Cathy Hughes Receives 2012 NAACP Chairman’s Award

TV One Founder and President Cathy Hughes received the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the 43rd NAACP Image Awards, which was broadcast live on Friday, February 17th on NBC.

The Chairman’s Award, chosen by NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock, is bestowed in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. Past honorees include U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, Tyler Perry, Former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, Aretha Franklin, Bono, then-Senator Barack Obama, The Dave Matthews Band, Danny Glover, and Aaron McGruder.

“I am thrilled to offer Cathy Hughes the NAACP Chairman’s Award,” stated Chairman Brock. “This recognition is long overdue for her accomplishments as a trailblazer in the media industry.  As the founder of Radio One and TV One, an advocate for small business entrepreneurship, and philanthropist, Cathy Hughes reminds us that collectively and as individuals, we can make a difference.  Her presence at the Image Awards continues the NAACP’s quest to celebrate and uplift individuals who model principles of hard work, perseverance and community empowerment.

“This is the most humbling honor to ever be bestowed on me,” stated Ms. Hughes. “Those who have received the Chairman’s Award in the past are counted among the very best that America has ever produced, and I am honored and very humbled to be included in their ranks.”

On hand for the presentation of Hughes' award were political activist Al Sharpton and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, among other notables. Acclaimed vocalists Brian McKnight and Lalah Hathaway sang in Hughes' honor.

In addition to the Chairman's Award, a wax statue of Hughes was also unveiled at the 43rd NAACP Image Awards in honor of Hughes' accomplishments.

In 1979, Hughes founded the communications company Radio One and built it into a major media institution with over 70 stations in 16 major markets. When the company went public in 1998, Hughes became the first and only African-American female to head a publicly traded corporation. Today, Radio One is the largest black-owned media corporation in the nation with a platform that includes TV One, Interactive One, Music One and Reach Media, the home of the Tom Joyner Morning show.

In January 2004, Radio One launched TV One, a national cable and satellite television network which is the "lifestyle and entertainment network for African-American adults." TV One is currently available in over 58 million homes.

Before founding Radio One, Hughes served as President and General Manager of WHUR-FM in Washington, DC, where she rejuvenated the station’s struggling sales revenue and created the, still immensely popular, Quiet Storm format, which has become the most successful format in urban radio history.  After that, she served as Vice President and General Manager of DC’s WYCB Radio.

The NAACP Image Awards is the premiere multicultural awards show. It celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. For more information on the NAACP Image Awards, please visit