Chairman, Midway Broadcasting
President, WVON Radio
Melody Spann-Cooper is President of WVON Radio, Chicago’s only African-American owned and operated radio station and Chairman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, the station’s parent company. Spann-Cooper is the only female to hold these coveted positions in the 3rd largest broadcast market in the country. She joined an elite list of female broadcast owners in 1999 when she purchased the company’s controlling interest.
WVON is the oldest Black-oriented radio station in Chicago. With its urban talk format, the station is lauded as a leading source of information and community empowerment. Spann-Cooper is considered the visionary who has used her media vehicle as a change agent to address the social issues that affect our society.
In August 2006, Spann-Cooper created a unique relationship with Clear Channel – a historic agreement between one of the nation’s largest owners of radio stations and one of the oldest African-American-owned radio stations in the country. This agreement is a huge coup and a major upgrade for WVON – a 15-hour a day broadcasting entity. With this power deal, WVON will broadcast for 24 hours a day, with a wattage increase from 1,000 to 10,000.
Among her accomplishments, Spann-Cooper has been recognized by the Chicago Sun-Times as one of the “ten most powerful women in media.” Crain’s Chicago Business ranks her as one of the 100 most influential women in Chicago. Under her leadership, WVON became the first and only media institution to receive the prestigious Studs Terkel Award from the Community Media Workshop.
Other professional affiliations include: The Board of Visitors at Medill School of Journalism; The Hearing Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois; The Independent Task Force for Television Measurements for Nielsen Media Research; The Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (ABLE); The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB); The Provident Foundation and African International House (AIH). Spann-Cooper holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Loyola University of Chicago. She is married and is the daughter of legendary radio personality Pervis Spann “The Blues Man.”