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Radio One, the largest black-owned multimedia company in the country, officially changed its name to Urban One, a coalition of its iconic brands TV One, Radio One, Reach Media, iOne Digital and One Solution.

The official rebranding was launched May 5 in celebration of the 18th anniversary of Radio One’s IPO with a goal to increase consumer reach across the black integrated multimedia platforms and hand out high-quality content that adequately represents black culture.

Company President and CEO Alfred C. Liggins III celebrated the rebranding during a conference meeting.

“More than 35 years ago, we proudly began representing black culture by lifting our voices boldly, courageously and unapologetically,” Liggins said. “Urban One’s mission is to enhance and maintain our position as the largest distributor of urban content in the country.”

The name Urban One was chosen to represent all things “first class” that encompasses “all things black,” said Yashima White AziLove, the company’s vice president of corporate communications.

“[Urban] has been mimed, borrowed, stolen, embraced, and included in mainstream culture with urban enthusiasts and lovers of black culture for many, many years,” AziLove said. “Our name Urban One says that we are fully owning this space, and we produce in every area of our business content that gives voice to black culture, thus our tagline, ‘representing black culture.’”

Viewers can look forward to new and revised additions for their listening and viewing pleasure including more morning live programming, additional true-crime and justice programming, more family reality TV and the introduction of R1 Digital, the new brand in the Urban One coalition specifically targeting radio.

Dwayne Whitaker, senior director of digital sales and marketing for R1 Digital, emphasized the importance of the digital innovation.

“This brand is poised to send a clear message to the marketplace that our radio group is in the digital business, so we’re in it to win it,” Whitaker said. “We believe offering a comprehensive local and digital national product will create new opportunities for businesses, but also as our radio audience grows, we need to be able to nurture that growth and allow them to engage with us via digital channels.”

With a notable history and groundbreaking strides media D’Angela Proctor, senior vice president of programming at TVOne solidified UrbanOne’s’ stance on the importance of a Black media market.

“News and black media, the role that it’s played throughout the history of people of color cannot be understated,” Proctor said. “Black media played the central role in the Black Freedom Movement. … That’s invaluable, and it’s powerful and should not go away. We won’t. We don’t plan to.”

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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