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William Dilday

Broadcast executive William Dilday was born on September 14, 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts to Alease Virginia Scott and William Horace Dilday. He graduated from the Boston Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts and received his B.S. degree in business administration from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1964, Dilday started his career as an operations supervisor at IBM. In 1968, Dilday became the personnel administrator and public relations director at Edgerton, Germehausen, & Grier, Inc. He then began working at WHDH-TV in Boston as director of personnel in 1969. Dilday then entered the field of journalism in 1972 as general manager of WLBT-TV/WLBM-TV in Jackson, Mississippi, as the first African American general manager of a network affiliate station. He worked at WLBT-TV/WLBM-TV until 1984. As chief operation officer, he led the station to achieve number one in Nielson and Arbitron ratings from November, 1973 to February, 1984. In 1990, Dilday joined WJTV-TV as general manager and executive vice president, where he implemented operation and programming plans that improved station ratings. After his departure from WJTV, Dilday joined News-Press and Gazette as corporate vice president. Dilday was then hired as president and chief executive officer of Kerimax Communications, Inc. Dilday has also spent time as a guest columnist for the Jackson Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.

Dilday has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Peabody Award, the National Mental Health Association Media Award, and two Iris Awards from the National Association of Television Program Executives. Dilday has also been featured in Who’s Who in America every year from 1977 until 1995. He has also been listen in Who’s Who in Black America in 1975, 1976, 1993, 1994, and 1995.

In addition to his career in journalism, Didlay has been active in many organizations and companies. He has served as a board member for First American Bank. Didlay has also been a board member of the National Association of Television Broadcasters, and the National Broadcasting Company Affiliate Board. He has served as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Communication Task Force, as well as a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists and 100 Black Men. From 1978 until 1979, Dilday served as president of the Jackson Urban League.

Dilday and his wife, Maxine, have two children: Erika Lynne and Kenya Aleafe.

William Dilday was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 26, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.107

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/26/2017

Last Name

Dilday

Maker Category
Middle Name

H.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Boston University

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

DIL01

Favorite Season

August

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Birth Date

9/14/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beef, chicken, spaghetti, salads

Short Description

Broadcast executive William Dilday (1937 - ) was the first African American general manager of a network affiliate station and served as president and CEO of Kerimax Communications and founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Favorite Color

Blue

Ronnie Agnew

Broadcast executive Ronnie Agnew was born on October 10, 1962 in Saltillo, Mississippi. He graduated from Saltillo High School in 1980 and attended the University of Mississippi, and worked at The Greenwood Commonwealth in Greenwood, Mississippi. Agnew received his B.A. degree in English in 1984.

After graduation, Agnew moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked for the Cincinnati Enquirer. In 1993, Agnew became the managing editor for The Hattiesburg American. He worked at The Hattiesburg American until 1997, and was hired as media general and editor at the Dothan Eagle in Dothan, Alabama. Agnew then served as the managing editor at The Clarion-Ledger in 2001, and was promoted to executive editor in 2002. He was the first African American to head The Clarion-Ledger. Agnew left the newspaper industry in 2011, when he was hired as the executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

In addition to his career in journalism and PBS-TV, Agnew chaired the Mississippi Council on Economic Education, the Association of Public Television Stations and the journalism program at Jackson State University. He was also a member of the journalism advisory boards for the University of Southern Mississippi and the Meek School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi. Agnew also served on the board of directors for the Associated Press Media Editors and as a board member of the National Board of Directors for the Public Broadcasting System. He was an executive committee member of the National Educational Telecommunications Association, and was a member of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives. He served as a judge for the Pulitzer Prize four times and was a diversity chairman for the American Society of News Editors. Agnew also worked as an adjunct professor of communications at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.

Agnew is the recipient of Garnett Co., Inc.’s four President’s Rings, the University of Mississippi’s Silver Em Award. He was also inducted into the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2016, Agnew received the National Advocacy Award by America’s Public Television Stations.

Agnew and his wife, Cynthia have three children, Rachel, Victoria and Christopher.

Ronnie Agnew was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.103

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/25/2017

Last Name

Agnew

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Ronnie

Birth City, State, Country

Saltillo

HM ID

AGN01

Favorite Season

Spring in Mississippi

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

To see family in Michigan

Favorite Quote

I don't like no. Bring me solutions not problems.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Birth Date

10/10/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Broadcast executive Ronnie Agnew (1962 - ) was executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting and was the first African American executive editor of <em>The Clarion-Ledger</em>.

Favorite Color

Blue

Henry W. McGee

Broadcast executive Henry W. McGee was born on January 22, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois to Henry McGee Jr. and Catherine Williams. At the age of sixteen, McGee moved with his father to Los Angeles, California, and attended Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California until his junior year when he received early admission to Harvard University. McGee earned his B.A. degree in social studies magna cum laude in 1974. Later he received his M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School in 1979.

McGee worked as a writer for Newsweek from 1974 to 1977 in New York and Washington D.C. After he obtained his M.B.A. degree, he was hired as a manager of film acquisition for Home Box Office (HBO), which was then a new venture at Time, Inc. McGee went on to serve as director of program acquisition for Time-Life Films from 1980 to 1981, director of Cinemax Program Planning and HBO Family Programming from 1981 to 1983, director of HBO Enterprises from 1983 to 1985, vice president of home video from 1985 to 1988, and senior vice president of programming for HBO Video from 1988 to 1995. In March of 1995, McGee was promoted to president of HBO Home Entertainment. Under his leadership, HBO became the leading force in the TV-to-DVD industry and a pioneer in using the Internet for marketing and sales. After retiring from HBO in 2013, McGee joined the faculty of Harvard Business School as a senior lecturer.

In 2004, McGee was elected to the board of AmerisourceBergen, the global pharmaceutical services company, and in 2017 was named chairman of the company’s Governance and Nominating Committee. In 2015, he joined the board of TEGNA, Inc., a broadcast and digital media company that owns the largest number of affiliates of the NBC television network. McGee also served on several nonprofit boards, including as director of the Black Filmmaker Foundation board since 1985, and the Pew Research Center board since 2014. He also served as director and president of the Film Society of Lincoln Center board, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Foundation board. He served as a director of the boards of the Save the Children Fund, the Time Warner Foundation, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Sundance Institute. Additionally, McGee served on the advisory board of Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.

McGee was inducted into Variety’s Home Entertainment Hall of Fame, and the National Association of Minorities in Communication Hall of Fame. He also received the Professional Achievement Award from the Harvard Business School African American Alumni Association, and was named by Black Enterprise as one of the “50 Most Powerful African Americans in the Entertainment Business.” In 2018 the National Association of Corporate Directors named McGee one of the 100 most influential people in the boardroom community.

McGee and his wife, Celia, have one daughter, Honor.

