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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).