in other aspects and ultimately appointed me as the vice president and general manager of Inner City Broadcasting [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation] in 1981, replacing his son [HistoryMaker Pierre Sutton], who was de facto in that position and had been in that position when Dorothy Brunson left to run her own company. I will always be thankful to Inner City Broadcasting, to Percy Sutton. I don't believe that had I been a controller working for CBS or NBC or, or the other broadcast companies I would have ever been given an opportunity. And I've never taken that for granted, giving me the opportunity to learn the business. As I say, I learned the business from the bottom up. I learned the business from a P and L [profit and loss] perspective: here's how much money we're gonna make but understanding well, how do we get there? And it's because of the trust that he in- that he showed in me during my tenure there with Inner City Broadcasting.$One of the challenges--and, and I--and I take this seriously, with being one of the few African Americans given the opportunities that I've been given in this industry, I have to speak on behalf of those that did not get the opportunity that I have. I have to speak on behalf of the communities that we serve. And when I started with this company, I mentioned that it grew from roughly twenty-five stations to ninety-six. And they had a staff meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, where they brought in the managers of all of all ninety-six of their radio operations. Six of us were African American out of these ninety-six managers. And I'm--and I'm in the room, and there's six people whose careers I followed-- Verna Greene in Detroit [Michigan]; [HistoryMaker] Jerry Rushin in Miami [Florida]. There was not an African American in, in Phila- in Los Angeles [California]. I'm running DAS [WDAS Radio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] AM and FM. Chester Schofield was running Power [WUSL Radio] in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. [HistoryMaker] Marv Dyson was running GCI [WGCI Radio] in, in MXD [WMXD Radio, Detroit, Michigan]--I mean, GCI in--$$In Chicago [Illinois].$$ --in Chicago. Legendary individuals in this business, very successful in their own right, and they're all under this umbrella of Chancellor Media [Chancellor Media Corporation] at this point. In '98 [1998], I was approached by Jimmy deCastro as to whether I would be interested in overseeing the urban properties. Because I'm challenging them every opportunity I get, why aren't there more qualified African Americans that you can hire to run some of these radio properties, not just urban. I can run more than urban. That's what I run; that's what I'm comfortable with; that's what I been challenged to do and I've been successful at, but there need--there's the need for more diversity here. And you, you--if you're in the room where you can have the conversation, you have a responsibility to have the conversation. They gave me an opportunity for about six months to oversee the urban operations, so I was not only running DAS AM and FM in Philly, I was also over Power in Philadelphia. I was overseeing EDR [WEDR Radio, Miami, Florida] in Miami [Florida], Marv's stations in Chicago, ZAK [WZAK Radio] in, in Cleveland [Ohio]--there are two stations in Cleveland--the Beat [KKBT Radio; KRRL Radio] in L.A. [Los Angeles, California]. I had--we had ten of the top urban radio stations in America under Chancellor Media that I had an opportunity to be involved with. In my, my under--what I do, I don't tell them how to run their radio stations. I can't tell Marv Dyson how to run a radio station. He's been doing that successfully for more years than I have. It's how do we help bring resources to help these stations continue to grow under the banner of Chancellor Media? And from there a few months later with some corporate changes, I was given an opportunity to, to drop the urban operations title, and I took on a cluster of thirty radio stations for Chancellor Media, AMFM [AMFM, Inc.], which concluded all of their stations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta [Georgia], Miami, and Puerto Rico. So I had a thirty station region that I was responsible for which was all different types of formats--$$That's--$$ -- (Unclear) (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous)huge then. So what--how long did you do that?$$ I did that for about a year and a half, until the announced merger with, with Clear Channel [Clear Channel Communications, Inc.]. And I had an opportunity to stay with the company or to leave; and I exercised an option to leave (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) To leave (audio disturbance).

Pluria Marshall, Jr.

Publisher and broadcasting executive Pluria Marshall, Jr. was born on January 17, 1962 in Houston, Texas. His father, Pluria Marshall, Sr., is a professional photographer and a civil rights activist in the media business. Marshall graduated from Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University, in 1984 with his B.S. degree in business administration and management.

In 1981, while attending Clark College, Marshall was hired at KLTV in Tyler, Texas, as a management-training intern. He spent the next two summers in Lufkin, Texas, and continued his management-training program. He then worked for WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia and for Turner Broadcasting in 1982 and 1983. From 1984 to 1985, Marshall completed his management training and development position at WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1986, he served as the station manager and then as vice president of WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi. Marshall entered into an agreement to purchase WLBM in 1990, but the transaction did not consummate due to a suspicious fire at the facility in April of that same year. In 1992, he purchased The Informer & Texas Freeman in Houston, Texas. Then, in 1993, Marshall became general manager and owner of WLTH Radio in Gary, Indiana, and also purchased the KHRN radio station licensed to the Hearne, Texas, Bryan College Station radio market in 1994. He ran both the AM talk radio station in Gary and the radio station in Bryan College Station for several years.

In 1997, Marshall joined the board of the Wave Community Newspapers, and purchased a controlling interest in 1998. He then purchased the Los Angeles Independent in 2000. After the purchase of the Los Angeles Independent, Marshall merged both operations to form the Los Angeles Wave Publications Group. In 2013, he launched Integrated Multicultural Media Solutions; a media planning and buying firm that specializes in placing ads that target multicultural audiences.

Marshall has been a member of the National Black Media Coalition, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Association of Television Programming Executives. He has also served on the boards of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Texas Association of Broadcasters, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation. Marshall is chairman of the board and president of the Watts Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club.

Pluria Marshall, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 15, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.295

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/15/2013

Last Name

Marshall

Maker Category
Schools

Clark Atlanta University

Lockhart Elementary School

Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School

James Madison High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Pluria

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

MAR17

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Don't Make Dollars That Don't Make Cents.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

1/17/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Broadcast executive, publisher, and newspaper publishing chief executive Pluria Marshall, Jr. (1962 - ) was the owner and publisher of the Houston Informer and Texas Freeman and the Los Angeles Wave Publications Group. He also operated WLTH Radio and Integrated Multicultural Media Solutions.

