Monday, July 29, 2013

Hubbard: Radio's Quiet Powerhouse From Minnesota

Ginny Morris
The first thing to know about Ginny Morris is that she’s a Hubbard, which means she’s no pushover, according to Neil Justin at

The Hubbards, after all, are Midwest broadcast pioneers who built a lucrative empire that includes KSTP radio and TV and cable’s Reelz channel.

A Minnesota radio powerhouse, she is unrattled by the $85.5 million purchase this month of 10 stations — her second major buy in two years — at a time when some believe radio is as antiquated as the telegraph. She’s unfazed by being a female boss in an industry still run mainly by men. She’s not intimidated by the news that, in September, she’ll receive the National Radio Award from the NAB.

If there’s one crack in the armor, it’s the story of how the CEO of Hubbard Radio almost lost her way on the path to forging one of the top 10 chains in the business. It’s the day in 1988 when she was fired.

By her father.

Morris, 50, didn’t intend to join the family business. As a teenager, she was content being a hostess at a Mr. Steak restaurant.

But in the summer of 1982, right after her sophomore year of college, her dad, Stanley S. Hubbard, pushed her to take an internship in KSTP-TV’s promotional unit. If you don’t like it, he said, I’ll get off your back.

She loved it.

Morris ended up working full time at the station. By 1985, she was manager of the promotions department.

Then Dad came to her with some new advice: Get out.

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