Kathy Liggins Hughes founded Radio One but her son, Alfred C. Liggins III, right, as CEO turned it into a multimedia empire by taking the company public in 1999 and brokering a $1.3 billion deal with media powerhouse Clear Channel. Radio One grew to 70 stations in 22 markets, with billions in assets, and 18 million mostly black listeners nationwide. In 2001 Radio One expanded further, making it the largest urban-market radio company, entrenched in 22 markets with 18 million listeners. Liggins moved into cable television with the creation of TV One in a partnership with cable giant Comcast.
Two events greeted RadioOne in the first quarter of 2008:
1) approval of new headquarters in Washington, DC and
2) write-down and stock decline.
RadioOne moved out of the district in 1997 but with the signing of the Land Disposition Agreement with Broadcast Center One Partners, RadioOne and TVOne will move their headquarters into a planned $144 million complex at 7th & S Streets Northwest on top of the Shaw Howard Green Line Metrorail Station. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2011. The D.C. Council provided $22 million in tax breaks and grants for the deal and expects $19 million in new taxes in 20 years from the project plus 680 new jobs and contracting opportunities for local, small and disadvantaged businesses. Broadcast One Partners also includes developers Four Points LLC and Ellis Development LLC.
RadioOne recorded a $404 million write-down in its company value with company losses in the last quarter of 2007 of $386 million ($3.91 a share). (The Washington Post, 2/22/08) (The Washington Times, 1/25/08)