Employment

KLTV

WXIA TV

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

WLBM TV

WLTH Radio

KHRN

Informer & Texas Freeman

Los Angeles Wave Publications Group

Integrated Multicultural Media Solutions

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:5100,103:7704,144:8541,158:9099,166:10587,186:11796,209:13470,250:17097,359:21654,423:36602,592:40292,717:53928,916:56594,977:57110,984:74700,1417:75351,1425:80187,1516:90224,1579:98910,1834:105930,1913:109770,2015:124190,2363:128780,2461:129410,2470:129860,2476:130580,2485:144338,2722:144758,2732:146018,2779:152298,2837:162262,3107:172825,3303:187871,3541:188306,3547:193265,3655:199964,3790:200399,3796:208841,3878:216038,3987:217936,4062:252805,4470:259455,4669:260460,4712$0,0:10552,307:10982,313:17346,419:20614,470:29254,512:40228,648:40852,655:46704,756:59185,878:61795,985:67798,1071:68320,1091:81230,1289:88160,1401:88848,1412:101350,1660:111622,1815:118837,1927:121516,1971:123172,2021:124468,2049:128788,2151:131164,2210:131668,2219:141958,2352:142490,2361:160075,2717:160585,2724:163815,2771:172099,3089:173874,3150:195450,3364
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Pluria Marshall, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his mother's upbringing in the Third Ward of Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his father's civil rights activism

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his paternal grandparents' professions

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his father' role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his father's accomplishments as a photojournalist

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his household

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls accompanying his father on photography shoots

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his neighborhood in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his early interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the influence of his father

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his experiences of integration busing

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers Johnston Middle School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the racial demographics of James Madison High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his participation in athletics at James Madison High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his part-time position at KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the black publications in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his father's relocation to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his decision to attend Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the communications department at Clark College

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his college internships, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his college internships, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children cases

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the historically black college experience

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his decision to major in business

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his training at WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his first impressions of Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his role at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his management approach at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the programming on WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls the major news stories in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the fire at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his sales position at KBXX Radio in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls acquiring WLTH Radio and KHRN Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers his partnership with Lorenzo Butler

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the programming on WLTH Radio in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers the programming changes at KHRN Radio in Hearne, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his decision to settle in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the Houston Informer and Texas Freeman

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his editorial philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his role at the National Newspaper Publishers Association

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls joining the board of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the history of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his challenges at the Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes the Los Angeles Wave Publication Group's role in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his business strategy for Los Angeles Wave Publications Group

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. remembers filing for bankruptcy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his organizational involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about his hopes for African American broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. reflects upon his family

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. talks about the Black Media Preservation Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Pluria Marshall, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

7$11

DATitle
Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls his role at WLBM-TV in Meridian, Mississippi
Pluria Marshall, Jr. recalls joining the board of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc.
Transcript
So you were there fif- fifteen months. What happened? Why did you, well why didn't you stay longer?$$Well, as you can probably tell by my, my history, I, I like to work, and there was really not a whole lot more for me to do. I mean I had been in three years--three summers of training, been at WLBT [WLBT-TV, Jackson, Mississippi] for, you know, a little over a year. And so Frank [Frank Melton] would, you know, we'd have board meetings, and he was, he'd allow me and my cohort to attend the board meetings, you know, for the exposure. And so, they would always talk about this little station [WLBM-TV; WGBC-TV] in Meridian [Mississippi]. They said, "Oh, man, that station's not making money." The guy would come, and he would have a song and dance every month. Why we're losing money, why we're doing this, why we're doing that or whatever. And so I said to Frank, you know, I'm twenty-two, twenty-three years old, I'm like, "Frank, come on, man, you know, if it's losing money, I mean, you know, give me a shot. Let me run it," you know, and I'm, yeah, as they say full of piss and vinegar. And so he said, "Well, hell, Pluria [HistoryMaker Pluria Marshall, Jr.], you know, you can't do any worse than what's going on there now. We're losing money." And so I said, "Okay, great." So he says, "All right, you can move to Meridian." And so, I said, "Okay, great." So we had to renegotiate my little package that I was getting paid and everything. And so he said--so I said, "So what do I do?" He said, "You make it make money." I said, "Okay, so how do I do that?" He said, "You cut your expenses, raise your revenue." I said, "Oh, okay, great. That's easy, you know." And so literally, I got there and the guy that ran the station, it was a guy named Glenn Rose. Glenn was a nice old guy, but he's just not really good at raising or selling ads and things of that sort. And he used to always say, "Pluria, you just, you're just too aggressive, you just, you know, you just, you gotta be patient." I said, "Dude, I have no patience, you know, I've gotta get this done." So--$$This sounds like a clash in cultures of--in Mississippi, they do, they move slower. They move slower.$$Oh, they do. They do.$$So I mean you're like, you know--$$Yeah, I (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) anybody watching this can see.$$Oh, yeah, yeah, I'm like, hey, guys, you gotta move. You know, I mean I'm, I can't sit here and wait, you know. So, finally, after probably about, you know, two or three months, you know, Glenn gave me, through Frank, he said, "All right let him be a--," I was a station manager. And so I'd go in, "I'm sorry, fine. We can fire this person. We need to do this. We're gonna raise the rates. We're gonna make the--," I did all the things that I was trained to basically do. And so ninety days after I got there, the station made money. And so, you know, I said, "Frank. I did it, all right? So make me the general manager," (laughter). And so he was like, "You know, you're being a little impatient, Pluria." I'm like, "Yeah, I am, you know." And so I kept pushing and pushing and pushing. And so finally Glenn said, you know--and Glenn was a little bit older and been around the business for quite some time. He said, well, he's gonna basically retire. And so I said, well, you know, the station's mine at that point. And so Frank, you know, put me in as the vice president and general manager. And it also helped that NBC was on its rise in the mid-'80s [1980s]. So we had 'The Cosby Show' and we had all this great programming. Although the station was a bit of a, less than a full powered station, it covered the Meridian area. But it wasn't as big as the station in Jackson [Mississippi]. And so, you know, I kept it, it never lost a dime as long as I ran it. It was always very profitable. And so I ran it from, essentially, '85 [1985], '86 [1986] until 1990.$$Okay, and you got a large black viewing audience down there, I would imagine?$$We do, we do. Yeah, the state's about 50 percent black.$$Right.$$Yeah.$$So anything you put in the air, there's gonna be a lot of black folks, at least by this time, having--with TV sets. They can check it out.$$Right, oh, yeah, definitely, definitely.$$And watching a lot of TV.$$Yeah, 'The Cosby Show' was a hit. It definitely was.$$Okay, okay, so you were there--you weren't there that--were you there very long? I mean--$$From, from, as I said, from about '85 [1985] to '90 [1990], roughly 'cause when I spent--I was in Jackson for about fifteen months. So, and that was from '84 [1984] to '85 [1985]. So, late '85 [1985] to 1990. So I was there about, you know, for five and a half years.$Is it now talk, time to talk about the Wave?$$Sure, sure, sure, sure.$$'Cause there's--$$(Simultaneous) So, so all right, so we segued, so we have Houston [Houston Informer and Texas Freeman]. We had Gary [WLTH Radio, Gary, Indiana], we had KHRN [KHRN Radio; KVJM Radio, Hearne, Texas]. I mean we got all these properties, and so as I said, when they, they deregulated radio, it made it difficult for me to one, find stations, two, acquire financing. And, and so our offices in Houston [Texas] were domiciled within the 610 loop [Interstate 610]. So Houston has a loop system. So 610 is the loop. So there was this company that was getting a fairly large bit of notoriety called Enron [Enron Corporation]. And, you know, I knew who they were. They were big. They were doing all kinds of things.$$That's the big energy company that--$$Enron, oh, yeah.$$--the big energy that got in trouble.$$This is the big one.$$Enron, all right.$$Enron, so, you know, as I'm out looking for money, I get a phone call from someone who says, "Hey, Enron company is looking to do things locally in a local community." And so they said, "Okay, so--," I'm like, "Great, that was good. How does that help me?" "Well, they have money to invest." I said, "Oh, fantastic." So they said, "One of the first requirements--," (laughter), which was you had to be within the 610 loop. I said, "Really?" I said, "As long as my business is inside the loop, I'd qualify for one of their possible loans?" And he said, "Yes. I said, "Wow, okay," I said, "that's great." So I'm involved with NNPA [National Newspaper Publishers Association] and I'm out scouting and talking to people and so, they, I get a call that there's this paper in Los Angeles [California] called the Wave. And so I said, "Okay, fine." So I went and did my research on L.A. There was a Wave, the Los Angeles Wave was a community paper. The Los Angeles Sentinel was a black paper. So I said, "Well, heck, let's just, you know, run the gamut and see what we can find out." I contacted the people over at the Sentinel, had a real difficult time getting to the owner, just never could get any traction there at all. So I talked to the, this gentleman that was running the Wave, C.Z. Wilson. And so, you know, I talked to him, and, he says, "Oh, yeah, man, we're doing great things. We got a bunch of people, and I'm taking over, and we're looking to acquire, had some challenges." And so I said, "Okay." He said, "Oh, I want you to come over and join my board [of Wave Community Newspapers, Inc., Los Angeles, California]?" I said, "Really?" I said, "C.Z., I mean, I know I'm a young, young guy," probably thirty-eight, thirty-nine years old, "but I'm buying businesses just like this. I mean I would buy this newspaper." He said, "Oh, don't worry about it--," he used to call me young buck, "Oh, don't worry about it, young buck. You come on in." So I said, "No, I'm gonna have my lawyer write you a letter to basically let you know that essentially, I'm a fox and you're a henhouse. And I like eggs," (laughter), you know. "So I want you to be very clear that if you add me to your board, there's a possibility that I would acquire, acquire this newspaper, you know, from you guys." And so, you know, he said, "Oh, fine." I said, "Okay, no worries. I'll come in, and I'll join the board."

