John L. Hanson Jr.

Host, Producer, In Black America

John L. Hanson is the producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio series In Black America. It’s heard on home station KUT Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m., as well as weekly on close to 20 stations across the country. The weekly podcast of IBA, the only nationally broadcast black-oriented public affairs radio program, is one of KUT’s most popular podcasts.

Hanson’s love of radio started in his hometown, Detroit, as a teenager. He began as a music programmer and youth reporter for the student station in his school. Upon his high school graduation, he traveled to Austin, Texas, to attend Huston-Tillotson College, and landed a DJ slot at a small, low wattage station in nearby Lockhart where he offered a popular nightly program of jazz and soul music. Eventually he was hired by KUT radio in 1974 where his first assignment was to produce a nightly program called “Soul on FM” which became an immediate success and ultimately earned him recognition as “Best DJ in Texas” by Texas Monthly magazine in 1976.

In 1977, Hanson received a Minority Training Grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which he used to learn the ropes for setting up a public affairs program for KUT. Upon his return from the CPB workshops, Hanson turned his attention to improving and increasing information about the black community, which was not effectively reaching the local media outlets. He soon created Access, a weekly, live, phone-in program on KUT, which allowed experts in various fields and endeavors to address the public about their intended impact on the Austin community. From there, Hanson was promoted to the producer of In Black America after its previous host left the city in 1980.

Since that time, Hanson has served many roles at KUT, including being the station’s interim GM on two occasions. He retired from KUT in 2011 but has continued to work on IBA and host the Old School Dance Party on sister station KUTX 98.9 Friday afternoons from 4-7 p.m. Hanson is married to the former Latischa M. Merritt; he has two children, Kacey and Michael.

Get Red PR

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks to the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins, district judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and author of Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100-Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Judge Wilkins talks about the anniversary of the opening of the national museum in Washington, D.C., racial politics concerning African-Americans, and the taking down of monuments.

Lavish Records, LLC.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with entertainment attorney Dr. Tracy Randall, Ph.D.  The Grammy-nominated songwriter and gospel recording artist is a cancer survivor.

Randall talks about his struggle with bipolar disorder, battling cancer and his spiritual growth.

MSNBC

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Yvette M. Miley, senior vice president for MSNBC & NBC News, and the 2017 recipient of the Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Miley talks about the importance of people of color in decision-making positions in the newsroom, her journey from a volunteer position at the Florida Photo News to NBC and the symbolic importance of the Chuck Stone Award.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the Honorable Greg Mathis, former Superior Court judge for Michigan's 36th District and host of Judge Mathis.

Mathis talks about manhood, his election as the youngest judge in Michigan's history and the 19th season of his court-based reality show.

Black AIDS Institute

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Phill Wilson, president and chief executive officer of the Black AIDS Institute, decades after the virus was first discovered.  

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