Rolling Out

TV One CEO Alfred C. Liggins honored for network’s 20th anniversary

Black media shifter recognized for efforts
TV One CEO Alfred C. Liggins III and Fulton County district 4 commissioner Natalie Hall (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)

TV One is celebrating 20 years, and the network CEO is being honored for it.

Alfred C. Liggins III, who is also CEO of Urban Inc., and the son of TV One founder Cathy Hughes, is being honored with the Visionary Award at this year’s Urban One Honors in addition to receiving proclamations from Fulton County and the city of Atlanta on Jan. 19.

“Before I read this proclamation from the city, I just want to say that television is more than just entertainment on a Tuesday,” Atlanta City Council president Doug Shipman said. “It is a way we mark time as a community. It is a way to bring us together to say, “Did you see that documentary? Did you see what her story was? It is, in essence, the library for the modern person and the modern family … on a personal basis, as someone who’s connected to Atlanta, thank you for all of the ways you’ve helped bring families and our community to a deeper understanding of ourselves.”

In a press conference commemorating the 20 years, Liggins’ vision for the network was simple. He wanted to have a cable TV network that broadcasted content with a targeted audience of ages 25 and older. When pitching the idea for content for Black adults, some people misunderstood Liggins’ intentions.

“They thought it was a p— channel,” Liggins said as the room of media members erupted in laughter. “They were like, ‘Oh, no, no, no.’ I was like, ‘It’s not a p— channel. It’s R&B. It’s travel. It’s dating shows, it’s movies about art history. It’s not sex.’ ”

On Jan. 20, Urban One is set to host the sixth annual Urban One Honors in Atlanta. The awards show will honor Dionne Warwick, Chlöe, Frankie Beverly and Donald Lawrence. Performers for the night will include Teyana Taylor, Bebe Winans, Damon Little, Angie Stone and October London. There will also be an “R&B Divas” reunion featuring KeKe Wyatt, Chanté Moore and Nicci Gilbert.

While Liggins said he’s grateful for the recognition, it also makes him feel a bit “old.” He wants the Urban One brand, formerly known as Radio One, to live on, much like Walt Disney’s brand has stood the test of time.

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