Princell Hair

Broadcast executive Princell Hair was born on February 2, 1967 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hair attended Fort Lauderdale High School and graduated in 1985. That same year, he enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy, where he spent the next four years. Hair was then admitted to Florida International University in Miami, graduating two years later with his B.S. degree in broadcast journalism. He entered the world of journalism soon after, working as a writer and producer for WPLG-TV and WSVN-TV, ABC and Fox-affiliated stations, respectively. In 1993, Hair was hired as an executive producer for Chicago’s WSVN-TV. After two years, he was hired as an assistant news director for the CBS station WKMG-TV in Orlando, Florida. Hair was then named news director for Hearst television station WBAL-TV in Baltimore, Maryland, where he served from 1998 to 2001.

In 2001, Hair was hired by Viacom to oversee thirty nine CBS television stations. After two years with Viacom, he was appointed general manager for the Cable News Network (CNN) and later promoted to senior vice president at Turner Broadcasting, Inc. After enrolling at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, Georgia, Hair obtained his M.B.A. degree in 2006. He was then named senior vice president of news operations for Comcast SportsNet, two years later; and, in 2012, was promoted to senior vice president of news and talent for NBC Sports Group, overseeing talent recruitment, negotiation and development.

Hair has served on the board of directors of the Radio and Television News Directors Association/Foundation (RTNDA/F), and the board of visitors at Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. He won a 1994 Emmy Award in Chicago as Executive Producer of "Our Future Crisis," a broadcast special about inner-city violence. He is a former member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Black MBA Association and the National Association of Broadcasters. He and his wife have five children.

Princell Hair was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 21, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.130

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/21/2012

Last Name

Hair

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Emory University

Florida International University

Fort Lauderdale High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Princell

Birth City, State, Country

Fort Lauderdale

HM ID

HAI01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anyplace Warm and Tropical

Favorite Quote

Managers do things right, but leaders do the right thing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

2/2/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Broadcast executive Princell Hair (1967 - ) is an Emmy Award winning journalist and senior vice president for NBC Sports Group.

Employment

NBC

Comcast SportsNet

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

CNN

Viacom Productions

WBAL TV

WKMG TV

WMMB TV

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:15084,175:15606,218:17893,243:18297,254:21529,316:30556,379:32530,391:33041,400:33406,406:34063,417:35231,432:40487,516:43188,571:47028,577:47668,583:48564,592:49588,601:52988,623:54229,647:56638,713:63535,782:64210,792:64510,797:64810,802:67505,813:68270,824:68695,830:77701,912:78177,917:78653,922:81980,959:82276,964:83608,990:86124,1049:98914,1248:101048,1306:102988,1337:107645,1348:107985,1353:108665,1364:109515,1378:110025,1385:111640,1403:112150,1410:113425,1433:121980,1585:138790,1901:145710,1971:159056,2044:161656,2082:164281,2092:164920,2107:165346,2114:166269,2132:169720,2160:173370,2193:187160,2378:190380,2384:193288,2411:193774,2418:194827,2437:197380,2448:198970,2473:203672,2510:203960,2515:204464,2529:205760,2555:206048,2560:206840,2576:207200,2582:210990,2589:211255,2595:211573,2603:212770,2620$0,0:6128,52:7155,78:7471,83:10315,173:14976,269:17583,316:18768,335:19716,348:20980,373:21375,380:21770,386:26302,407:27464,422:28460,437:30452,455:31199,465:32195,479:34270,514:34768,521:35183,528:42590,606:43586,649:44250,658:44997,670:45661,681:46076,687:46408,694:47155,703:48566,725:49479,737:51637,769:55266,790:56076,803:56562,811:57048,825:57777,837:58425,847:59235,860:61908,912:63852,965:64743,982:70365,1017:71714,1037:71998,1042:72566,1051:74838,1107:75193,1113:75619,1120:76116,1131:76613,1139:77039,1145:83605,1218:84130,1226:84730,1245:85255,1254:86530,1286:86830,1291:92312,1359:92844,1369:93376,1378:93680,1383:94136,1392:95960,1418:99912,1495:105422,1542:105758,1549:106262,1560:107214,1596:111213,1628:112023,1642:114210,1677:114858,1686:116559,1723:117207,1732:118098,1752:118584,1763:119799,1785:120528,1801:122391,1859:129426,1970:144671,2148:147594,2204:148226,2214:148621,2220:163506,2363:163874,2368:164242,2373:164610,2378:168290,2431:169026,2442:172790,2452:173640,2463:174320,2472:177140,2497:189454,2676:195525,2705:196128,2715:196664,2732:197803,2754:198674,2775:199411,2795:200282,2808:218916,3025:221184,3180:227470,3247:227944,3264:229129,3283:230393,3297:230867,3304:232526,3335:240135,3421:242449,3448:243962,3470:246988,3521:252408,3558:252923,3563:253438,3569:258518,3605:259706,3619:261542,3640:262946,3655:265256,3663:266114,3678:267150,3685
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Princell Hair's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Princell Hair lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Princell Hair describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Princell Hair talks about his mother's education and her childhood aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Princell Hair describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Princell Hair reflects upon his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Princell Hair describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Princell Hair talks about moving around during his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Princell Hair describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Princell Hair describes the church he attended, the National Church of God in Christ

