Did You Know the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation Was the First Black Owned Radio Network?


The Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, a family based business, became the first black owned radio network.  The corporation is based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and owns a variety of radio stations, including gospel, hip hop, and several other genres.[1]

The Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation became the first Black owned radio network in the United States.

Ronald Davenport Sr., born in 1936 and moved to Pittsburgh in 1963 to became a businessman, lawyer, and also first black Dean in a predominately white university, Duquesne University.

Davenport developed Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation with his wife in 1972. Together, they were able to start the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation by the purchase of four radio stations.  By the year 1936, the Sheridan Broadcasting corporation owned half of, and later completely bought, Mutual Black Network.[2]

Ronald Davenport Sr was the chairman of Sheridan Radio Corporation since the start of the business and for several decades after.

In 1991, the Sheridan Broadcasting Networks merged with National Black Network, which was founded by Unity Broadcasting in 1973, to create the American Urban Radio Network.

The American Urban Radio Network is not only known for broadcasting about 300 radio stations with around 200 different entertainment and news programs, but the American Urban Radio Network also became the only African American controlled radio and digital network company in the United States of America.[3]

Furthermore, Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation also owns and operates three radio stations in Atlanta, Georgia, Buffalo, New York, and Birmingham, Alabama.

In 2012, co-founder of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, Ronald Davenport Sr. was honored in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for his contributions, which includes developing Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, to the history of Western Pennsylvania and the world.


Before this, in 2003, Ronald Davenport was inducted into the Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association of Hall of Fame for his creation of the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation and the growth of the company, including his involvement in the American Urban Radio Network.[4]


[1] Bloomberg.com. Accessed November 13, 2017. https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=4840421.

[2] Ronald Davenport | The HistoryMakers. Accessed November 13, 2017. http://www.thehistorymakers.org/biography/ronald-davenport-39.

[3]American Urban Radio Networks.” Wikipedia. October 30, 2017. Accessed November 13, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Urban_Radio_Networks.

[4]RBR-TVBR.” Radio & Television Business Report – The Financial Regulatory Voice of Electronic Media. February 27, 2012. Accessed November 13, 2017. https://www.rbr.com/ron-davenport-to-be-honored-in-pittsburgh/.


PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *