Click Here To Listen Nashville Business 100 Leading African Americans Sharon Kay
Sharon serves as General Manager at Fisk University’s radio station JAZZY 88 WFSK. When hired in late 2005, Kay was the first female to serve in that capacity in the station’s history. WFSK (formerly WRFN) came to the air in 1973, making it the first African American FM radio station in Nashville.
In 2015, she those honored as a Women of Legend & Merit in Media by Tennessee State University, in 2009 was named Nashville’s Best Radio Station General Manager at the 13th Annual Achievement in Radio Awards, making her the first African American to receive the award.
Ms. Kay is also well known for being host of the popular radio talk show “What’s the 411? with Sharon Kay”, which she began in 2001 on 92Q Cumulus Media.
Her syndicated program “What’s the 411? with Sharon Kay” has been a part of the African American Public Radio Consortium (AAPRC) satellite programming options available to public, community & HBCU stations.
Sharon has been a multi-award winning media professional now for 40-years with stints in radio, television, newspaper, and web-based services. She began her radio career on AM1250 WREN Radio in Topeka, Kansas in the late 1970’s as an overnight part time board operator/disc jockey. The format was pop music. Sharon broke color and gender barriers while at that station becoming the first black and first woman to become one of the station’s major personalities by hosting the Monday through Friday midday program and serving as the station’s Public Affairs Director for many years.
Since moving to the Nashville market in the mid 1980’s, Ms. Kay has served as a news anchor & talk show host for WLAC Radio, and at 92Q Cumulus Media, as well as a weekend associate producer at WSMV TV, and writer and photographer for several newspaper groups and conducted freelance writing assignments.
For most of her career Sharon has worked several jobs in conjunction with media work to take care of her family. In dual careers, Ms. Kay also served as the executive director of the Statewide Alcohol & Drug Clearinghouse of the Tennessee Alcohol & Drug Association (TADA) from 1989 to 2000. She secured government funding, developed and implemented Tennessee’s first alcohol & Drug prevention hotline The Tennessee REDLINE.
From 2000 to 2001 served as marketing director of New Life Lodge Treatment Center in Burns, Tennessee and from 2000 to the 2007 owned and operated a small public relations firm Details UnLTD!, specializing in workplace training, research, multi-media campaigns and imaging.
With a love for news and information, Sharon developed and served as the editor of her own internet syndicated news service “The 411 Show Internet Syndicated New Service” (ISNS) on her website www.411show.net from 2002 to 2006.
Her writing crossed multiple platforms with an assignment for Dr. Bobby Jones Christian talk show on the Word Cable Television Network called “Let’s Talk Church”, for three seasons from 2005 through 2008. Reruns of the program were carried on the BET Networks and The Impact Internet Channel. Besides television her writing have been included in industry publications and faith-based publishing.
Ms. Kay has served on and chaired numerous local, national & international boards, volunteered with dozens of organizations from feeding and clothing hungry and homeless to raising donations for non-profit organizations, Sharon has a long history of being a community advocate.
Students Taking a Right Stand S.T.A.R.S.- Executive Board Member 2017 – to the present
Borderless Arts – Executive Board Member 2016 – to the present
Frist Center for the Visual Arts – Media Advisory Member – 2016 to the present
Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame – Advisory Board – 2014 to 2015
Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame – Treasurer, Executive Board, 2012 to 2014
Metro (Nashville) Human Relations Commission – Commissioner, 2012 to 2016
Women on Maintaining Education and Nutrition W.O.M.E.N. – Interim
Chairperson, Board of Directors, 2013
March of Dimes (Nashville)- Board of Governors, 2008 – 2011
NAACP – Nashville Branch – Communications Committee co-chair 2006-2007
Nashville Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) 2008 – present
Nashville Prevention Partnership (NPP) Executive Board Member, 1996-1997
Substance Abuse Librarians & Information Specialists (SALIS International) Executive Board Chair, 1997 – 1998
R.A.D.A.R. (Regional Alcohol & Drug Awareness Resource) Network a division of the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, National Executive Board Chair 1998 – 1999
Big Brothers/ Big Sisters Topeka, Kansas Chapter, Advisory Board 1984 – 1986
Topeka, Kansas Parks & Recreation Dept. Advisory Board Member 1983 – 1986
Shawnee Council of Camp Fire, Topeka, Kansas, Vice Chair 1984 – 1985
North Topeka (Kansas) Headstart Program – Board President 1978 – 1979
Honors & Awards
2016 Headliners and Heroes Award for Media Excellence – NABJ Nashville Chapter
2016 Trailblazers and Legends Awards – Media Excellence Trailblazers Awards Association
2015 Community Advocate Award – Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership, J.U.M.P.
2015 Honoree at 17th Anniversary of Partners in the Struggle Anti-Violence Organization
2015 Women of Legend & Merit – Media Service – Tennessee State University Women’s Center
2014 Fannie Lou Hamer Award for Outstanding Work in Radio – 25+ Years, National Hook Up of Black Women, Nashville Chapter
2014 Honoree at HBCU Conductor’s Conference Outstanding Media Support
2010 Freedom Sisters Women of Achievement Award, Ford Motor Company Foundation & Smithsonian Institution
2009 Best Radio Station General Manager Achievement in Radio (AIR) Awards
2007 Best Morning Drive Talk Show Achievement in Radio AIR Awards
2007 Mike Curb Community Service Award Achievement in Radio AIR Awards
2006 Congressional Record 109th U.S. Congress Salute from U.S. House of Representatives (The original document is in the National Archives), Sept. 29, 2006
2005 Best Radio Station Website (The411Show.com) Achievement in Radio AIR Awards
2005 Metro Nashville Council Recognition & Resolution for Outstanding Community Service for What’s the 411? with Sharon Kay, June 7, 2005
2004 Urban Legend Award (What’s the 411? with Sharon Kay on 92Q) from Urban League of Mid.TN. for Voter Rights Restoration Media Campaign
2004 Ambassador of Hope Award – Broadcast Journalist of the Year, National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI Nashville
2004 Best Talk Show Host Nashville Achievement in Radio AIR Awards (was first female and first African American to win this category)
1999 Pioneer Award – U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) for trailblazing concepts in clearinghouse development (was among centers which developed national model for information dissemination)
1997 Nashville Prevention Partnership Executive Board Service
1988 Associated Press Story of the Year Award in the Large Market category for Tennessee, WLAC-AM 1510
1987- 1989 Associated Press News Story of the Week Winner 14-times at in the News Room of WLAC-AM 1510
1985 Outstanding Contribution to Community Service, Exodusters Awareness Organization, Topeka Kansas, WREN AM 1250
1983 to the present dozens of Certificates of Appreciation have been presented to Sharon by community-based organizations in Topeka, Kansas and Nashville, Tennessee.