Henry W. McGee was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 22, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.025

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/22/2016

Last Name

McGee

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Wadsworth

Schools

Washington Dual Language Academy

Alain L Locke Elementary School

Horace Mann School

Palisades Charter High School

Harvard University

Harvard Business School

Tolleston Middle School

First Name

Henry

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MCG08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Paris, France

Favorite Quote

If You Don't Know Where You Are Going Any Road Will Get You There.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/22/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Grilled Chicken

Short Description

Broadcast executive Henry W. McGee (1953 - ) worked at HBO Home Entertainment for over thirty-five years, where he served as president from 1995 to 2014. He then became a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School.

Employment

Harvard Business School

HBO Home Entertainment

HBO Video

HBO

HBO Enterprises

Cinemax Program Planning and HBO Family Programming

Time-Life Films

Newsweek

GE Asset Management

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:696,16:5288,52:6548,89:9656,191:10076,197:26718,308:27546,315:28512,323:29064,328:31962,350:36244,372:41498,463:43348,509:43792,517:45198,542:47122,572:47640,582:55068,620:64190,701:69600,717:70266,724:71043,732:72819,749:76260,795:83909,857:87299,885:87751,890:88768,900:93591,929:98211,1008:103102,1059:112016,1151:112772,1161:113360,1172:121146,1221:124306,1246:132454,1362:132790,1367:133630,1382:134806,1398:140110,1431:140702,1441:141516,1457:142108,1467:143070,1481:143662,1490:146064,1508:152587,1605:156322,1672:157401,1685:157982,1693:170380,1781:183270,1889:184414,1897:185350,1906:186390,1917:187846,1934:191694,1977:192838,1989:193670,1997:214850,2216:215666,2225:218522,2251:219236,2260:220154,2272:222806,2302:227037,2311:228236,2323:228672,2328:230634,2345:235103,2410:235539,2415:243530,2478:245510,2492$60,0:795,9:1215,14:16680,191:17338,199:20190,210:20905,216:26840,222:27623,233:41861,458:43982,491:44588,498:45800,519:46406,526:48123,548:50042,571:51254,582:55620,593:56630,605:58145,632:58751,639:59155,644:61890,658:64338,698:76494,816:77620,821:78852,834:79636,842:92278,946:96802,1016:99710,1024:102060,1035:102914,1043:104988,1068:105964,1091:115804,1168:116588,1177:119920,1219:120312,1224:122468,1259:126110,1268:135370,1395:136030,1402:136800,1411:138450,1431:140980,1468:156580,1563
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Henry W. McGee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Henry W. McGee lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Henry W. McGee describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Henry W. McGee talks about his mother's light complexion

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Henry W. McGee describes his paternal grandfather's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Henry W. McGee describes his paternal grandfather's career at the post office

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Henry W. McGee describes his paternal family's emphasis on education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Henry W. McGee describes his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Henry W. McGee describes his paternal grandfather's civil rights work

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Henry W. McGee describes his father's work for the Legal Services Program

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Henry W. McGee remembers his parents' divorce, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Henry W. McGee describes his father's career in higher education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Henry W. McGee remembers moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Henry W. McGee describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Henry W. McGee remembers his parents' divorce, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Henry W. McGee remembers living with his maternal family in Maywood, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Henry W. McGee remembers the community of Maywood, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Henry W. McGee remembers moving to Gary, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Henry W. McGee describes his neighborhood in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Henry W. McGee remembers school desegregation in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Henry W. McGee remembers attending a summer program at the Mount Hermon School for Boys in Northfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Henry W. McGee recalls his early admission to Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Henry W. McGee remembers his aspiration to become a journalist

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Henry W. McGee recalls his summer internships at Newsweek magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Henry W. McGee remembers the black student community at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Henry W. McGee recalls his parents' reaction to his admission to Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Henry W. McGee remembers joining the staff of Newsweek magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Henry W. McGee remembers working for Newsweek in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Henry W. McGee recalls his decision to attend Harvard Business School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Henry W. McGee recalls being offered a position at Time Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Henry W. McGee recalls his decision to work at Home Box Office

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Henry W. McGee describes the original business model of Home Box Office

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Henry W. McGee describes his role at Home Box Office, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Henry W. McGee describes his role at Home Box Office, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Henry W. McGee talks about the early home movie industry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Henry W. McGee recalls the impact of DVDs on the home entertainment industry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Henry W. McGee remembers the introduction of original programming on Home Box Office

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Henry W. McGee talks about Home Box Office's original series

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Henry W. McGee describes Home Box Office's corporate history

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Henry W. McGee remembers his presidency of Home Box Office

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Henry W. McGee describes Home Box Office's international expansion

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Henry W. McGee remembers designing a business ethics curriculum

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Henry W. McGee remembers becoming a full time instructor at the Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Henry W. McGee reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Henry W. McGee shares his advice to aspiring film industry professionals

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Henry W. McGee reflects upon his life and organizational activities

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Henry W. McGee narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$3

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Henry W. McGee describes his role at Home Box Office, pt. 1
Henry W. McGee remembers his aspiration to become a journalist
Transcript
As one of these nine M.B.A.'s who comes in to share your wisdom, what are you all doing? What, what's happening (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well, different, different things. Well so, so again this was the advantage, I joined HBO [Home Box Office] when it had fewer than 3 million subscribers. It was a single network that wasn't on twenty-four hours a day. Our--the technology at the time was so crude that our affiliates in Hawaii and Puerto Rico couldn't receive the satellite signal. And we used to have to package up the movies on large cassettes, ship them to them, and they originate HBO locally. And as I said fast, original programming really wasn't on the, the map. Flash forward to today, HBO is a global network with well over a hundred million subscribers. The majority of which by the way are outside the U.S., and is as evidenced by Sunday's Emmy Awards is the most important force in originally scripted programming in the telv- in, in the television industry. So all that hap- all that was to come, but when I showed up, it was all about movies. They had all these M.B.A.'s and they sort of sorted them out into different, different jobs. And because I had been a, a writer, they felt that I could sort of talk, talk with the crazies if you will, out in, in Hollywood. And because I had the, the M.B.A. I could presumably negotiate with them, so I was given a job for which I was wholly unqualified. Which was negotiating the rights to independently produced films and foreign language films for exhibition on this service that wasn't even on twenty-four hours, twenty-four hours a day. Show, again, shows you how old, long ago HBO even no longer shows foreign language films on its main show, it's got other, you know. So this was an unbelievable opportunity for me.$$And you're about how old now?$$I was probably twenty-seven or so. Time Inc. is a very wealthy company, everything always had to be done top drawer. So at twenty-seven I was essentially given a credit card and unlimited amount of first class tickets. And told that I had to stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel [Beverly Hills, California] and correctly represent the company. And buy as many independent and foreign language films as, as I could. So that was also at the beginning of the birth of the American independent film business. So to have that sort of checkbook and power--yeah pay television was a very important sort of financing stream--put me at the beginning of that movement.$When you were applying to Harvard [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts], did you have a sense of what you wanted to do with your life, what work you wanted to pursue?$$(Pause) No, I suspect that in my early days, because my father [Henry W. McGee, Jr.] was a gr- was a great role model for me, that I would probably--and this would of course made my grandparents [Attye Belle Truesdale McGee and Henry W. McGee, Sr.] happy--that I would become a, a lawyer. And sort of keep in the family tradition of, of, of public service in one way or another. What evolved over those years as a freshman in college, because I al- had always been interested in writing. And I was vaguely aware of my father's foray and brief foray into journalism; I joined the student daily, The Harvard, The Harvard Crimson. And in that group I dev- quickly developed my some of my closest friends even to this, this day, met my wife [Celia Betsky McGee] on the paper. In that the, the involvement in The Harvard Crimson was a, so central part of my college experience and shaped my decision early in the, early on there to become a journalist. Now there was some extern- couple of external factors there, one is in the early--we're just coming off the era of the Pentagon Papers. Early Watergate--well sort of in the middle of Watergate report, right before it. And being a journalist was, if you wanna do public service, that was one of the highest callings you could have. My father who regrettably had his journal- journalistic ambitions thwarted, was quite encouraging.

