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Mütter Evans

Radio station owner Mütter D. Evans was born in Williamston, North Carolina to Dallas Bryant and Mable C. Evans. Evans was raised in the late 1950s in rural eastern North Carolina. In 1971, she enrolled in Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While there, she worked at the university’s radio station, and in her junior year, she was hired as an intern for the WAAA-AM radio station in Winston-Salem. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 1975 with her B.S. degree in speech communications and theatre arts.

Upon graduation, Evans returned to WAAA as its news and public affairs director. In three years, she was promoted to executive vice president and general manager, with an option to buy the station. In 1979, Evans purchased WAAA from Media Broadcasting Corporation for $1.04 million, making her the youngest and second African American woman to own a broadcast property in the United States. She also initiated the Annual Noon Hour Commemoration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Winston-Salem, five years before the first national holiday. The commemoration is one of the oldest Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial events in the United States.

Evans, who also served as president and general manager of WAAA, sold the station in the 2000s. She later established Mütter D. Evans Communications, a firm that provides assistance in the areas of management, marketing, and public relations. In addition, she served as an adjunct instructor at Winston-Salem State University, where she taught courses in mass communications for over a decade.

Evans wrote a retrospect essay for the History of Wake Forest University, Volume V, 1967-1983 and was featured in the book Jewels: 50 Phenomenal Black Women Over 50 by Michael Cunningham and Connie Briscoe. She served on the governing council of the Quality Education Institute, and on the Business Advisory Council of Winston-Salem State University. Evans has also served on national or local boards for the Quality Education Academy, Arts Council, United Way of Forsyth County, Triad Cultural Arts, Winston Lake Family YMCA, American Red Cross, Wake Forest University Alumni Council, and the Winston-Salem State University Foundation. She was also a charter board member and graduate of Leadership Winston-Salem, and a member of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters for many years.

She has received awards from the City of Winston-Salem, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Liberian Organization of the Piedmont, New Bethel Baptist Church's Race and Progress Committee, Alpha Mu Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Rho Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., the Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission, the Winston-Salem NAACP, Winston Lake YMCA, the United Negro College Fund, Morehouse College and Clark-Atlanta University. Evans has been named “Woman of the Year” by the Winston-Salem Chronicle, and was included as one of Black Enterprise magazine’s “30 Up and Coming Young Leaders.”

Mütter Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.177

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/15/2014

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Middle Name

D

Occupation
Schools

Wake Forest University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Mutter

Birth City, State, Country

Williamston

HM ID

EVA08

State

North Carolina

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

4/7/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Winston-Salem

Country

United States

Short Description

Radio station owner Mütter Evans (1953 - ) became the youngest and second African American woman to own a broadcast property in the United States when she purchased Winston-Salem, North Carolina’s WAAA-AM in 1979.

Employment

WAAA-AM

Mutter D. Evans Communications

Winston-Salem State University

Karen Slade

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2014.213

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/28/2014

Last Name

Slade

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Eileen

Schools

Moses Cleaveland Elementary School

Robert H Jamison School

John F Kennedy High School

Pepperdine University

Kent State University

First Name

Karen

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

SLA03

State

Ohio

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/18/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Short Description

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

Employment

Taxi Productions, Inc.

Xerox Corporation

KJLH Radio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$4

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

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

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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.

Lois Wright

Broadcast executive and lawyer Lois E. Wright was born on June 25, 1949 in Newark, New Jersey, to parents Robert Wright and Elise Onion. Wright earned her B.A. degree in American Studies from Douglas College at Rutgers University in 1970. After attending the Bout Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, Wright transferred to the Rutgers School of Law and graduated with her J.D. degree from there in 1973.

Upon graduation, Wright was hired by the City of Newark as an attorney in the corporate counsel’s office. She became a lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1977, and served there for three years in the Broadcast Bureau as well as the Office of Plans and Policy. In 1980, Wright became the general counsel for Inner City Broadcasting (ICBC), one of the first African American-owned broadcasting companies. She was later appointed as the executive vice president and corporate counsel for ICBC.

In 1996, Wright became a member of the Hudson Valley Chapter of The Links, Inc. She later served as the counsel to the board of directors for the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), and as a member of the board of directors for the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL). Wright is also a member of the National Bar Association (NBA),

In 2010, Wright received the distinct honor of being named as one of “The 50 Most Influential Women in Radio” by Radio Ink magazine.

Lois E. Wright was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 14, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.280

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/14/2013

Last Name

Wright

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Elaine

Schools

Rutgers School of Law

Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California

Rutgers University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lois

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

WRI07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/25/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sole (Dover)

Short Description

Broadcast entrepreneur and lawyer Lois Wright (1949 - ) served as the executive vice president and corporate counsel for Inner City Broadcasting (ICBC), one of the first African American-owned broadcasting companies.

Employment

Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

City of Newark, New Jersey

Favorite Color

Black