Andrew A. Langston, founder and CEO of Rochester NY’s only African-American-owned radio station, passed 6/10 at 83. From small beginnings in 1974, WDKX-FM (103.9) has become a power in the community for discussion and entertainment from a growing audience, reports the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Langston was a pioneer of black radio and long active in NABOB.
Shiera Coleman, vice president of broadcast for the Rochester Association of Black Journalists, worked for Langston as an intern and later on-air with the station’s morning show: “I had a lot of respect for him — to be able to create this business from the ground up and have it succeed for all these years when a lot of people didn’t think that it would succeed. He overcame all the obstacles, and you know he was just a great man.”
Langston was born in Georgia in 1927. He and his family moved to Rochester in 1960. He had successful careers in clothing and insurance sales before he formed Monroe County Broadcasting in 1968 and sought a frequency on the FM dial.
Clarence Ingram, 86, of Rochester managed the former Rochester Business Opportunities Corp., an agency that helped African-American-owned businesses get started and established in Rochester. He helped Langston buy the station, secure a frequency and find financing.
“He was a very shrewd businessman,” said Ingram. “He did quite well here and he really got that station over a terrible hurdle, financially, because, of course, a lot of the community did not support it.”
Langston “was a visionary who saw the need for a black-owned radio station in Rochester and filled that void by creating WDKX, which remains a mainstay 36 years later,” Mayor Robert Duffy said in a statement.