The Stalwart

Debra Welch-Hogan



Debra Welch-Hogan is President of Fleming Street Communications Inc., which owns radio station 107.3 FM WJUC, “The Juice”.  Her friends and family teased her as a child because she always wanted to be the boss of them, their President. Today, she wears that title with pride.  Fleming Street Communications Inc is owned by Debra and her siblings Rosalynd, Katrina, Charles, and Trina. Their father Charles Welch Sr., affectionately known in the community as Charlie Chuck, made history by building the first Black-owned radio station in the Toledo market.  He and his wife built the family business under the name Welch Communications in 1997 and Mr. and Mrs. Welch were the sole owners. Although all the children are working within the business, it was Debra that had an affinity for leadership because of the skills she learned from watching and working with her parents. She takes pride in what her parents built and is determined to make them proud by continuing to build on their legacy.

Charlie Chuck wanted the station to be known as the ‘people’s station’ to serve as the community’s voice and so he set out to acquire the last available frequency at that time. Through hard work and perseverance, he fought to make strides in realizing his dream. After ten long years of litigation and determination, he made history by being the first black man to build, own and operate a radio station in our region.  The community looked to the station as an important source of information.  Listeners would call in to ask for advice on choosing a medical doctor as well as other things because of the authority they presented. This relationship with the listeners continued throughout the years as was planned.  In 2016, Charles Sr. left the daily operations, and his children began their journey of creating a new organization under a new name.

Although the company’s name and structure has evolved, Debra still wants to use her platform to connect with the community.  She sees great opportunity for people of color to come together and teach, learn, and inform each other on issues that are important to living a good quality of life.  As she states, when her father ran the company, our black politicians would frequently visit the station to discuss important issues such as available funding or impending laws that may or may not be beneficial to our community, etc. Debra shares her father’s vision of wanting to step in and be a positive force.  And to build on that vision, you will see her in the community stepping up to do her part and using her influence toward building a legacy of excellence and success.

Debra runs a tight ship as her father did and every now and then she still receives the “Bang Bang” from him. The “Bang Bang” has long been affectionately branded as his stern advice and redirection. As Debra focuses on continuous improvement in her programming, she utilizes this loving tactic in her dealings with not only her internal, but external partners as well.  It is her external partners that require urgent and specific attention. There is much Debra wants to accomplish and feels that the black community deserves to have access to monies and opportunities that will uplift and provide access to wealth. The Juice has supported many events through their outreach without or for less compensation but feels there is room for balance. Debra is focused on strategies to assist with exhibiting their worth and by doing so, providing a pathway for others to do the same.  She wants to be considered an important player in Toledo’s ecosystem of decision-making by pushing doors open to represent those not at the table when it comes to decisions regarding financial opportunity.

Black people deserve to have a voice as her father reminds everyone and it is important to Debra to continues to provide that.  She has plans to go above and beyond Charlie Chuck’s wildest dreams when it comes to serving her community.  With Debra as President, and her husband Rick by her side as General Manager, many plans are in the works to build upon the gift that was handed to them by her father.  As Debra stated, her parents worked too hard to build the business and there is no way that she would let it go.  We applaud you Debra and all of the hard work you are displaying for the benefit of others.

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