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NAB Hall Of Fame Inducts DC Radio Trailblazer Donnie Simpson.


Iconic Washington, DC radio personality and programmer Donnie Simpson has been named the 2024 NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductee for radio. Simpson, a 55-year veteran of the industry, will be inducted at the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame event at NAB Show, Monday, April 15 in Las Vegas.


Simpson began his radio career at age 15 when he was discovered by WJLB Detroit while the station was broadcasting from his mother’s record shop. That led to a job as a teen reporter for WJLB and later his own show on the station.


Simpson moved to Washington, DC in 1977 where he began a 30-year stretch, starting as the morning show host and program director for WKYS-FM. Under his leadership, the station achieved unprecedented ratings success, and Simpson was selected as the country's top Program Director of the Year and Air Personality of the Year in 1983 by Billboard Magazine. In 1993, Simpson crossed the street to CBS Radio’s rhythmic CHR WPGC (95.5). He left in January 2010, reportedly over clashes with management about how to make his morning show more conducive to PPM ratings measurement. After a five-year radio hiatus, he returned in August 2015 to host afternoon drive at Radio One’s “Majic 102.3” WMMJ Washington, DC. He hosted his final WMMJ show on Friday, Jan. 12.


“Donnie Simpson’s life-long love of radio and music, incredible talent and commitment to his audience make him well-deserving of this honor,” said NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “We are excited to welcome Donnie into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame for radio during NAB Show in April and look forward to celebrating all that he has accomplished over his distinguished 55-year career.”


Simpson also worked in television and movies. He served as the backup sports anchor to George Michael on WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., before joining America’s first Black television network, BET where he hosted their flagship show “Video Soul” for 14 years. Simpson appeared on the popular sitcoms, “Martin” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.” He was also in the films “Krush Groove” and “The Five Heartbeats.”


Among many accolades, Simpson was inducted into the R&B Music Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Radio Hall of Fame in 2020. Simpson is also known for his working supporting charities and nonprofit organizations.


The NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame recognizes radio and television personalities or programs that have earned a place in broadcasting history.

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