NY black radio-pioneer Hal Jackson dies

New York radio pioneer Harold Jackson, the first African-American voice on network radio, has died.

A statement on WBLS radio station’s website said Jackson died Wednesday of an undisclosed illness. He was in his 90s.

Jackson began his career in Washington, D.C., as the first African-American play-by-play sports announcer. He moved to New York in the 1950s where he hosted three different radio shows, broadcasting a mix of jazz and conversation with celebrities.

Jackson later co-founded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, one of the first broadcasting companies wholly owned by blacks. The company acquired WBLS, which pioneered the urban contemporary format. Jackson continued to host a program each week on WBLS.

In 1995, Jackson became the first black person inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.


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