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.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with gospel recording artist Earnest Pugh.

Pugh has experienced success he only dreamed of just a few short years ago. With the release of the project, "Rain On Us," and its title tune, Earnest Pugh was heard on Gospel radio stations nationwide and was catapulted to super stardom in the Gospel music industry. His smash hit single “Rain On Us” escalated to the #1 position on Billboard’s Top Gospel Singles Radio Chart and became the sixth most popular song of 2010.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Marcia L. Williams, author of “Chocolate Heals: Life is Sweet.”   

After being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, Williams decided to help others who may be experiencing tough times. Her love for baking was the perfect vehicle to get her message of hope out to those in need. Determined to provide inspiration to others after her diagnosis, she has pledged to impact the people in her own backyard – other cancer survivors and their families and friends.

University of Charleston

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Wil Haygood, Washington Post reporter and author of “The Butler: A Witness to History.” 

Before he died on March 31, 2010. Eugene Allen was one of few men to have had personal interaction with the last twelve presidents of the United States. He was at the White House for 34 years and served eight presidents.

Tom Uhler

John L. Hanson, Jr. has been on radio row at more Super Bowls than most Americans get to see on TV.  He is the host of KUT's In Black America and now lives in Mansfield, a suburb of Dallas.  He offers this recap of his North Texas Super Bowl Experience:

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