In 1962 WDIA, based in Memphis, Tennessee became the first U.S. radio station programmed by African-Americans, although its ownership was white.
The station had black DJ’s which helped it build an audience which attracted the attention of their advertisers when they realized there was a huge new market among black listeners.
WDIA had an audience that reached through the Mississippi Delta to the Gulf Coast. In 1996 Clear Channel Communications bought WDIA.
WDIA – AM 1070
2650 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Memphis TN 38118
In 1947, Bluff City Broadcasting was incorporated to create radio station WDIA. In 1949, WDIA hired Nat D. Williams and started programming for black Americans in Memphis and the surrounding area. The station quickly accelerated to 100 percent black programs. E.R. “Bert” Ferguson and John R. Pepper, both white, were the owners. Ferguson managed WDIA until 1971.