Susan Davenport Austin

Broadcast company executive Susan Davenport Austin was born in 1967. Her parents are Judith Davenport and Ronald R. Davenport, the founders of the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation. Austin received her A.B. degree in mathematics from Harvard University in 1989, and her M.B.A degree from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1993.

In 1993, Austin was hired as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, Inc., where she went on to serve as a vice president in telecommunications finance. From 1997 to 2000, she worked as an associate director for Bear, Stearns & Company. Austin was subsequently appointed as a vice president in the communications, media and entertainment group at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she served until 2001. Then, in 2002, she was named vice president of strategic planning for her family’s Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). In 2004, Austin became president of the Sheridan Gospel Network; in 2007, she was made senior vice president and chief financial officer of SBC. She was named vice chairman of SBC in 2013.

In 2011, Austin became the first woman and first African American elected as chairman of the board of directors of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). She also serves on the boards of Prudential Variable Annuities, Hubbard Radio, and Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation. In addition, Austin has served as vice chair of the National Association of Broadcasters’ Audit Committee, as president of the Stanford Business School Alumni Association, chair of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, board member of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, and as president of the board of the MacDowell Colony.

Austin was honored by Girls Incorporated in 1998 and received the inaugural John W. Gardner Volunteer Service Award from The Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2002. In 2008, she received the International Gospel Industry Service Honor and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Prestige Award. Radio Ink Magazine has named her one of the Most Influential African Americans in Radio and one of the Most Influential Women in Radio. She has been profiled in Womensbiz, Ebony and XII magazines.

Susan Davenport Austin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.161

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/15/2014

Last Name

Austin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Davenport

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Ellis School

Harvard University

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Susan

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

AUS05

State

Pennsylvania

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/19/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Broadcast executive Susan Davenport Austin (1967 - ) has served as vice president of strategic planning and senior vice president and chief financial officer of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, as well as president of the Sheridan Gospel Network. In 2011, she became the first woman and first African American chairman of the board of directors of Broadcast Music, Inc.

Employment

Sheridan Broadcasting

Goldman Sachs

Bear Stearns

Solomon Brothers

Pierre Sutton

Broadcasting executive Pierre M. Sutton was born on February 1, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York, to parents Percy E. Sutton and Leatrice Sutton. He attended the University of Toledo in Ohio and received his B.A. degree in 1968. Sutton then pursued graduate studies at the University of Kentucky and New York University, and later completed the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard Business School.

In 1971, Sutton, along with his father, co-founded the The New York Courier, a weekly newspaper, where he served as the executive editor until 1972. During that time, he also fulfilled duties as the vice president of Inner City Research & Analysis Corporation in New York City. Also in 1971, Sutton’s father co-founded Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC), one of the first African American-owned broadcasting companies in the United States. When ICBC acquired WLIB Radio in New York City in 1972, Sutton was brought on as the public affairs director. He then served as the vice president of ICBC from 1975 until 1977. Then, in 1977, Sutton became the president of ICBC and assumed responsibilities of the company’s radio stations in New York and California.

Sutton has held leadership positions in numerous professional, business and non-profit organizations. He served as a member of the board of directors for the Better Business Bureau of Harlem from 1972 to 1977; then Sutton was named as the inaugural vice president of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB). He also became a member of the board of directors for the Minority Investment Fund. Sutton’s community involvement includes serving as the chairman of the board of directors for the Harlem Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America. He was selected to sit on the board of directors for the New York City Marathon in 1979, and was appointed as its executive commissioner. He also served as a member of the board of directors for the Hayden Planetarium, and as a member of the board of trustees for the Alvin & Ailey Dance Foundation.

Pierre M. Sutton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.314

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2013

Last Name

Sutton

Maker Category
Middle Name

Monte

Occupation
Schools

University of Toledo

University of Kentucky

New York University

Harvard Business School

P.S. 123

Intermediate School 59

Andrew Jackson High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Pierre

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SUT03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

2/1/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Broadcast executive Pierre Sutton (1947 - ) was the cofounder of The New York Courier and president of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation. He also served as the inaugural vice president of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB).

Employment

New York Courier

Inner City Research & Analysis Corporation

WLIB Radio

Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1878,32:2494,42:2802,47:3264,54:3880,63:9578,156:10117,166:12504,202:13043,211:13505,218:14275,228:15738,245:16431,256:18048,285:23850,302:29656,352:30237,360:45448,471:45824,476:46294,482:47422,495:52860,553:53628,559:58716,645:60156,669:65320,696:66904,731:67264,737:70790,763:71305,769:101694,1112:102006,1120:104112,1155:104580,1163:108948,1261:109650,1272:118825,1313:136800,1439:137160,1445:137592,1453:141768,1536:146075,1556:151603,1609:151911,1614:153143,1637:155684,1674:156531,1687:156916,1693:157301,1699:158764,1743:159072,1748:160997,1780:161844,1791:162383,1802:166156,1896:169082,1922:171546,1963:172932,1988:198242,2235:198538,2240:200314,2300:200832,2340:204828,2382:205198,2388:205716,2397:210704,2428:211848,2442:216864,2512:217304,2517:218272,2529:219240,2541:224480,2564:225232,2573:225890,2582:226548,2590:230308,2623:230778,2629:239090,2708:239888,2716:240572,2724:246455,2796:247877,2818:248351,2826:249457,2845:249773,2850:252610,2870$0,0:2100,69:2688,98:3276,106:4704,125:5292,133:5796,141:6216,147:8210,195:8777,204:10154,226:17444,352:19226,488:26678,597:27407,611:27731,616:28298,625:30566,671:44279,817:46604,849:51626,909:51998,914:52370,921:52928,929:56183,965:71787,1087:87919,1269:88792,1280:89180,1285:89859,1293:90538,1301:92687,1311:93239,1321:94481,1339:96344,1370:96896,1380:97379,1388:98138,1400:99035,1415:99449,1427:99932,1435:100829,1461:104830,1493:113240,1550:116824,1616:126666,1773:128829,1798:130065,1808:133010,1861:133274,1866:133802,1876:150134,2129:171145,2371:171715,2379:173235,2398:179940,2442
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Pierre Sutton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton talks about his father's move to New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton talks about his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton recalls his neighborhood in Queens, New York