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Princell Hair talks about his experience at North Side Elementary School

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Princell Hair talks about his neighborhood peers' fear of white people

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Princell Hair talks about the demographics of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Princell Hair recalls his mother's initiative in helping him get a good education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Princell Hair describes his mentors in elementary school and high school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Princell Hair talks about the demographics of his school classrooms

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Princell Hair talks about his brother's trouble in school due to his mental handicap

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Princell Hair describes the challenges of growing up in the projects while attending school in a more affluent neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Princell Hair talks about his musical interests

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Princell Hair documents his interest in television as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Princell Hair talks about competing in the state championship with his high school track team

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Princell Hair talks about the history of Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Princell Hair reflect upon a negative encounter with the Fort Lauderdale police

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Princell Hair discusses his high school extracurricular activities and early career ambitions

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Princell Hair talks about his high school heroes in journalism including Max Robinson and Dwight Lauderdale

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Princell Hair talks about his decision to join the U.S. Navy after high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Princell Hair talks about being named Mr. Fort Lauderdale in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Princell Hair talks about why he joined the U.S. Navy and the reason he was discharged

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Princell Hair discusses his dropping out of Florida Community College in Gainesville, Florida after becoming a father

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Princell Hair talks about the end of his relationship and moving to South Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Princell Hair talks about how he met his wife, Jodie Hair

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Princell Hair talks about his internship and job offer while attending Florida International University (FIU)

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Princell Hair talks about one of his mentors, Joel Cheatwood

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Princell Hair describes his journalistic philosophy

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Princell Hair talks about the coverage of Hurricane Andrew in 1992

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Princell Hair talks about important skill sets needed in news productions

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Princell Hair talks about producing news in a crisis situation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Princell Hair talks about his job offer from WDIV in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Princell Hair shares a story about his move to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Princell Hair talks about an employment offer from WBBM Chicago in 1993

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Princell Hair shares some of the news stories from WBBM in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Princell Hair talks about his decision to leave WBBM Chicago after his mentor, John Lansing, departed

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Princell Hair talks about his first opportunity to run a newsroom in Orlando, Florida in 1995

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Princell Hair talks about workplace tensions at his first news director job in Chicago, Illinois in 1997

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Princell Hair discusses the backlash at WMAQ Chicago after they hired Jerry Springer

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Princell Hair talks about his decision to move to WBAL Baltimore in 1998 after WMAQ Chicago's staff overhaul

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Princell Hair remembers some of the major stories at WBAL Baltimore

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Princell Hair discusses having to think on your feet during live coverage

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Princell Hair talks about WBAL Baltimore's superior coverage of the 2000 mayoral election

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Princell Hair discusses the importance of understanding live reporting in the newsroom

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Princell Hair remembers some of his favorite reporters

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Princell Hair talks about leaving the Hurst Group for Viacom in 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Princell Hair talks about his opportunity to join CNN in Atlanta, Georgia in 2003

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Princell Hair talks about lessons he learned as CNN's Domestic News Director and workplace politics

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Princell Hair talks about his time at CNN in Atlanta, Georgia and his decision to move into sports

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Princell Hair talks about going into sports news with the Comcast Sports Group in 2008

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Princell Hair describes Comcast Sports' news programs and coverage

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Princell Hair describes what it is like to work in local sports news

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Princell Hair talks about Philadelphia's sports fans

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Princell Hair talks about developing sports news based on regional preferences

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Princell Hair describes his expanded role with NBC Sports Group

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Princell Hair discusses hiring former athletes and how they fare on air

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Princell Hair talks about the most successful regional sports stations

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Princell Hair describes his goal in broadcasting to own a network

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Princell Hair discusses the impact of his M.B.A. on his career

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Princell Hair talks about what he might do differently

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Princell Hair reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Princell Hair talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Princell Hair describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Princell Hair talks about his favorite phrase

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Princell Hair talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

