Wayne K. Brown, one of radio’s most admired and influential executives, dies at 55
Wayne K. Brown, one of the nation’s most influential African-American executives in radio, has died following a battle with liver cancer. He was 55 years old.
Brown was widely respected and admired in the broadcasting business for his successes and dedication to the advancement of African-Americans in the business. He most recently was appointed general manager of Streetz 94.5 FM, Atlanta’s new Hip-Hop station.
“Wayne was a wonderful human being,” said Ms. Catherine L. Hughes, chairperson & founder of Radio One, Inc. “He made you feel like you were the most important person in the world when you were with him.” Brown was the VP/GM of Radio One’s Atlanta market for eight years.
In July 2008 Brown founded his own firm, WKB Enterprises, LLC to capitalize on his more than 30 years of broadcasting and marketing experience. He also served as senior partner and associate publisher of Who’s Who publishing company.
Prior to joining Radio One in 2000 as general manager, Brown was VP and general manager for CBS Radio in Charlotte. He also spent 13 years at CBS Sales management in New York City working for network TV & radio.
“All of Atlanta Radio is in mourning with the passing of Wayne Brown,” said CBS’s Rick Caffey. “Wayne was loved and respected by all of us. He was a true ambassador of our industry and a colleague to all who loved radio.”
A native of Washington, D.C., Brown was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and 100 Black Men of America.
In addition to being the recipient of a number of awards, Brown has a scholarship in his name at his alma mater, Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications, for minority students.
“My heart is very heavy at the loss of Wayne Brown,” said Sherman Kizart. “He was a great colleague, friend, and also my fraternity brother. He lived a full and rewarding life both personally and professionally. The industry has lost a great leader and transformative figure.”
Wayne Brown is survived by his wife Nyesa and two sons. Funeral arrangements are pending.