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

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Pierre Sutton talks about his home life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Pierre Sutton recalls his early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Pierre Sutton describes his schooling in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton describes his father's law practice

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton talks about his dyslexia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton describes his father's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton talks about his college education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton recalls his experiences in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton remembers the black market during the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton talks about acquiring The New York Courier

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton remembers the Woolfolk-Petioni family, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton remembers the Woolfolk-Petioni family, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton describes the content of The New York Courier

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton describes the Inner City Research and Analysis Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton talks about the life and death of Malcolm X

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton recalls the impact of the Vietnam War on his relationship with his parents

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton remembers the acquisition of WLIB Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton talks about the success of WBLS Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton recalls the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's community involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton talks about the initial financing of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton describes his initial role at the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton talks about the black politics of the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton talks about the role of radio in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton describes the programming on WBLS Radio and WLIB Radio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton remembers the invention of the circular polarized antenna

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton talks about Dionne Warwick

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton describes his father's mayoral campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton remembers David Lampel

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton reflects upon the impact of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton describes the founding of Essence magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton recalls the expansion of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton remembers the economic and political challenges of the 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton remembers his acquisition strategy for the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton describes the founding of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton compares the black communities in New York City and Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton talks about the Harlem Clubhouse

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton remembers his financial challenges

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton remembers meeting Coleman Young

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Pierre Sutton talks about Inner City Broadcasting Corporation's expansion into California

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Pierre Sutton remembers the revitalization of the Apollo Theater in New York City, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton remembers the revitalization of the Apollo Theater in New York City, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton remembers selling KGFJ Radio and KUTE Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton talks about the work of Janice Campbell and Vy Higgensen

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton talks about his competition from disco radio stations

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton recalls the competition between WBLS Radio and WRKS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton talks about the deregulation of the broadcasting industry

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton talks about Charles Warfield, Jr.'s career at WBLS Radio

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton remembers 'Showtime at the Apollo'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton remembers the introduction of cable television

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Pierre Sutton talks about the changes in cable franchise agreements

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Pierre Sutton talks about the Queens Inner Unity Cable System and Urban Cable Works

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Pierre Sutton describes his partnership with Time Warner Cable

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Pierre Sutton talks about the merger of the National Black Network and Mutual Black Network

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Pierre Sutton recalls the pressure to expand the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Pierre Sutton remembers his failed deal with Cathy Hughes

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Pierre Sutton recalls the problems with the Apollo Theater revitalization project

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Pierre Sutton recalls his father's ambition to develop Africa's cable infrastructure

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Pierre Sutton talks about his father's impact on New York City's Harlem community

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Pierre Sutton remembers the Telecommunications Act of 1996

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

3$11

DATitle
Pierre Sutton describes the programming on WBLS Radio and WLIB Radio
Pierre Sutton remembers the revitalization of the Apollo Theater in New York City, pt. 1
Transcript
So let's talk about those early years and what you're learning about radio and the immediacy of radio. You know, because you spoke about a little bit, you know, the difference. So you--you're head of news and public affairs. What are--who is already in place on air, and who do you bring in place?$$Well, we were fortunate in that we had a terrific program director, the famous Frankie Crocker, Frankie "Hollywood" Crocker, a unique man who became--we spoke about the club scene earlier. We became number one for a reason. It was, it was in ra- in radio because we were, we would, we had it all. We had all--on FM radio, we had all of the music. They came to us first, and they came to us often with their music. We got it first because we're the biggest radio station, as we saw it, in America (laughter), you know. Frankie Crocker--we used to--he is something, Frankie Crocker. "I am the originator, not the imitator, not the flower or the root or the rod. While others are laughing and joking, Frankie Crocker," or he would supplant that with WBLS [WBLS Radio, New York, New York], "WBLS is taking care of business, cooking and smoking, too much to take too soon. If you don't dig where we're coming from, you got a hole in your soul. Don't eat chicken on Sunday" (laughter). You know, you know, that is kind of a rap. But it's--it was, it expresses pride, and it certainly got people's attention. We would, so we had a great deal of influence of course in music that's being played. But we brought the music to the people. There was, record day was an interesting day. That was the day when people from the record companies would come to our place of business and would bring their wares. "Will you play this, will you play this?" And it was kind of well organized, that day. However, if you would walk into our lobby, I sometimes described it as a scene, the bar scene from 'Star Wars,' because people looked wild, you know. They were from a different kind of world. You know, the music scene is very different from our relatively conservative (laughter) broadcasting environment. So, but it, but it was--there were two sides of it. It was, there was entertainment, which was WBLS. And then there was a much more serious side at WLIB [WLIB Radio, New York, New York], where we were still on the AM band. We were doing more talk radio, we were doing black news and information. We were, we were communicating with the Caribbean. We would, we had shows where we were interacting with continental Africa. We were doing our best to interact with the African diaspora on WLIB--a very serious other side of Inner City Broadcasting [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation]. The AM station made no money. It was completely flipped. FM is god now; and all the money is coming in from the FM side in order for us to do this work on the AM side.$Your father [Percy Sutton] comes on. I want to move into the Apollo Theater [New York, New York] because that besides--that becomes part of Inner City [Inner City Broadcasting Corporation], but that's a huge project, take on project. And you're really, you're becoming an entertainment conglomerate sort of, with--am I right? No?$$That would be the idea, but that's not really how it worked out (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Okay. I know, I know, I know. But that was the concept, that was--$$That was--oh boy--$$Okay.$$--was it the concept. There's--there was very few monies that we saw that we could make money in this man's world and one of whom of course is entertainment. And you have to put sports in there, too, that's part of entertainment. It is what it is. The Apollo Theater, we talked earlier about the death of the Chitlin' Circuit and the radio--I'm sorry, the venues, the theaters, that were a part of that Chitlin' Circuit that existed, that died with the end of segregation. Well, the Apollo Theater was like many of these other theaters, going to become a church, and it was in bankruptcy. And my father thought it was a good idea to buy it out of bankruptcy.$$Wow.$$Now here was the trick. There would be a conversion of this theater, taking its mere fifteen hundred seats and making it into a television production and post-production facility, thereby effectively increasing the size or the seating capacity by the number of people who had television sets, potentially. So that--the theater was bought and it was supported by--and its--bought by Inner City, basically bought and supported by Inner City Broadcasting--and its, and its building, its state of the art television production and post-production facilities--only to discover that the people who were producing things wouldn't come to Harlem [New York, New York], just would not come to Harlem. I can kind of understand. The only thing that was on Harlem that was still sta- was standing was the Apollo Theater. The rest of 125th Street was an absolute mess. And to get through that mess to get to the Apollo Theater--why would they, why would they do that, when they can stay downtown and be comfortable? So the grand idea of the Apollo Theater becoming, re- revitalizing the Apollo Theater, bringing back the glory of the Apollo Theater was greatly diminished by the lack of enthusiasm for the project in the producing community downtown.