4$11

DATitle
Princell Hair describes the challenges of growing up in the projects while attending school in a more affluent neighborhood
Princell Hair talks about his time at CNN in Atlanta, Georgia and his decision to move into sports
Transcript
Now--so you're living in two different worlds basically--back and forth. You even have the social dynamic in the white world--$$Right.$$--going on sleepovers and things like that.$$Right.$$So how were you accepted in your own community? You know, with that kind of background, was it tough on you?$$Yeah, that's a great question. It was a little challenging at times; I spoke differently than the other kids in my neighborhood. They always told me I talk white or I think I'm white, or I'm an Oreo--black on the outside, white on the inside. I got all of those, you know, those kinds of comments growing up. A lot of kids in my neighborhood just didn't understand me and didn't understand why I was the way that I was and, you know, again, it was just--I was different; I was different than they were. You know, I, I found acceptance at church. I think that may have been why I gravitated; it was just a much more accepting environment but, you know, when you're out on the, on the playground or out on the, on the basketball court and, you know, I'm the only one that talks the way that I do, you get ridiculed 'cause people don't understand it--$$Okay.$$--or they're threatened by it, or whatever it is, you know.$$So you didn't make any attempt to try to change the way you talked when you were back home?$$No, I, I, I didn't because it just wasn't, it wasn't me; it wasn't true to me and no matter what I--no matter if I tried, you know, if that's not who you are, you know, people are gonna see right through that so I just dealt with the, with the ridicule; I just dealt with the jokes, you know, and just tried to, you know, laugh it off and, you know, not, not allow it to, to get me angry.$$Okay. Now I don't know if this is fair or not, but I got almost an even chance of speaking like you did in the projects in school--I guess, because you could have chosen to do that--$$I could have.$$--you know, but that probably wouldn't have been successful in school.$$Probably not, probably not--$$So--$$--and I don't know why, you know, I grew up--well, I do know why; because I spoke like the people that I was around most of the time, you know, growing up.$$Okay. So you spent most of your time in school?$$Yeah.$$Okay, all right.$$It was a safe place for me--$$Yeah, okay.$$--'cause I was just as smart as the other kids, smarter than most of 'em, so there was this, there was this--even if it wasn't equal, there was a feeling of equality, and they would look at me and they would admire the fact that I was as smart as they were, so on some level, I was on their level, which made it easier to fit in.$So what you've experienced, it sounds like a book I heard of called "Swimming with Sharks," (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Yeah, yeah, very similar.$$Yeah. So is this a typical experience in the news and the TV news world?$$I think it's a typical experience in the corporate world--the corporate news world; big organizations, big corporations that are, you know--have these, these intricate, you know, organizational structures and relationships are sometimes difficult for outsiders to navigate, and that's, that's what I experienced.$$Okay. So you were there for--$$I was running the Domestic News Operation [at CNN in Atlanta, Georgia] for fourteen months, and then I was moved into a position overseeing talent and programming across all of the different CNN platforms. I was in that job for about a year, and the fact of the matter is that's a job that really didn't have a lot of teeth because--the network heads, they wanna hire their own talent, you know, they don't really need me telling them who to hire; they got into that position because they know a little something about talent, so I found myself running up against walls with the various network heads who I was, you know, really liaising with because they had their own ideas of what their talent should be--as they should. So I went to, to Jim and Phil [Kent] and just said, "Look, guys, I'm happy to stay here and collect a paycheck and do this for as long as you want me to, but the fact of the matter is you're not really getting the value out of me; you're not really getting as much as you can out of me; I can do more, I'd like to do more." So they moved me into corporate strategy. It was a position that I was--or it was an area of the business that I didn't know, that I was interested in, and it also gave me an opportunity to go back to school and get my MBA, which is what I did at Emory [University, Atlanta, Georgia], so I was working full time while getting my MBA, and I was working on a project--we were going to take WTBS which is, you know, Turner[ Broadcasting]'s first station, and figure out what we were gonna do with that locally, and turn that into a--you know, there's the TBS Superstation and then there's a local station in the market--WTBS, and at the time, their programming was the same, but Phil Kent who's, who's running Turner at the time, wanted to turn that into something else--more of a local station, so that TBS could be a separate, completely separate station. So that was my project and, you know, amongst working on other things with the, with the, the strategy group--and at the end of that year, and after I got my MBA and had finished--completed the projects, I was ready to run something else; I was in a position now where I, where I was down two years removed from, from running something, and I went to Phil and said, "Hey, look, I'm ready to run something; you know, I can stay in corporate strategy as long as you want, but I'm really ready to run something." And, you know, "We don't really have anything for you to run," to which--I, I saw that as a sign that, you know, maybe it was time for me to, to move on and try something else, take some time off, which is what I did. I took about a year and a half off which, you know, fortunately, I was able to do to really figure out what I wanted to do next. I had been in news for now 20--20 years, and was really burned out with, with, with news. I didn't wanna really go back into a local news situation because it, it had changed so much, and resources had been drained from local markets, local news stations, and I wanted to try something, something different; and that is what led me to sports.

Don Cornwell

Broadcast executive and businessman W. Don Cornwell was born in Cushing, Oklahoma on January 17, 1948. Cornwell moved with his family to Tacoma, Washington, where he attended Stadium High School. After graduating from Stadium, Cornwell enrolled at Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1965. Four years later, he graduated with his B.A. degree in political science. Cornwell then graduated from Harvard Business School with his M.B.A. degree in 1971.

Cornwell was first hired by Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York in 1971. By 1980, he was promoted to chief operating officer of the Goldman Sachs’ corporate finance department of the investment banking division. In 1988, Cornwell left the securities firm to found Granite Broadcasting Corporation. In his twenty-one years as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, the corporation purchased fifteen television stations to become the largest African American-controlled television broadcast company in America. At its peak, Granite Broadcasting generated $169 million in revenue. From 1991 through 2006, Granite was publicly owned with common stock listed on NASDAQ and several issues of debt registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Granite Broadcasting Corporation filed for voluntary reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in December 2006 and emerged from its restructuring in June 2007. Cornwell stepped down as the company chairman and CEO in 2009.

Cornwell has received numerous honors and corporation directorships throughout his career including serving on the boards of Pfizer, Inc., Avon Products, Inc., American International Group, Inc. and CVS-Caremark Corporation. He is a trustee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York. Cornwell was formerly on the board of directors of the Wallace Foundation, the Hershey Trust Company and Milton Hershey School, the New York University Medical Center and the Telecommunications Development Fund. Cornwell’s company, Granite Broadcasting, was named Company of the Year by Black Enterprise. In 1996, he was honored as the Alumnus of the Year by Occidental College; and in 1999, he was the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award from Harvard Business School. Cornwell is married to Sandra Williams-Cornwell and has two adult children, K. Don Cornwell and Samantha Cornwell.

W. Don Cornwell was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on May 17, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.077

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/17/2012

Last Name

Cornwell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Harvard Business School

Occidental College

Stadium High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

W. Don

Birth City, State, Country

Cushing

HM ID

COR03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

Amagansett, New York

Favorite Quote

It is what it is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/17/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salad (Kale)

Short Description

Broadcast chief executive and financial executive Don Cornwell (1948 - ) was the founder of the largest African American controlled television broadcast group in America.

