In a move to better emphasize its expansion and mission of representing the Black culture, Radio One recently changed its name to Urban One.

According to a press release, the official name change is in conjunction with the Silver Spring, Md.-based station’s 18th anniversary of its IPO on May 5.  According to the Washington Business Journal, the change was originally set to happen on Jan. 1.

“Our shareholders and employees have asked us for a while to change our name,” Alfred C. Liggins, III, Urban One CEO, told the AFRO by email on May 9. “We needed a name that reflects what we actually do as a multimedia company.”

“We’ve been diversified for a while. TV One is in 59 million households”, Liggins continued. “Our local and syndicated radio groups, Radio One and Reach Media reach over 22 million listeners a month. And iONE Digital has over 20 million unique visitors a month.  Our business is vast. We have even diversified our overall portfolio into creative services, financial services and gaming.  We simply outgrew the name Radio One.  Thirty six years later, we are much more than radio.  However, we are keeping the legacy name of Radio One. It just now refers to our growing local radio network and not the parent company.”

The station has represented Black culture for more than 35 years and will continue to provide culturally relevant content through its brands and platforms, including TV One, Radio One, Reach Media, iOne Digital and One Solution.

“The term ‘Urban’ embodies the spirit and culture of Black America.  Black culture has impacted every area of American life.  In essence, that which is ‘black’ is mainstream.  All of our content and programming are geared toward the Black community and lovers of black culture,” Liggins said.


LaTrina Antoine

Special to the AFRO