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
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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).

Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson

Broadcast executive Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson was born in 1948 in Los Angeles, California. Jackson graduated from George Washington High School in 1966. She went on to receive her B.A. degree in child development from California State University in Los Angeles in 1972.

Upon graduation, Jackson was hired as a secretary in the network research department of NBC-TV. She was promoted to a manager 1976, and soon became a program executive and supervisor for many shows, including The Richard Pryor Show, Chico & the Man, Little House on the Prairie, and ChiPs. In 1982, Jackson was promoted to vice president of children’s and family programs at NBC, becoming the first African American woman to reach the level of vice president in programming. While serving as vice president, she implemented, directed and supervised a number of children’s television programs, including the Smurfs, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Mr. T, Punky Brewster, Jim Henson’s StoryTeller, Big Bird Goes to China, and Saved by the Bell. Jackson was instrumental in making NBC Saturday morning the number-one rated kids network for seven years, and she increased advertising sales from $2 million to $35 million.

In 1991, Jackson joined the World African Network, where she served as executive vice president until 1997. After raising her family in South Africa for thirteen years, Jackson returned to the United States when she was hired as the special projects consultant for the launch of The Hub cable network. Jackson was promoted to network story editor of The Hub in 2012. Then, in that same year, she was hired as the vice president of broadcast standards and practices at Saban Brands, where she became responsible for the review of all Saban Brands programming content for the CW Saturday morning block. Jackson has received many honors and awards, including being named to Dollars and Sense Magazine’s America’s Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women. She was also appointed to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts by President Bill Clinton.

Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 17, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.296

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/17/2013 |and| 12/16/2013

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Tucker Vinson

Occupation
Schools

California State University, Los Angeles

George Washington Preparatory High School

116th Street Elementary School

Los Angeles Harbor College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Phyllis

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

JAC33

Favorite Season

Summer

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

Tell Yourself The Truth

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/2/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp, Chicken

Short Description

Broadcast executive Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson (1948- ) was the first African American woman to reach the level of vice president in programming when she was hired as the vice president of children’s and family programs at NBC in 1982.

Employment

Saban Brands

Hub

Tommy Lynch Productions

World African Network

NBC

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the tradition of education in her father's family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her mother's experience growing up on a farm in Neeses, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her father's experience growing up in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her family's tradition of attending Claflin College in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her parents' move to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her earliest childhood memory in Lancaster, California

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the community in south Los Angeles, California where she was raised

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson remembers her first day of fifth grade at 116th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her experience in school in the 1950s and her children's experience in school in South Africa in the 1990s

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the stigma of being a divorcee in 1971

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about attending Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her family's values as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her experience watching television as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her exposure to African American history as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson explains that she did not know many celebrities growing up in South Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes the social organization she and her friends created at George Washington Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her social life during her high school years

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her role models and being discouraged from going to college by a high school counselor

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the riot in Watts, California in 1965

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson recalls the March on Washington and President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her early experiences with live television

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about attending Los Angeles Harbor Community College in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about being a young single mother

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about applying to the police academy in 1969

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the television show 'Julia' starring HistoryMaker Diahann Carroll

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about majoring in child development at California State University, Los Angeles, in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about collecting children's literature

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about teaching in a mobile pre-school while in college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Phyllis Jackson talks about graduating from California State University, Los Angeles and being hired by NBC as a secretary

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes working at NBC in 1972, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes working at NBC in 1972, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about TV shows that were on NBC when she first started working at the network in 1972

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about being promoted to manager of variety programming at NBC

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the live taping of the first episode of 'The Richard Pryor Show'

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes the people working on 'The Richard Pryor Show': Richard Pryor, Paul Mooney and Rocco Urbisci

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson explains why 'The Richard Pryor Show' was unsuccessful

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes why she was not interested in producing variety programming

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her work in child and human development at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes the shows she oversaw as program executive for dramatic programming

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks being promoted to director of children's programming at NBC

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the production process for NBC's children's programming

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about developing the 'Smurfs' TV show

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the role of toy manufacturers in the development of children's programming

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about how characters were developed in children's programming

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about supervising the creation of the TV show 'Alvin and the Chipmunks,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about supervising the creation of the TV show 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about 'Saved by the Bell' and working with HistoryMaker Karen Hill-Scott

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about briefly working with Bill Cosby

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the global impact of 'Saved by the Bell'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the African Americans she hired while working at NBC

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her attempts in the early 1980s to increase diversity on television

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the television characters she's named after her children

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about NBC's declining to invest in the Cabbage Patch Kids

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the World African Network, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the World African Network, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson leaves NBC to work at NBC Productions, where her programs were described as "too black"

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the show 'Miss Collegiate African American Pageant'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her sister, Dorothy Middleton Taylor, as one of the first African American writers for children's programming

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes the opportunity she and her husband, Eugene Jackson, had to work in South African television programming in 1992

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the popularity of Nigerian soap operas

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about moving to South Africa with her family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about World African Network Online

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about meeting HistoryMakers Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Ronald T. Gault in South Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about moving from Bryanston, South Africa to a farm outside of Pretoria, South Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about South African fashion

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about 'Saved by the Bell'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the conference she organized on diversity in television

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson explains how 'Saved by the Bell' set the stage for diverse casting in pre-teen shows

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about positive black characters on TV shows

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about 'The Cosby Show'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about NBC's lack of interest in investing in the Cabbage Patch Kids

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about Phil Mendez and 'The Black Snowman'

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about NBC's Project Peacock

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the TV show the 'Gummi Bears' and blond haired heroines in children's television

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the production schedule in children's programming

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the success of Nickelodeon

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Phyllis Jackson talks about the change in network television since the 1980s and 1990s

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the types of programming she liked to air on NBC, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the types of programming she liked to air on NBC, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her decision to leave NBC Productions and work full-time at the World African Network

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Phyllis Jackson describes how historically black colleges and universities in were popularized in the 1980s and 1990s

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her interest in African media and selling World African Network to cable operators

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about 'Stomp,' a show produced by the World African Network

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson explains why the World African Network never got on the air

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about what she would have done differently with World African Network

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about what convinced she and her husband to move to South Africa

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about having tea with Nelson Mandela, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about having tea with Nelson Mandela, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about having tea with Nelson Mandela, pt. 3

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about other African Americans who were moving to South Africa in the 1990s

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the type of programming she wanted to air on the World African Network, pt.1

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the type of programming she wanted to air on the World African Network, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about attending Nelson Mandela's inauguration in 1994

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the culture in South Africa, post-apartheid

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the cell phone business, Afrotel, her husband, Eugene Jackson, started in South Africa

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about sending her children to South African schools

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the cultural differences in South African business

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes the differences in the business environment in South Africa and that in the United States

