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Buying Power report: Blacks spend as economy grows
New 16th edition shows $507 bil in spending

The finding comes from the 16th annual edition of "The Buying Power of Black America" report. In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. ...

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Bernie McCain, one of WOL's most popular personalities, dies at 75

By Emily Langer
The Washington Post
(October 26, 2012) Bernie McCain, the WOL talk show host who for three decades was one of Washington's most popular figures in black radio, died Oct. 13 at Georgetown University Hospital.

He was 75 and had renal failure, said his daughter Leslie Charleton. He had gone off the air more than a year ago because of his declining health.

Mr. McCain had worked in radio for more than 15 years when WOL (1450 AM) hired him away from the Washington AM station WRC in 1981. Today, WOL is owned by Radio One, a media company that serves a largely African American and urban market.

He quickly became one of the station's flagship personalities and a daily presence known to listeners of his call-in show as "Uncle Bernie." In an interview, Radio One founder Cathy Hughes described him as "a black version of Mister Rogers."

"It was a learned voice, but he was sort of down-home," said Denise Rolark Barnes, the publisher of the Washington Informer, an African American, woman-owned newspaper. "He made people comfortable calling and expressing their opinions."

Mr. McCain was most associated with the afternoon drive-time but had also done morning drive-time and midday shows over the years.

He was, by all accounts, opinionated. But he distinguished himself from many on-air personalities in radio by not being rude to callers, even when conversation touched on such sensitive issues as economic empowerment, education, political engagement and parenting.

"We want to make a difference in people's lives," Mr. McCain told The Washington Post in 1981. "We want to do more than talk. We plan to bring people to the mike who have control and power, people who make decisions that affect other people's lives, so our listeners can question them and make suggestions."

Bernard Robert McCain was born Nov. 8, 1936, in Newark. He served in the Marine Corps in the 1950s and held a variety of jobs, including stints as the manager of a rock-and-roll group and, in Paris, as a produce truck driver.

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