Interactive One


Radio One’s Number One

Alfred C. Liggins III, WG’95

His mother, the legendary Kathy Liggins Hughes, co-founded Radio One with limited funds, building the company station by station. Since taking over as CEO, Alfred C. Liggins III has turned it into a multimedia empire with 70 stations, billions in assets, and millions of mostly black nationwide listeners.

“We are in the business of aggregating audience for this particular demographic and providing content to them,” says Liggins, who’s now moving into the Web, XM Satellite Radio, cable television, and expanding a national talk-show network.

Liggins learned the business at his mother’s knee. Although Hughes, chairman of the company, remained married for two years and was just 17 at the time of her son’s 1965 birth in Omaha, NE, the young family soon moved to Washington, DC. Hughes worked at Howard University’s radio station as a host and station manager, but she had bigger plans.

By 1979 Hughes purchased WOL-AM in Washington, financing the venture by selling her home and car, requiring the family to live in the trailer studio. By 1980, she and her husband Dewey Hughes had also launched Almic Broadcasting, later Radio One.

After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1983, Liggins worked for stations in Los Angeles while studying at the University of California.

Returning to Washington in 1985, Liggins managed sales and promotions for his mother’s radio station. The station flourished via increased advertising and the firm purchased soft-rock station WMMJ-FM, changing the format to rhythm-and-blues, a formula often repeated to access underserved black audiences with R&B, hip-hop, and gospel programming.

After earning an MBA from Wharton in 1995, Liggins was promoted to CEO in 1997. The company’s growth exploded. By 1999, to raise more capital, Liggins took the company public and brokered a $1.3 billion deal with media powerhouse Clear Channel. In 2001 Radio One expanded further, making it the largest urban-market radio company, entrenched in 22 markets with 18 million listeners. Recently, Liggins moved into cable television with the creation of TV One via the help of cable giant Comcast, making him one of America’s youngest and most dynamic media moguls.



DETROIT, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Real Times Media (RTM), a multimedia company focused on urban news and entertainment which includes the nation’s largest African American-owned newspaper and digital media operation, has signed on as the latest partner of Interactive One Studios, a division of Interactive One, which assists external brands with developing highly profitable digital businesses through world-class sales, platform, content and distribution services.

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“Partnering with Interactive One Studios presents a tremendous opportunity for the Real Times Media digital platform,” said Hiram E. Jackson, CEO, Real Times Media. “For the past few years our company has had a laser focus on transitioning our traditionally print business model into a more robust digital platform. We’ve been able to make significant headway on our own; however, this partnership with iOne Studios will certainly help us to reach new levels of success.”

Under the terms of the partnership, Real Times Media will migrate its Atlanta Daily World (, Chicago Defender (, Michigan Chronicle (, Memphis Tri-State Defender (, and New Pittsburgh Courier ( websites to Interactive One’s proprietary content and mobile platforms. The transition will benefit the Real Times Media brands through increased audience reach, world-class advertising, media management and operations, guaranteed uptimes and tech support, and a unique set of features and functions that have made the channels within the Interactive One network a leader in the space.

“Real Times Media and its newspapers have a rich tradition and deep community relationships,” said Alfred C. Liggins III, CEO of Radio One, Inc., the parent company of Interactive One. “That tradition, those relationships and the power of digital, which is the great equalizer for traditional Black and New Urban audiences, put them on firm footing for a bright future.”

Real Times Media is the latest addition to the Interactive One roster of partners, which includes Russell Simmons’, NBC News’ and Tom Joyner’s, among others.


Real Times Media is a multi-media company focused on urban news, lifestyle information, and entertainment. Built on iconic brands whose legacies extend back more than 100 years, its family of companies include Who’s Who Publishing Company, the premiere platform for celebrating African American achievement, the nation’s largest African-American owned and operated news organization including the Atlanta Daily World (, Chicago Defender (, Michigan Chronicle (, FrontPage Detroit (, Memphis Tri-State Defender (, and New Pittsburgh Courier ( and RTM Digital Studios, , archival image licensing arm which houses more than 2 million photos, articles and other artifacts documenting the past 100 years of the African American experience.


Interactive One is one of the fastest growing digital companies reaching millions of Black and Latino Americans each month. With approximately 3 billion annual page views on its suite of sites, the company has become the definitive online resource for the urban community through its suite of social, local radio and content offerings such as HelloBeautiful (, the fastest growing lifestyle resource for today’s Black woman; NewsOne (, which provides up to the minute, comprehensive coverage of newsworthy events relevant to Black Americans across the country and the world; TheUrbanDaily (, the eyes and ears for the urban community looking for what’s hot online, on the airwaves, in theaters, and on the street; GIANTlife (, the definitive urban lifestyle brand for Next Generation tastemakers and icons Elev8 ( a site devoted to elevating the mind, body and spirit, ZONA de Sabor (, the new online destination for today’s urban Latino who wants to stay current on entertainment and celebrity news in the Latino community and our social platform anchored by the iconic BlackPlanet (, the newly launched BlackPlanetNEXT (, and the new BlackPlanet RADIO (, the digital industry’s first social radio website created for the African American community.

Interactive One was launched by Radio One, Inc. in 2008 to complement Radio One’s existing portfolio of media companies targeting Black Americans. Since its launch, Interactive One has quickly become the #1 online platform for the African American and urban community.



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