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes the difficulty she experienced trying to adapt American business models to South Africa

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about subtle cultural distinctions between South Africa and the United States

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the ethnic and racial demographic in South Africa

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the children's television series, 'Scout's Safari'

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the first World AIDS Day and starting a production company in South Africa

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her return to the United States to work for the Hub network and the changes in technology from 1998

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about working on the animated television program, 'Secret Millionaires Club'

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the Children's Television Act of 1990 and the new standards for children's programming

Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her role as vice president of broadcasting standards and practices at Saban Brands

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her feelings while working at Saban Brands

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her dream of creating a show that tells children's stories from the African diaspora

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the film industry in African countries, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about the film industry in African countries, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes what she would have done differently in her life

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes the challenges of balancing her career with raising children

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her relationship with her ex-husband Eugene Jackson

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 11 Story: 11 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson narrates her photographs, pt.1

Tape: 11 Story: 12 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 3

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 4

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 5

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

12$6

DATitle
Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson describes the people working on 'The Richard Pryor Show': Richard Pryor, Paul Mooney and Rocco Urbisci
Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson talks about her attempts in the early 1980s to increase diversity on television
Transcript
And Richard [Pryor]--it was really a pleasure to work with him because he's so--he was just so brilliant. I remember we did a sh--sh--sketch about clowns. And the sketch itself, in terms of him being a sad clown, as I was sitting there and watching it in the bleachers, just moved you to tears. He was such a brilliant actor.$$Okay, yeah, you know, it's been said many times that comedians are really sa--very sad people. Did you find that to be true with him?$$No, what I said was I think they're brilliant. After working with Richard Pryor and Robin Williams, they are brilliant. You don't realize that the kit--it made me--because--maybe because I'm the child development and the mother, realize that--and, and Ed--Eddie Murphy the same thing. They're brilliant. And school situations contain them and constantly tell 'em no and sit down and things like that. And they are actually brilliant. They are brilliant observers of life, and they bring it to life through their observations of life. And Robin Williams used to play with my son [Nye Tucker] like in the sta--in the--in the bleachers. He'd do all those faces and, and voices and things like that and make him laugh. He was eight (unclear) he's--he was eight years old, and he would just entertain him. 'Cause they--and they also keep busy, and they keep moving. They can't be still. That's what I found, in terms of being around them. They have to--they're constantly on, they're constantly entertaining; they're constantly moving around; they're constantly telling jokes; they're constantly having the focus of the attention on them; but they're brilliant 'cause they just see things in life that you don't see.$$Okay, so you're saying when they're, they're in public they're actually being themselves. They're engaging all the time.$$They're engaging. They're on all the time. And Richard was just--he would run and he would hide and not--I mean, Rocco Urbisci was the producer. And Paul Mooney was a part of the team that got him to come out.$$So that's interesting. That relationship--Paul Mooney I know did a lot of the writing for the 'Richard Pryor Show.'$$Um-hmm, he did.$$And so he had to actually persuade Richard to come out?$$Uh-hmm, 'cause he was a good--he was a--he was kind of a friend. Rocco Urbisci--in fact, to me there needed to be a stronger authority on the show who could make Richard more--Richard needed to be more accountable. If anything, those, those people to me, from my perspective--and I mean I was a young program executive--they were more friends with Richard. They were more friendly with Richard, and it took--it just needed to be--there needed to be an authority figure as far as I was concerned.$$Okay, well, we know that the show ran four episodes, but--so what was--kind of give, give us a perspective I guess from--what happened, you know.$$It wasn't a ratings success. It wasn't a ratings success, and I also think it was a combination. It wasn't a ratings success--but any show that starts new, unless it's highly promoted, has to be given time. Richard was not happy because of the restrictions, and it really was not programmed in the right time period. It should have been a ten o'clock show.$Now you hosted--I don't know what, what time period. The date isn't here, but you put together a conference of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, women, the physically disabled people to discuss program content. Is this--well, what was the name of this?$$It didn't have a name really. It started out as a meeting that we organized with the research department from NBC [National Broadcasting Company], and we brought in consultants from those various communities, and had a meeting actually at the Universal Sheraton. Be--the rea--the impetus for the meeting was this: All the writers, you know, the Joe Bar--Joe Barbera, Friz Freleng, and the writers at the studio who were trying to create these content, did not have any--much exper--it's mostly men, no women at that time, and no people of color, and there was no diversity. So you're trying to get them to be more diverse and more open to having African-American characters, to having Latino characters, to dealing with let--you know, disabled stories. So what we decided--what I decided to do was--and I talked to our research department about organizing a meeting and having someone come in. Karen [HM Hill-Scott] from the African American community, Dr. Scott [ph.] from Latin American community, a woman from UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California], Asian--some--a Chinese--either--it was Asian. I can't remember what community it was from, but we met and talked about what it was like to come from all these diverse communities as a group--as a research group first. The information was so enlightening, we decided to share it with the creative community. And I will never forget we, we had a bigger meeting where we invited the studios in, the writers, everybody that we knew. It was probably fifty, one hundred people. It was so successful, we ended up doing it in New York [New York] as well and talked about what it was like being a person of color and how you wanted to see yourself on television. And one of the statistics that came out was--and this probably was in, say, '81 [1981], '82 [1982]--that in twenty years, the population in Los Angeles [California] would be--I don't know--forty percent Latino. And there was a gasp in the room; it was like (gasp sound) (laughter), and it's here. You know, it was like--because people were looking at numbers and making projections--they saying things like the white community is on--only having 1.2--these numbers are not accurate--1.2 children; the African-American family is having 2.5 children; you know, the Latino community is having 4.5. Well, they thought based on those numbers, they were gonna grow in population. So it was--and we were saying that to say how important it was to embrace these other cultures and portray them on television. Because I would give writers notes to say why don't we make this character--I'll never forget, a writer on 'Spiderman.' There was a manager of a upscale hotel in a 'Spiderman' cartoon. And I said, "Why don't we make this role African American?" And he said, "That would never happen, have an African American manager of an upscale hotel." And from his experience, that's what his experience was. And just tying it to my own life, I remember going and staying at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Buckhead in Los An--in Atlanta [Georgia] thinking--and there was an African American manager. I'm like see (laughter), but it wasn't his experience. So that's what we were up against. It's like, the writers who were actually writing material could not even imagine having people of color in other roles. And in their mind it was just a block. So it was educating that community. We educated that community and the larger community, and then we did it in New York. And as a result of what we did and understanding that people of color wanted to see themselves on television--and at that time, NBC was number three--Brandon Tartikoff took that information, and as a result, in 'Miami Vice,' cast--what was the African American brother's name [sic, Philip Michael Thomas] who was in--$$Yeah, I know Don Johnson and the other was--God, what was--$$Mario Van Peebles? Was it--$$No, it wasn't Mario. It was--yeah, this is tel--I hope he doesn't see this.$$Well, we'll stop--$$We can't think of his name.$$--right and we'll go back and--$$But--$$--say that, but--$$Yeah, but--$$--as a result of that information, he put him in that role to attract our community, and more people beginning to understand the importance of that. All right God, what is his name?$$Let's not dwell on that--$$Okay.$$We'll, we'll, we'll get to that.$$But anyway--$$--(Simultaneous)--$$--we'll go--$$--(Simultaneous)--$$Anyway--and we'll go back and--$$Yeah.$$--they can edit it--but anyway, yeah. But as a result of that information, they be--NBC began to thoughtfully consider populating their television shows with people of color. So not only did it affect children's programming, but it affected other areas as well.