Employment

Granite Broadcasting

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:13032,119:13380,124:23200,242:26480,342:51000,726:51534,733:52068,741:57497,818:88327,1202:88693,1212:88998,1218:89852,1235:90401,1247:91560,1270:96218,1326:96578,1332:99170,1380:108367,1494:113344,1597:113722,1605:113974,1610:115675,1655:121196,1706:123500,1731:123788,1736:129188,1835:129476,1840:134002,1863:134658,1872:137528,1899:148654,2053:149446,2066:162306,2130:183769,2474:184171,2481:191206,2593:191742,2598:195896,2654:212672,2838:230708,2986:237404,3097:242490,3137$0,0:1370,37:1930,46:2560,57:3610,78:5920,108:6760,123:11940,210:12360,218:13130,230:13900,239:16140,279:16770,314:17750,325:18590,338:18870,343:19500,354:25250,375:25782,383:28670,427:29050,433:30418,438:30798,444:33458,479:38930,547:40374,559:41058,570:41362,575:42198,588:43186,598:44630,618:45086,625:45466,631:45846,637:46226,643:52620,661:53259,672:53543,677:53898,683:65187,875:65471,880:66181,892:67104,899:74834,944:75204,950:76018,955:76684,965:77498,970:80976,1023:84232,1055:93114,1133:95334,1166:101998,1216:102458,1222:102918,1229:103286,1234:107632,1269:114807,1355:115717,1370:116172,1375:116900,1381:121723,1433:127326,1464:128334,1479:129174,1491:130182,1502:133314,1536:135339,1560:135906,1569:137121,1587:138741,1606:139308,1615:139875,1623:146112,1768:149190,1810:149595,1816:157420,1834:167248,1979:167668,1985:168172,1993:172580,2005:173291,2015:173607,2020:180085,2134:180638,2143:180954,2148:181981,2164:182929,2177:183245,2186:183561,2191:187038,2203:188032,2219:188529,2228:195203,2341:195771,2351:196978,2360:197333,2366:197830,2375:198398,2383:198966,2392:200954,2420:208279,2463:211513,2501:211898,2507:214362,2516:214747,2525:215594,2537:226434,2613:227898,2634:231070,2687:233632,2717:244900,2819
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Don Cornwell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell talks about his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell talks about his grandparents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell describes the town where he was born, Cushing, Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about his mother's history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell discusses Oklahoma's role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about his father's experiences in World War II and his father's PTSD

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Don Cornwell talks about his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Don Cornwell talks about his father's aspirations and occupation as a barber

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Don Cornwell talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Don Cornwell shares the story of how his family moved from Oklahoma to the state of Washington

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Don Cornwell talks about his maternal grandparents' education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell talks about his parents' separation and his father's high standards for education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell talks about growing up in Tacoma, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell describes the social life of Tacoma, Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell talks about his friends in Tacoma, including Bob Moore

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell talks about not being able to participate in sports as a child due to a heart defect

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about his grandmother's belief in the importance of naps

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Don Cornwell talks about sports in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Don Cornwell talks about elementary school and high school

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Don Cornwell talks about Stadium High School and Puget Sound

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Don Cornwell remembers learning to read at an early age and an influential high school teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Don Cornwell talks about watching TV when he was growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Don Cornwell discusses the role of church in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell talks about segregation in Tacoma, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell discusses the African American community in Tacoma, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell talks about his mentors in middle school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell talks about his aspirations and heroes in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell talks about the Civil Rights Movement and Malcolm X's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about his mother's civic activities

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about the 1962 Seattle World's Fair

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell remembers the 1963 March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell talks about African American newspapers in Tacoma

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about his favorite subjects in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Don Cornwell talks about his favorite teachers in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Don Cornwell talks about choosing a college

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Don Cornwell talks about some of his activities in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell talks about being senior class president and his decision to attend Occidental College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell talks about Occidental College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell describes Occidental College as moderately conservative

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell talks about the African American student organizations at Occidental College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell talks about the Black Student Association and the African American community in LA

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about his role in the Black Student Association and in student government

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about the professors who influenced him at Occidental College, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell talks about the professors who influenced him at Occidental College, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell talks about changing his focus from law to business

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about the Black Panthers and Ron Karenga's US Organization in Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Don Cornwell talks about meeting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his assassination

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell discusses Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and the Watts riots

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell talks about his experiences with the Los Angeles police force

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell talks about black empowerment and the Black Panther shootings in 1969

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell talks about going to Harvard Business School, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell talks about going to Harvard Business School, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about the discrimination faced by his class at Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about the professors at Harvard Business School, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell talks about the professors at Harvard Business School, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell talks about his classmates at Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about the role that Occidental College played in his preparation for Harvard

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell describes how integrated environments can foster skills development

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell talks about working at Goldman Sachs

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell talks about the dissolution of his marriage and his subsequent promotion at Goldman Sachs

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell discusses his tenure at Goldman Sachs as well as his boss and mentor at the firm, Peter Sacerdote

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell talks about leaving Goldman Sachs and pursuing a new venture in broadcasting and television station ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about how minority tax certificates encouraged his start in television station ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about buying his first two TV stations

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell talks about the successful start of his TV stations

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell discusses his management approach in broadcasting

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell discusses taking his company, Granite Broadcasting, public in 1991

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Don Cornwell talks about the stations Granite Broadcasting purchased after going public in 1991

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Don Cornwell talks about competing with Rupert Murdoch for a station in Austin, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Don Cornwell talks about rebuilding a local station in Austin, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Don Cornwell reflects on one of the biggest mistakes of his career and its impact on Granite Broadcasting

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Don Cornwell discusses how his company's inexperience and financial situation affected its growth

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Don Cornwell talks about partnering with NBC

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Don Cornwell talks about selling a station to NBC and the sale's negative impact on Granite Broadcasting

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Don Cornwell talks about what he did to try to ameliorate Granite Broadcasting's financial situation

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Don Cornwell recalls filing for bankruptcy and the impact of the financial crisis

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Don Cornwell talks about what he would do differently about Granite Broadcasting

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Don Cornwell shares advice for young entrepreneurs

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Don Cornwell describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today

Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Don Cornwell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Don Cornwell talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

