Lanham, Maryland-based Radio One Inc. (No. 8 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $335.7 million in revenues) agreed to buy WSNJ-FM radio from New Jersey Radio Partners L.L.C. for $35 million. The station will be moved to the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The transaction is expected to close the first quarter of 2004. Radio One owns and/or operates 66 radio stations in 22 urban markets nationwide. “This acquisition will strengthen our position in the Philadelphia metropolitan market by giving us our third station in one of the largest radio markets in the country,” said Radio One CEO and President Alfred C. Liggins III. Radio One (Nasdaq: ROIAK and ROIA) is the largest radio broadcasting company primarily targeting African American and urban listeners, reaching approximately 13 million listeners weekly.
Sylvester Croom became the first black head football coach in Southeastern Conference history when he took over the team at Mississippi State. The 49-year-old Croom has been an NFL assistant coach with five teams since 1987. He had been coaching the Green Bay Packers running backs since 2001 (see “Black Men Can’t Coach?” July 2003). Of the 117 Division 1-A football teams, there are only four other black head coaches: Tyrone Willingham at Notre Dame, San Jose State’s Fitzgerald Hill, Tony Samuel at New Mexico State, and Karl Dorrell at UCLA.
Bruce Gordon, one of Verizon’s highest-ranking African Americans, retired, capping a 35-year career. Gordon, 58, oversaw the $67 billion company’s consumer and small business sales and marketing units for Verizon Online and DSL. Gordon began his career in 1968 at Bell of Pennsylvania as a management trainee in consumer sales. At the time of the Bell Atlantic/GTE merger in 2000, he was named president of the Retail Markets Group. Previously listed in BLACK ENTERPRISE as “1998 Executive of the Year,” Gordon was also included on Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Black Executives” list in 2002.