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
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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.

James Winston

Communications attorney James L. Winston was born on August 24, 1947 to Corrie Conwill Winston and Jeff Winston in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has one other sibling, Frances Winston Adderley. Winston graduated from Belmar Elementary School in 1959 and enrolled at Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh. After attending Westinghouse, Winston was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He graduated with his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1969. Three years later, he received his J.D. degree in law from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Upon graduation, Winston was hired as an attorney for the Roxbury Multi-Service Center in Boston. He then worked for the New York-based law firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby and MacRae as an attorney specializing in public utility law before serving as associate counsel for the Western Union Telegraph Company in Washington, D.C. In 1978, Winston worked as a legal assistant to Federal Communications Commissioner Robert F. Lee. After two years with the FCC, he was hired as an associate attorney by the Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen law firm, also in Washington, D.C. Winston then became a managing partner in the law firm of Rubin, Winston, Diercks, Harris & Cooke, LLP in 1981, specializing in telecommunications law. Additionally, he served as executive director and general counsel for the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, Inc. starting in 1982.

For nine years in a row, Winston was named one of the “Leading African Americans in Radio” by Radio Ink magazine. He was also inducted into the American Urban Radio Network Hall of Fame and presented the “Lifetime Leadership Achievement Award.” Winston was also inducted into the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council Hall of Fame and presented its “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

In addition to his achievements, Winston has served on the advisory boards for the Federal Communications Bar Association Executive Committee, the Elon University School of Communications in Elon, North Carolina and the Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication in Tallahassee, Florida. Winston is married and has four adult children. He resides in Silver Spring, Maryland.

James L. Winston was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on May 3, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.083

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/3/2012

Last Name

Winston

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

L.

Schools

Belmar Elementary School

Westinghouse Academy

University of Pennsylvania

Harvard Law School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

WIN07

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Martin

Favorite Quote

Think for yourself. Don't let others do your thinking for you.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/24/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken (Blackened)

Short Description

Broadcast executive and telecommunications lawyer James Winston (1947 - ) is one of the leading advocates for African American radio broadcasters in the country.

Employment

Rubin, Winston, Diercks, Harris & Cooke, L.L.P.

National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB)

Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Western Union Telegraph Company

LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP

Roxbury Multi-Service Center

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:722,3:4250,127:6686,181:7274,189:7946,200:8786,211:9122,216:11306,264:27500,478:35140,526:36774,554:39612,619:42020,663:46543,705:47082,714:67359,931:70060,975:72323,1038:74221,1098:88506,1282:88876,1293:91022,1348:91392,1357:94990,1410:101806,1561:108868,1649:113132,1733:121236,1842:123116,1880:139804,2080:140182,2087:140686,2103:141064,2110:141820,2131:161414,2484:161758,2501:166574,2589:179080,2709:190670,2898:197038,2947:214038,3174:215510,3192$0,0:1042,4:8530,187:16144,325:18640,359:21448,409:21838,414:22540,425:23788,465:24724,477:29716,576:52366,832:53048,854:53482,862:56954,971:58876,1029:60302,1065:66482,1171:75126,1285:76908,1312:84000,1446:86820,1464:100170,1589:104447,1645:110981,1731:117508,1756:118256,1768:119004,1782:126348,1948:126824,1956:146218,2153:146650,2160:176289,2470:177870,2483:190818,2717:193257,2736:193905,2745:199251,2833:199980,2843:206914,2934:210082,2994:210973,3006:217750,3095:225730,3243:226490,3254:236624,3410:236916,3415:239106,3452:239544,3462:246552,3626:250714,3654:252712,3691:254858,3776:256190,3808:256856,3818:265025,3917:265309,3922:267155,3958:267439,3963:268680,3970
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Winston's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Winston lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Winston describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Winston discusses his mother's childhood in Rienzi, Mississippi and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Winston describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Winston talks about his father's career at Westinghouse Electric in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Winston talks about how his parents met and married and he talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Winston describes his parents' personalities and his likeness to them

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Winston talks about his mother's success as an insurance salesperson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Winston talks about segregation and "white flight" in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1960s

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Winston describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Winston describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - James Winston describes his childhood home and neighborhood in Homewood, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Winston talks about his childhood interest in drawing, television, and movies

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Winston talks about the racial makeup of Belmar Elementary in Homewood, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Winston talks about sports in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was young, and the dearth of black professionals in his neighborhood of Homewood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Winston talks about his parents' church attendance

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Winston talks about his family's newspaper and magazine subscriptions

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Winston talks about his favorite subjects and his favorite teacher in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Winston talks about his changing interests in middle school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Winston talks about being a Boy Scout and an Explorer

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Winston talks about his favorite teacher in middle school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - James Winston talks about attending high school at the peak of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - James Winston talks about the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the streetcars and the winters in Pittsburgh

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - James Winston talks about working in an electrical engineering laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University/Carnegie Tech

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - James Winston talks about his first transistor radio and his memories of listening to WAMO Radio in Pittsburgh

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - James Winston talks about being the swim team manager in high school, and his skill as a chess player

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - James Winston talks about his teachers and mentors in high school and his academic excellence

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - James Winston talks about the sound academic counseling that he received in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Winston talks about choosing to attend the University of Pennsylvania, his experience as an engineering student there, and considering law school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Winston talks about his involvement with the Society of African and Afro American Students (SAAS) at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Winston recalls his reaction to Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Winston talks about his interaction with other black students in Philadelphia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Winston talks about focusing on his academics in his senior year at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Winston describes his decision to attend Harvard Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Winston describes his positive experience at Harvard Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - James Winston talks about working as a community activist and as a part-time anti-apartheid activist in Roxbury, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - James Winston talks about leaving the social service sector and accepting an offer from a law firm on Wall Street, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - James Winston describes his positive experience at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby and MacRae law firm, and his decision to leave New York to start a family

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Winston recalls the encouragement that he received in the New York office of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby and MacRae law firm

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Winston describes his experience at the Washington office of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby and MacRae law firm, and his reasons for leaving

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Winston talks about working at Western Union Telegraph Company in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Winston talks about working at Western Union Telegraph Company in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Winston talks about Commissioner Robert E. Lee of the FCC, and his positive experience as his legal assistant

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Winston talks about the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) and his longtime involvement with this organization

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Winston talks about the FCC commissioner, Robert E. Lee's support of UHF television

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - James Winston discusses the popularity of FM radio

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Winston talks about Robert E. Lee's leadership of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Winston explains the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Fairness Doctrine

