The Cathy Hughes Matthew Knowles Saga

December 23, 2011 1:45 AM | Johnnie Walker (Administrator)

I couldn’t help but read the varying Facebook and Twitter posts about the TV One lawsuit against Matthew Knowles and the subsequent mandate to pull all of Music World’s music and artists, etc from the libraries of the Radio One radio stations.  I read “Cathy Hughes is dead wrong,” and I read “what a shame, two Black businesses beating each other down” …  “she’s penalizing the artists” and yak, yak and more yak!

Having spent a major portion of my life on both sides of the fence … my view maybe different and probably won’t be shared by many, but its “my 2-cents” so I'm gonna jump in, dance with the stars and share my thoughts.

First of all take the “Black” out of it.   This is a "green" matter!  They are two adult business people who made adult business decisions and they both have to deal with the consequences of those decisions regardless of what they are.  Matthew Knowles knew exactly what he was doing when he violated Ms Hughes’ exclusivity contract.  He knew what the risks were; however, he chose to follow his instincts or the advice of someone paid very well to give advice, and went for what appeared to be a bigger slice of the media pie.  His decision.  Cathy Hughes files a lawsuit and subsequently pulls any music affiliated with Mr. Knowles from her radio outlets.  She knew exactly what ramifications or competitive risks her radio stations might face by pulling popular songs and artists from her playlists and/or libraries.  Her decision. 

I read about the lawsuit a while back, however I could have missed it … but I don’t recall reading or hearing anyone say,  “shame on Mathew Knowles, he’s dead wrong for violating TV One’s exclusivity contract!”  Or maybe for some folks, this is big business and it’s just how the “big boys” roll!  Don’t get in the water if you can’t swim with the sharks baby!  … Whatever!

And to the poor artists who will suffer from the hideous actions of these two gigantic music and media moguls  … wake up!  If radio airplay is your only avenue to success… better check and see if McDonald’s is hiring!   While radio is still the best avenue for recorded music exposure, in today’s fragmented marketplace, artists and labels that depend solely on radio airplay for success are probably living in a pipe dream anyway.

Regardless of what happens, I don’t see any real winners here.  These types of occurrences usually leave more scars than home runs.  We’ve lost Black radio (as I know it); Black music divisions are almost passé, so what’s next?  A Bravo reality show called Music Mogul Factor!  Let’s see what the moguls will do to eliminate each other!  And the grand prize is….  

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