Sheila Brown walked out of WUFO in Buffalo, New York, after working at the radio station for 14 years. She left after the station changed management and their operations were not in line with her vision. Brown however had plans of returning to the station but was not sure in what capacity. After eight years, she came back and purchased the station. Today, she is the first Black woman to own a radio station in Buffalo, New York.
According to WIVB 4, she started her career at the station in the ’80s. True to her vow, Brown returned and bought the station. “I looked at the building and I waved and said, don’t worry baby, I’ll be back,’” Brown told reporters.
It was not an easy journey for the Buffalo native who grew up in Hamlin Park. The banks did not believe in her vision and at a point, she was told to revise her business plan. Her church and Bishop had faith in her from the onset.
“I went through everything, we had banks say no like three times before they said yes, credit unions said no your business plan needs to be updated, but True Bethel and Bishop Daris Pridgen, they had faith in me.”
Not only has Brown taken over the station which she worked hard to get, but she has also elevated their frequency and added an FM channel to it in partnership with Power 96.5. Now the WUFO brand is reaching more folks than it has over the years.
This has made it more attractive and lucrative because advertisers know they can reach millions with the new visibility. Also, many influencers and popular DJs have walked through their doors for business.
WUFO is certainly going places under the leadership of Brown. Prominent figures are interviewed at the station and the station hosts a weekly talk with the mayor. The station runs the WUFO history collectible containing about 60 years of WUFO memorabilia.
Brown admits that being the youngest of three siblings and growing up in an extremely supportive family gave her the confidence she needs to take on the world.
She grew up wanting to pursue greater exploits. “My uncles coming to see us would go hey here comes our superstar,” she said. “Not saying it to boost me but just positive affirmation, so I never was afraid of anything I was going to do.”
Her only reservation is, it has been a long time coming for her to own the station but that should not have been the case. This only goes to show there are many aspects of our potential as Black people and women to be precise that we are yet to explore.
Vice President Kamala Harris is certainly proud to be the first Black-Asian female second in command in the country and she certainly has made it clear she does not want to be the last. The same goes for Brown who intends on using her platform to open more doors for many who aspire to step into their greatness.
“It feels good, but it’s sad in 2021 we’re still talking about the first if anything, but I’m just proud that the lord used me to be the first woman of color to own a radio station,” shared Brown.
“The Vice President said she might be the first but not the last so my goal is to prep other people.”