Radio Ink Magazine

EMPIRE BUILDER COMMUNITY LEADER

Russell Perry has taken service to community to a whole new level.

Perry started his career in journalism as co-publisher of The Black Dispatch. In 1979, he became the owner and publisher of The Black Chronicle, which has grown into one of the largest paid weekly newspapers serving the state of Oklahoma.

Following his success in print, Perry expanded into the radio business, growing his audio portfolio from one AM (KVSP) in 1993 to 11 stations and three translators that now cover Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Perry is one of the most respected broadcasters in the industry today, having built his empire as a result of nothing but hard work. Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins Perry called his friend “a business icon and entrepreneurial trailblazer.” NAB CEO Gordon Smith said Perry has been “a trailblazing media entrepreneur, a champion of journalism, and a celebrated humanitarian in his community for over four decades.”

Perry’s service to community goes way beyond his portfolio of media assets. Perry served as Oklahoma’s Secretary of Commerce during the Keating administration, as well as a member of the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority, Oklahoma Industrial Finance Authority, and Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority. He is also the majority principal of the First Security Bank & Trust Co., and has served on the Small Business Bank Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and on the board of trustees of Oklahoma City University.

His honors include induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Afro-American Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the American Urban Radio Network Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Earlier this year Perry received the National Radio Award during the 2020 Radio Show for outstanding leadership in the radio industry.

Radio Ink: How and why did you decide to get into the media business?

As a 10th grade student I was called into the vice principal’s office. I was a football player, and I was working after school on my own. The vice principal asked about my grades. He

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