American Urban Radio Networks

The American Urban Radio Networks (AURN) was created in October 1991 as the result of a merger between New York-based National Black Network, founded by Unity Broadcasting in 1973, and Sheridan Broadcasting Networks, founded by Pittsburgh-based Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation. AURN provides programming to primarily African-American targeted radio stations. AURN is the only African-American controlled radio and digital network company in the United States, broadcasting 200 weekly news, entertainment, sports, and information programs to more than 300 radio stations nationwide. American Urban Radio Networks reach an estimated 25 million listeners each week.

AURN has offices and bureaus in New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, and is the only African-American broadcaster with a bureau in the White House. In May 2016, NBN parent company Access.1 Communications Corporation took over 100% ownership of American Urban Radio Networks.

American Urban Radio Networks


  • Christopher H. Sterling; Cary O'Dell (2010). The Concise Encyclopedia of American Radio. Routledge. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-135-17684-6.
  • Baraka, Rhonda (13 October 2001). "The Billboard Salute". Billboard. pp. 25&32.

External links

April Ryan

April Danielle Ryan (born September 5, 1967) is an American journalist and author. Since 1997, she has served as a White House correspondent and is the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks. In 2017, she joined CNN as a political analyst. In May 2017, the National Association of Black Journalists named Ryan as the "Journalist of the Year".

Brandon Parker

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Doug Banks

Calvin Douglas "Doug" Banks Jr. (June 9, 1958 – April 11, 2016) was an American radio personality and host of The Doug Banks Radio Show.

I Believe (Fantasia song)

"I Believe" is the debut single released by singer and American Idol season 3 winner, Fantasia Barrino. The song significantly helped Fantasia rise to fame. The song was co-written by former American Idol contestant Tamyra Gray and was released on June 29, 2004. "I Believe" peaked at number one on US Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Singles Chart and number four on Australian ARIA Singles Chart. It was included on her debut album Free Yourself, released on November 23, 2004.

Ian K. Smith

Ian K. Smith, M.D. (born July 15, 1969) is an American physician and author best known for his appearances on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club series, The View, and as a correspondent for NBC News. He is also the host of HealthWatch with Dr. Ian Smith, a nationally syndicated daily news feature heard on American Urban Radio Networks. He resides in Chicago. On January 11, 2016, Smith revealed on the "Opie with Jim Norton" show that his third cousin was Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, whom he had also never met.

Jay Harris (sportscaster)

Jay Harris (born February 22, 1965 in Norfolk, Virginia) is an American journalist who has worked for ESPN since February 2003. Jay currently calls late night his home, seen primarily on the 11pm and midnight eastern editions of SportsCenter, and sometimes on the west coast Sportscenter from Los Angeles. Jay has hosted a variety of shows during his tenure at ESPN, including Sportscenter, Outside The Lines, NFL Live, Baseball Tonight, Cold Pizza, First Take, Friday Night Fights, and ESPN Sports Saturday on ABC.


KBXT (101.9 FM, "The Beat") is a radio station broadcasting an Urban Contemporary music format. Licensed to Wixon Valley, Texas, United States, the station is currently owned by Brazos Valley Communications, Ltd. and features programming from American Urban Radio Networks. The station's studios are located in Bryan and its transmitter is located south of Hearne, Texas.


KNHC (C89.5) is a Class C1 FM high school radio station based in Seattle, Washington. It is the world's oldest, still remaining, dance music station.

C89.5 offers a hybrid of current-based EDM product and Rhythmic Top 40 remixes, as well as new dance songs that are potential future hits – all of which are presented in a Top 40-like direction. Like SiriusXM's BPM, this station also features guest and house DJs, many of which are regionally famous, like Justin Dohman, Harmony Soleil, Trent Von, Randy Schlager. Also, like BPM, the content is delivered commercial-free.

It is one of six stations monitored by Nielsen BDS for inclusion in Billboard magazine's weekly Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart. Its best coverage is in the Seattle metro area.The C in C89.5 stands for Communications.

KNHC broadcasts in the HD Radio format.

List of United States radio networks

The following is a list of commercial radio broadcasters and radio networks in the United States.

Mario Armstrong

Mario Armstrong is an American radio and television talk show host, focusing in the areas of technology and digital lifestyle. Armstrong appears as a Digital Lifestyle Expert regularly on the TODAY show, CNN, HLN, the American Urban Radio Networks and NPR's Morning Edition. His radio program, "The Mario Armstrong Show", was hosted on the XM/Sirius and syndicated on radio from 2009 until 2012.

Michael Baisden

Michael Baisden (born June 26, 1963) is a nationally syndicated radio personality and host of The Michael Baisden Show. The show is currently syndicated by Baisden Media Group in partnership with SupeRadio and AURN (American Urban Radio Networks). The show airs weekday afternoons from 3pm - 7pm est. The show was previously syndicated by Cumulus Media and was heard in over 78 media markets nationwide with over 8 million listeners daily. His media career began when he left his job driving trains in Chicago to self-publish Never Satisfied, and began touring the country selling books out of the trunk of his car.

Baisden is a NY Times best selling author with over 2 million books in print, hosted two national television shows, and has produced three films.

Mutual Black Network

The Mutual Black Network (MBN) was founded by the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1972 as the first national full-service radio network aimed at African Americans; it was initially branded as Mutual Reports before the branding change to MBN. With 98 affiliated stations across the United States, including flagship WBLS in New York, the network broadcast an hourly five-minute newscast at 50 minutes past the hour. It also aired sports and feature programs, and for one year beginning in the spring of 1974, a 15-minute daily soap opera called Sounds Of The City. Some of its special programming focused on African American history, much of which was researched, written and narrated by MBN news anchor Ben Frazier.

Programming is what separated the Mutual Black Network from the rest of the pack. But its highest mark was made in the coverage of hard news and its savvy advocacy style of journalism. This was a genre of journalism, practiced by news anchors Ben Frazier, Glen Ford, John Askew and others. They would interview black news-makers who had largely been ignored by most traditional mass media outlets, including Mutual's main network. Thanks to the Mutual Black Network, those news-makers, their agenda, dreams and anger would finally make it to the forefront of the American body politic. Their sound bites made it to the air and to a new level of relevancy because of the Mutual Black Network’s hourly newscasts. Tape editors James Barber and Gregory S. Kearse provided the bulk of sound bites for the hourly newscasts. Kearse produced the Soul of Entertainment hosted by legendary newsman Ed Castleberry and interviewed stars such as Gladys Knight, Glynn Turman and the Pointer sisters. Kearse began as a weekend tape editor in 1974 while completing his B.A. degree in English, and left MBN to pursue a career in book publishing at Howard University Press in 1978.

In 1981, the Mutual Black Network was purchased by Sheridan Broadcasting, an African American-owned company which had been a minority stockholder in MBN, and renamed the Sheridan Broadcasting Network. A decade later, SBN merged with the rival National Black Network, forming the present-day American Urban Radio Networks.

Mutual Broadcasting System

The Mutual Broadcasting System (commonly referred to simply as Mutual; sometimes referred to as MBS, Mutual Radio or the Mutual Radio Network) was an American commercial radio network in operation from 1934 to 1999. In the golden age of U.S. radio drama, Mutual was best known as the original network home of The Lone Ranger and The Adventures of Superman and as the long-time radio residence of The Shadow. For many years, it was a national broadcaster for Major League Baseball (including the All-Star Game and World Series), the National Football League, and Notre Dame football. From the mid-1930s and until the retirement of the network in 1999, Mutual ran a highly respected news service accompanied by a variety of popular commentary shows. During the late 1970s, Mutual pioneered the nationwide late night call-in radio show and introduced the country to Larry King.

In the early 1970s, acting in much the same style as rival ABC had two years earlier (in 1968), Mutual launched four radio networks: Mutual Black Network (MBN) (initially launched as "Mutual Reports"), which evolved to today's American Urban Radio Networks (AURN); Mutual Cadena Hispánica (trans. "Mutual Spanish Network"); Mutual Southwest Network, and Mutual Progressive Network (was later re-branded "Mutual Lifestyle Radio" in 1980, then cancelled in 1983).