7$5

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Don Cornwell talks about partnering with NBC
Don Cornwell talks about going to Harvard Business School, pt. 2
Transcript
Okay. So we're like almost at two thousand?$$Yes, yes. So 2000 was an important year for us because we got the bright idea that our ABC [American Broadcasting Company] affiliate in San Jose [California]--that even though it only served in a historic sense the San Jose portion of the Bay Area [California]. If you are familiar with the bay area there is San Jose, there is kind of the peninsula, people call that Silicon Valley [California] then there is San Francisco [California] then there is the east bay with Oakland [California], Berkeley [California] and what have you. We were technically the San Jose affiliate for ABC but our signal covered the entire market all the way up to Napa [Napa Valley, California]. We didn't have as great a signal in some of the nooks and crannies of San Francisco though but people in Oakland, Berkeley whatever they could get a signal perfectly well. So because NBC was having a fight with its then affiliate KRON, K-R-O-N and this was public, we went to NBC [National Broadcasting Company] and said you know if you guys really are unhappy with your affiliate before you go and affiliate yourself with one of the lesser stations in town because there was a couple of other options but they didn't have nearly what we had, we said you ought to consider working with us. And so the first thing they had to satisfy themselves was on the engineering in other words are these guys correct about what they say about the signal. And so they did a lot of work on that and after the work they came to us and said you are right, we had no idea and so we would like to work together. Long and short of it all a lot of different anecdotes that I could go on for way too long in that incident or that story. But at the end of the day they ultimately decided to switch the affiliation to us and that took place in 2000 but they couldn't actually switch until 2002 because their deal with the other affiliate lasted until 2002. That gave us we thought a wonderful amount of time where we could comfortably rebuild the station. It needed to have a much bigger news presence than a news presence that only covered San Jose because we now have to satisfy the other communities and that would be expensive and time consuming and we didn't want to do what we did in--if we could avoid it in Austin [Texas] again which was to cram this in about seven months. So we had 2001 to start this process but unfortunately 2001 as you may recall was a rather interesting year with 9-11 and with war breaking out and what have you. And once again we found ourselves in a real recession from an advertiser perspective and so we were spending a very significant amount of money. Probably over twenty million dollars to build out both with new equipment and with new people, reporters and what have you what we felt a first class news operation in the bay area. We were doing it against a backdrop of declining revenue throughout the rest of our business and so we sort of struggled our way through 2001 and by the end of 2001 where we're ready to go in 2000 but I guess it's fair to say that NBC wanted the station.$What I quickly discovered at Harvard Business School was that I was in no way prepared. That all I had was somewhat of an analytical skill; that I had the ability to work very hard but that I had been dropped into an environment where if people were speaking Arabic or Greek or Korean or what have you I wouldn't have known because they were speaking a language that I knew nothing about. So my--it's a two year program. My first year after classes I would go to the library, Baker Library and simply immerse myself in the stacks of magazines, Fortune and Forbes and what have you and basically read articles about people whose names would come up in class. Because if they would mention a corporate raider by the name of Jimmy Ling (ph. splg.) in class and what he had done and why this was smart and what have you. Well I had no idea who Jimmy Ling was and so I had to very quickly get myself acculturated to the environment and spent my first year basically just using whatever aptitude I had and fortitude and what have you to survive the place. Which, you know, I didn't do too badly in that environment. Harvard Business School was if I could just add a quick comment--so now I'm in the East and for the first time I find myself with I would describe it as people who are ostensibly liberal and who are ostensibly on my side but who unlike my friends on the West Coast white who seemed to accept my premise of whatever I thought the path should be, at Harvard it was exactly the opposite. That it was we know best somewhat paternalistic and we're going to tell you what you should do. And my class of African Americans was by far the largest group that had ever been allowed in the Harvard Business School. I think there were about seventy of us out of class of about eight hundred. It was the first time in my memory where I was expected to fail as opposed to succeed. The Harvest News which is the campus newspaper, I think it still exists, had an article the first week of school that indicated that faculty members-unnamed faculty members felt that the flunk out rate they called it hitting the screen at Harvard would be much higher than had historically been the case because the implication was that the school had allowed in a much larger percentage of people who probably were not qualified to be there. And so if there was ever any doubt that the African American students would coalesce and become reasonably cohesive, it was in that environment. And so the freshman, the first year was quite an interesting experience for me and it I could tell you anecdotes forever we would end up with a nineteen hour interview. But there were lots of times during that year that ended up being very interesting and helped formed probably my personality as I went further into my adult business career.

Willie D. Davis

Broadcast executive and football player Willie D. Davis was born on July 24, 1934, in Lisbon, Louisiana to Nodie Bell and David Davis. Recruited to Grambling College (now Grambling State University) by football coach Eddie Robinson, Davis captained the football team and was a student on the dean’s list for two years. In 1956, he graduated from Grambling with his B.S. degree in math and industrial arts.

Davis was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the seventeenth round of the 1956 National Football League Draft. However, that same year, Davis was also drafted into the U.S. Army and was unable to begin his NFL career until 1958. After two years with the Browns, Davis was traded to the Green Bay Packers. For ten seasons, Davis played 138 consecutive regular season games and was a member of all five of Vince Lombardi’s NFL title-winning teams, playing in Super Bowls I and II. In his career with the Green Bay Packers, Davis recovered twenty-one fumbles, setting a team record, never missing any of the 162 games in his twelve-year tenure. Davis was awarded the Associated Press’ All-Pro honors in 1962 and from 1964 to 1967. During the last two years of his football career, Davis studied at the University of Chicago, earning his M.B.A degree in 1968. The following year, the Packers honored Davis’ retirement with Willie Davis Day. That same year, Davis purchased the West Coast Beverage Company and served as its president for eighteen years, while also working as a color commentator on the NFL telecasts for NBC in the early 1970s. Since 1976, Davis has been the president and chief executive officer of All Pro Broadcasting, Inc., a Los Angeles broadcasting company which owns radio stations in the Midwest and Southern California. In 1981, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Davis served as the director of the 1984 Olympics Committee in Los Angeles in 1984. That same year, President Reagan appointed him to the President’s Commission on the Executive Exchange.

Davis has served on the boards of the Sara Lee Corporation, the National Association of Broadcasters, Dow Chemical Company, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Johnson Controls, MGM Mirage, Manpower, Fidelity National Financial, Wisconsin Energy, Strong Management Fund, Mattel Toys, Schlitz Brewing Company, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Bassett Furniture, Alliance Bank, the Green Bay Packers, the Kauffman Foundation, Occidental College and K-Mart. Davis is also an Emeritus Trustee for the University of Chicago and a Trustee at Marquette University. In 2001, Davis co-chaired and founded the Vince Lombardi Titletown Legends, a charitable organization created to assist various charities throughout Wisconsin. Davis was named the Walter Camp Man of the Year, was ranked 69th on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players and was given the Career Achievement Award from the NFL Alumni. Davis and his wife Ann have a son, Duane, and a daughter, Lori.

Willie D. Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 9, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.200

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/9/2007

Last Name

Davis

Middle Name

D

Schools

Washington High School

Grambling State University

University of Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Willie

Birth City, State, Country

Lisbon

HM ID

DAV20

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

U.S. Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

Early Start Beats Fast Running.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/24/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak, Collard Greens

Short Description

Broadcast executive, football player, and entrepreneur Willie D. Davis (1934 - ) played for the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers, winning Super Bowls I and II. In 1981, Davis was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was also the president and chief executive officer of All Pro Broadcasting, Inc.

