Advertisement for the Mutual Black Network, featuring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and poet Nikki Giovanni.
Advertisement for the Mutual Black Network, featuring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and poet Nikki Giovanni.

The Mutual Black Network (MBN) was founded by the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1972 as the first national full-service radio network aimed at African Americans; it was initially branded as Mutual Reports[1] before the branding change to MBN. With 98 affiliated stations across the United States, including flagship WNJR in New York,[2] the network broadcast an hourly five-minute newscast at 50 minutes past the hour. It also aired sports and feature programs, and for one year beginning in the spring of 1974, a 15-minute daily soap opera called Sounds Of The City.

Some of its special programming focused on African-American history, much of which was researched, written and narrated by MBN news anchor Ben Frazier. Other MBN news anchors included Glen Ford, John Askew and Ed Castleberry; Castleberry also hosted a celebrity interview program, Soul of Entertainment.

In 1981, the Mutual Black Network was purchased by Sheridan Broadcasting, an African American-owned company which had been a minority stockholder in MBN, and renamed the Sheridan Broadcasting Network. A decade later, SBN merged with the rival National Black Network, forming the present-day American Urban Radio Networks.

Affiliates

See also

References

  1. ^ Browne, Ray Broadus; Browne, Pat (2001). The Guide to United States Popular Culture. Popular Press. p. 97. ISBN 9780879728212. Mutual Reports eventually became Mutual Black Network (MBN)
  2. ^ a b c Calta, Louis (April 29, 1972). "Mutual To Begin News For Blacks". New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2020.