Ground-breaking, Peabody Award-winning broadcast news journalist Carl Nelson, has interviewed Presidents, Prime Ministers, Heads of State, politicians, authors, celebrities, civic leaders and people from all walks of life over a four-decade career that has taken him from Nelson Mandela’s prison cell in South Africa, to the Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles, to his present career as host of Washington DC’s latest daily newsmaker radio program, The Carl Nelson Show, a 3-hour daily news program on Radio One’s flagship radio station WOL-1450 AM.
Carl Nelson was the first reporter allowed to interview Nelson Mandela on the eve of his historic 1991 release from his South African prison and, as News Director for Stevie Wonder’s KJLH Radio, was the only news reporter allowed across police lines during the 1991 Rodney King riots. KJLH’s acclaimed coverage of this civic unrest garnered KJLH the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, an NAACP Image Award, a Golden Mike Award, the Los Angeles Press Club Award and several other industry-wide awards.
Nelson began his broadcasting career in 1971 at WYNT Radio in New York City. In 1974, he was recruited by Inner City Broadcasting Company, owners of WLIB Radio and WBLS Radio. After stints at several radio stations in Los Angeles, Nelson was named News Director of Stevie Wonder’s KJLH Radio, a position he held for a quarter of a century (1980-2005). In addition to his managerial responsibilities, Nelson was deeply involved in Wonder’s Bid to make Dr. Martin Luther Kings’ birthday a national holiday, he was also led in the station’s critically-acclaimed coverage of local, regional and national politics, breaking news and national events, including coverage of all the US political conventions.
Nelson has interviewed former US President Ronald Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former South Africa Premiere Peter Botha, Zambia’s first
President Kenneth Kaunda, Namibia’s Former President Sam Nujoma, current South African President Jacob Zuma, dozens of US political leaders including former US presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson, Senator Edward Kennedy, Representatives Maxine Waters, John Conyers and Diane Watson, Julian Bond, Andrew Young, TD Jakes, and Rev. Al Sharpton, among many others.
Nelson’s celebrity interviews include: Elizabeth Taylor, Oprah, Michael Jackson, Prince, Sidney Poitier, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Redd Foxx, Luther Van Dross, Quincy Jones Berry Gordy, Magic Johnson, Muhammad Ali, O.J Simpson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar Richard Pryor and Nancy Wilson, to name but a few
In 1996, The Black Radio Exclusive Magazine named Carl News Director of the Year. Nelson is a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology, and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television News Directors Association and the Black Journalists Association. Formerly the co-owner of WSRF AM radio in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Nelson sits on the President’s Advisory Board at St. Thomas University, Miami, FL.