Employment

All Pro Broadcasting

West Coast Beverage Company

NBC

Green Bay Packers (Football team)

Cleveland Browns (Football team : 1946-1995)

United States Army

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:7690,209:10927,253:12421,280:12753,285:36078,617:48870,733:58712,868:59370,876:59840,882:60404,889:66326,988:70650,1059:74410,1109:97300,1312:119392,1573:119966,1583:120950,1599:124148,1649:128904,1712:136940,1849:147044,1904:147434,1910:148058,1919:148370,1924:158267,2014:164591,2035:164939,2040:165287,2045:167562,2058:173488,2115:174734,2136:181042,2208:181978,2222:182602,2232:199722,2386:207701,2487:210350,2503$0,0:2511,55:6915,117:22440,344:23340,359:32126,447:32678,454:34150,509:34518,535:41754,590:53880,720:63346,790:64354,804:73426,971:106555,1343:114718,1408:118334,1454:120863,1495:122354,1500:123561,1531:132340,1600:135490,1646:137905,1682:138430,1688:139165,1698:143050,1747:167427,1983:168139,1992:172678,2055:173390,2064:177766,2087:179110,2101:185242,2183:185662,2189:187846,2214:188182,2219:188938,2233:189358,2239:193670,2251:203560,2335:204169,2343:207776,2373:214028,2462:214791,2472:216971,2504:226330,2614
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Willie D. Davis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis remembers his mother's religious involvement and career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis recalls his decision to play football

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis describes his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Willie D. Davis recalls his relationship with his father as an adult

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis recalls his early childhood in Lisbon, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis describes his earliest memories of Texarkana, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis recalls his family life

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Willie D. Davis remembers his community in Texarkana, Arkansas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Willie D. Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Willie D. Davis describes his elementary school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis recalls his personality in elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis talks about his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis describes the role of religion in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis remembers his junior high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis recalls teachers and friends at Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Willie D. Davis describes his high school activities and aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Willie D. Davis recalls the football team at Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Willie D. Davis describes his decision to attend Grambling College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis recalls meeting Coach Eddie Robinson

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis talks about his hesitation to attend Grambling College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis shares his first impressions of the Grambling football team

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis recalls his attempt to leave Grambling College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis remembers his college girlfriend

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Willie D. Davis recalls becoming comfortable at Grambling College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Willie D. Davis recalls a memorable football game at Grambling College

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis talks about being drafted by the Cleveland Browns

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis remembers his service in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis recalls playing for the Cleveland Browns

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis remembers being traded to the Green Bay Packers

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis describes his offseason job as a substitute teacher

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Willie D. Davis recalls playing for the Green Bay Packers

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Willie D. Davis recalls winning NFL championships with the Green Bay Packers

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Willie D. Davis remembers earning his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Willie D. Davis talks about why he pursued his M.B.A. degree

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Willie D. Davis recalls working in the beverage industry

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Willie D. Davis remembers his service on corporate boards

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Willie D. Davis talks about his work in the television and radio industries

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Willie D. Davis reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Willie D. Davis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Willie D. Davis describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

1$1

DATitle
Willie D. Davis recalls a memorable football game at Grambling College
Willie D. Davis recalls winning NFL championships with the Green Bay Packers
Transcript
Okay, Mr. Davis [HistoryMaker Willie D. Davis], the year is about 1956 now. You're getting ready to graduate from Grambling [Grambling College; Grambling State University, Grambling, Louisiana], and there are offers coming around now.$$After one of the greatest games we probably ever played, we were crowned the mythical like champions of the country. We beat Florida A&M [Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida] in what they call the Hollywood Bowl [sic. Orange Blossom Classic] or something down in Florida. I never will forget this as long as I live. The paper in Florida had the next day Paul Brown, the everything coach of the Cleveland Browns, came to Florida to see--or was in Florida and he came to see the game. It said he came to see Willie Galimore and a guy by the name of Adolphus Frazier [Al Frazier], and he went away talking about Willie Davis and Ed Murray [Edward Murray], which was my teammate at Grambling. I guess I had credit for about twenty-seven tackles that night and, you know, just one of those crazy nights where everything worked for me. And probably was really my entree into the National Football League [NFL].$$So, did you flash back over your career at Grambling that night? Did everything flash over for you?$$(Laughter) I, yeah, I--well, what had been interesting is we stopped on the way down to Florida, and their running back, Adolphus Frazier, said, "Well, hey you guys." We ate dinner on campus and he said, "Well, you guys, you better touch me now because you won't see me in the game." You know, I'm always up for a challenge. And when he said--what I remember from that game probably will stick with me for as long as I--what I remember about that game. I hit Frazier and knocked him out of his shoes, up out of his shoes. And I looked at him and said, "Well, is this you?" (Laughter) It was a night. Murray ran for about three or four touchdowns and it was our great moment. It's so interesting because as I've said to many people today, I have been very fortunate to play on teams that won the championship at every level I ever played, and the other one that I was either captain or defensive captain of every team, including the Green Bay Packers.$$Since junior high school?$$Since junior high. I say it all the time, not to brag, but I say it as an example of leadership that I think I have been blessed with all my life. Through every year in football and through today in dealing with the corporate world.$Okay, so you're in Green Bay [Wisconsin] now under the great Vince Lombardi. You're there, now can you give us some highlights or, maybe first of all, anecdotes of Vince Lombardi. Anything that he did or said that really shaped you into your maturity as a player and a person?$$There are so many Lombardi quotes, starting with, "How you play this game is a reflection of how you'll live the rest of your life." Something that resonates with me almost every day now in business. And I think Coach Lombardi said this was the example that we had to somehow live through. And, I tell you, that one in particular because he indeed hit something when he said the way you play this game is the way you'll live the rest of your life in some ways. But the Green Bay Packer [Green Bay Packers] situation was just a great experience to me. Today there're eight players off of that team that's in the Hall of Fame [Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio], and with Lombardi, nine people.$$Can you name some of those, including yourself?$$Well, it's Jimmy Taylor [Jim Taylor], Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg, Jim Ringo, Herb Adderley, Willie Wood, Ray Nitschke and Henry Jordan and--$$--and Willie Davis [HistoryMaker Willie D. Davis].$$Yes, and Willie Davis. One of the proudest moments of my life. Never will forget it. I'm in Canton, Ohio and I'm standing up there being introduced by Coach Eddie Robinson. The situation was emotional, and I look out at my mother [Nodie Allen Archie]. It was the last event, big event she saw in my life. And I'm thinking and I remember I looked out and I said, "Mom, this is a long way from Texarkana, and no one ever assured us that we were on the right road, but today (laughter) it was the right road." And at that, she blew up. And you're up there and they've already taken bets on whether you can get through it without breaking down. And I said, when I saw that, I said, "Aw, they got me."$$That's beautiful.$$But it was absolute one of the greatest moments in my life. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a personal achievement but what I resonate well with is the six championship games we played at Green Bay, and we were five times world champions, including the last team that win three consecutive championships. All of those things to me, I look at now and say, you know, and the thought that somehow in your mind the first thing Green Bay was gonna be was your downfall. So, you never know in life, and I said, the best thing I've ever done in my life is to try to make the best out of every situation where you have an opportunity. Because you never know.