Influential person: Amos Brown

Radio and TV personality, activist

Shortly after celebrating 40 years as a broadcaster, Amos Brown died suddenly in November 2015. It left a void in Indianapolis’ media spectrum that will perhaps never be filled—because they just don’t make journalists like Brown anymore.

A longtime activist on behalf of minority communities and public education, Brown covered a lot of professional bases during his eclectic on-air career, which began in 1976. In addition to hosting various widely popular radio and television shows over the years, he was also a columnist for The Indianapolis Recorder, Indy’s Black-owned newspaper; and served as an executive at several area radio stations, including WTLC-FM 106.7.

He was famous for his acerbic wit, and for his readiness to challenge the pronouncements of his often-famous, often-powerful, often-white guests. None of which prevented them from appearing on his show, one of the last of which featured a debate between then-mayoral candidates Joe Hogsett and Chuck Brewer.

In 1992, Brown created “The Noon Show,” Indianapolis’ first Black-oriented TV news program. From 1997 to 2005, he hosted television’s “The Amos Brown Show,” and from 1995 to 1997, he hosted “Six Thirty PM,” a nightly TV magazine show. In 2007, he was inducted into the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

“Oftentimes, African Americans are under-represented or mistreated to a degree,” Shannon Williams, president of The Indianapolis Recorder, told IBJ shortly after Brown’s death. “He was a person who spoke out against those ills. He was a person who went to the powers that be and said, ‘Hey, you can’t do this to our community.’”

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