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Winston discusses the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) promotion of minority ownership of broadcast properties, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Winston discusses the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) promotion of minority ownership of broadcast properties, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Winston talks about the huge growth in African American ownership of radio and TV stations in the late 1970s and early 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Winston talks about how the Reagan administration weakened FCC policies that promoted minority ownership of broadcast properties

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Winston talks about the challenges that he faced as the director of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB)

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Winston talks about the deregulation of broadcasting during the Reagan Administration

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Winston talks about U.S. Congress legislation that hurt minority ownership of broadcast properties

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - James Winston talks about the consolidation of radio and television ownership as a result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Winston reflects upon the importance of minority ownership of businesses and the changing face of television and radio

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Winston reflects upon the lack of African American entrepreneurship in the technology industry

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Winston talks about the lack of a strong African American voice on the internet

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Winston discusses the shortcomings of Arbitron's portable people meter, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Winston discusses the shortcomings of Arbitron's portable people meter, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Winston talks about his law firm, Rubin, Winston, Diercks, Harris, & Cooke

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - James Winston describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - James Winston reflects upon his legacy and the need for young African Americans to pursue entrepreneurship in technology

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Winston talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Winston talks about the future of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) and the significance of radio for social change

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Winston talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

16$9

DATitle
James Winston talks about the sound academic counseling that he received in high school
James Winston talks about leaving the social service sector and accepting an offer from a law firm on Wall Street, New York
Transcript
So what kind of counseling did you get [at Westinghouse High School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania]? Did they, did you have a good counselor in terms of--$$Well, it's very interesting, because most of my classmates will tell you that we did not have a good counseling system. However, I'm the exception. She did a good job by me. It was an older white woman named Miss Simon, and so you were scheduled to come in and meet with her at the appropriate time. And so I came and met with her, and she said "Where do you want to go school, what do you want to major in? I said, "I really hadn't thought about where to go to school, and I really hadn't planned what to major in." And she said, "You're good in math and science. You ought to think about becoming an engineer." Then she told me that--this is now, this is the spring of 1965--and she said "Schools are looking for--." I'm sure she called me, I'm sure she said a colored student. "They're looking for good colored students, and I think you can get a scholarship to a very good school. I think I can get you in college, to an Ivy League school." I said "Okay." So she said--she mentioned Penn, University of Pennsylvania, to me. I assumed she was talking about Penn State [University]. She said, "No, no no, not Penn State, the University of Pennsylvania. It's an Ivy League school based in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]." So I went to library, looked up Penn, saw it was based--it's inside the city of Philadelphia. I said well, inside the city of Philadelphia, that's cool, because if I don't like the school, I can hang out in Philadelphia. And then I looked up engineering as a career, and I saw that electrical engineers were the highest paid college graduates that year. And so I said "Yes, I'd like to go Penn, I'd like to major in electrical engineering." Well, my father [Jeff Winston]--when I told my father, and this is 1965--I told my father that Penn cost $2500 a year. And he told me I'd lost my mind because he was making about $6000 a year. So the notion that I could go to--and this is $6000 before taxes. So, the notion that I could go to a school which cost $2500 a year was absurd to him. And so I said "Ms. Simon thinks I can get a scholarship." And he says, "Nobody's going to pay you that kind of money to go to school." And so--$$He didn't equate being on the Honor Roll with being able to get a scholarship?$$No, not at all. Because, you know, I mean, because he's a poor black boy from [Boonville] Mississippi and his son is just a poor black boy's son. (laughter) And so, and he was making very little money. And so I told Ms. Simon that I couldn't apply to Penn because my father wouldn't pay the $15 application fee. And so Miss Simon said, "Well ask your father to come in and see me." And so I went home and told him what Miss Simon said, and he actually came in to see her, which was surprising. And what was also surprising was he didn't give her any of the objections he gave me. So she said, "I think your son can get a scholarship to Penn, and I think you ought to pay the application fee." He says, "Oh, okay." I'm like, "Why did you give me all that grief?" (laughter)$But after a year of that [working at the Roxbury Multi-Service Center as a community activist and on the anti-apartheid movement], for a variety of reasons I decided it was time to leave Boston [Massachusetts] and move to New York. And I went to New York and worked for a large law firm there. And so I did a whole 180 in terms of my work life. So, going from a social service agency to working for a big Wall Street law firm--$$Now, what was it, was there any incident or some revelation that took place?$$It was, well, a couple things. At the time, I was married to my first wife. And her name is Carmen Tyler Winston--$$Did you meet her at Harvard [Law School]?$$No, we met at Westinghouse High School [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania]. We met in junior high school. We go back a long ways. And, so Carmen wanted to go back to school. She had been working while I was in law school. My last two years of law school, she was there. We got married at the end of my first year. So, she was working my last two years of law school and she wanted to go back to school and get another degree. She wanted to become a nurse. And she already had a bachelor's degree in biology, so in order to get a bachelor's degree in nursing without doing the whole four year program, there was a program at Cornell Nursing School in Manhattan [New York] where you could get a bachelor's degree in nursing in two years. And so she wanted to go there and do that. And, I had decided that the work I was doing at Roxbury Multi-Service Center, well, I didn't find it fulfilling. I didn't feel like we were making any change whatsoever. And--$$What kind of work were you actually doing there, in terms of--?$$Well, we were advising the social agency on how to develop sustainable change in the community. So, it was, for example, trying to figure out to help tenants, but not going to court and helping the people that were being evicted, but trying to think through programs for how to make the community change in a more meaningful manner.$$So it wasn't really necessarily legal work.$$Right, exactly. And, what happened was it was clear to me that if you're a social service agency, you live by getting grants. So, whatever the grant making community decided was a hot subject that year, that's what you would apply for a grant for. And so the agency got a grant for an ex-offender program, and they hire an ex-offender to run it. And they hire the ex-offender at $10,000 a year. I was making a $10,000 a year. He was an ex-offender and I had a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Harvard [Law School]. And I looked at this, and I said I'm probably over-qualified for where I'm working. And so I realized that I had too much education for the work I was doing, and decided that I wanted to do something different. So, when my former wife, when my wife at that time decided she wanted to go to Cornell in Manhattan, I said, okay I'll try to get a job in Manhattan. Well, I was not a member of the New York Bar, so I couldn't get a job with the Legal Aid Society, and I couldn't get a job with the public defenders, because I wasn't a member of the New York Bar. And they told me they'd have to pay me like a law student who had just graduated from law school. I was a member of the Massachusetts Bar, so I said well, this is unacceptable, because I was going to make less money in New York than I was already making in Boston. They were offering me $7,000 or $8,000 or something. And so, I decided, you know this doesn't make any sense. I need to get a job at a real law firm and make real money. And I got interviewed by a big Wall Street law firm [LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby and MacRae], and they represented a lot of public utility companies. There were a lot of technical issues in their representation. So, they liked the idea that I was an electrical engineer, and so they hired me and I went to work down on Wall Street.