Of the four national networks of American radio's classic era, Mutual had for decades the largest number of affiliates, but the least certain financial position (which prevented Mutual from expanding into television broadcasting after World War II, as the other three networks did). For the first 18 years of its existence, Mutual was owned and operated as a cooperative (a system similar to that of today's National Public Radio), setting the network apart from its corporate owned competitors. Mutual's member stations shared their own original programming, transmission and promotion expenses, and advertising revenues. From December 30, 1936, when it debuted in the West, the Mutual Broadcasting System had affiliates from coast to coast. Its business structure would change after General Tire assumed majority ownership in 1952 through a series of regional and individual station acquisitions.

Once General Tire sold the network in 1957, Mutual's ownership was largely disconnected from the stations it served, leading to a more conventional, top-down model of program production and distribution. Not long after the sale, one of the network's new executive teams was charged with accepting money to use Mutual as a vehicle for foreign propaganda. The network's reputation was severely damaged, but soon rebounded. Mutual changed hands frequently in succeeding years—even leaving aside larger-scale acquisitions and mergers, its final direct corporate parent, Westwood One, which purchased Mutual in 1985, was the seventh in a string of new owners that followed General Tire.

National Black Network

The National Black Network, or NBN, began operation in July 1973 as the first coast-to-coast radio network wholly owned by African Americans.

Russ Parr

Russ Parr (born 1959 in California) is an American radio DJ, film director, writer, actor and television personality known for such television shows as Rock 'N' America.

The Doug Banks Radio Show

The Doug Banks Radio Show was an American radio show produced by American Urban Radio Networks hosted by veteran radio personalities Doug Banks, Dee Dee Renee and George Willborn. It aired daily from 2PM to 6PM (central time).

The show began national syndication on January 11, 2008 from its flagship station WVAZ in Chicago, Illinois as The Ride with Doug and DeDe with DeDe McGuire being the original co-host. A similar show, The Doug Banks Morning Show, aired on ABC Radio Networks for several years prior in the morning drive time slot. Prior to 2010, Banks was aired on Citadel Media and its predecessor, ABC Radio Networks. The show was renamed The Doug Banks Radio Show when it moved to AURN July 28, 2010. In late 2014, DeDe McGuire announced that she would be leaving to continue working on her own show "DeDe in the Morning". After DeDe McGuire departure from the show she was replaced with Virginia native Dee Dee Renee

Originally available for national syndication through The Touch (as well as stations in over 50 markets 3 days later), the show offers a blend of music and entertainment targeting a unique 25-40 demographic in the Urban Adult Contemporary group of afternoon drivetime.

Banks died on April 11, 2016, shortly before that day's episode of the show was to air.


WAUG (750 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a Mainstream urban format. Licensed to New Hope, North Carolina, United States, the station serves the Raleigh–Durham area. The station is owned by St. Augustine's University and features programming from American Urban Radio Networks and the Radio One-owned Syndication One. WAUG radio is a daytime-only operation, shutting down at sunset to make way for the 50,000-watt WSB in Atlanta.

The university also runs a low-powered TV station, WAUG-LD (channel 8). WAUG-LD is carried by Time Warner Cable on digital cable channel 168 in Raleigh.


WBLS (107.5 MHz) is an urban adult contemporary formatted FM radio station, licensed to New York City. It is currently owned by Emmis Communications, along with sister stations WLIB (1190 AM) and WQHT (97.1 FM). The three stations share studios in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Manhattan, and WBLS' transmitter is located at the Empire State Building. It was previously owned by YMF Media LLC, owned jointly by investor Ronald Burkle and Magic Johnson, which had assumed control of WBLS and WLIB's former parent company, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, on October 19, 2012 at a purchase price of $180 million.


WNSW (1430 AM) is a Religious formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Newark, New Jersey, serving the New York Metropolitan area. Since 2014, the station has been owned and operated by Starboard Broadcasting's Relevant Radio Roman Catholic radio network. Its transmitters are located in Clifton, New Jersey.

Public radio
Defunct or moribund

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