On Sunday’s episode of NPR’s Consider This podcast, host Eric Deggans spoke with Allen Media Group Founder, Chairman, and CEO Byron Allen about the future of Black ownership in American media.
Earlier this year, there were indications that Paramount Global, the owner of BET (Black Entertainment Television), might consider selling the network. This news caught the attention of prominent African American entrepreneurs who expressed their interest in acquiring it.
Allen was among the interested parties — as were Diddy and Tyler Perry. He has been actively acquiring various broadcast and online outlets in recent years. While Allen’s portfolio includes media platforms targeting Black audiences, such as the Black News Channel, he has also made acquisitions that cater to a broader demographic, such as The Weather Channel.
“In building my company, it was real simple. I’m building one of the world’s largest media companies, if not the world’s largest media company, and I happen to be Black,” Allen stated.
Allen has also made a name for himself as an activist for the Black community, generating polarizing litigation against McDonald’s for predatory advertising practices. “McDonald’s takes in about a hundred billion a year out of 39,000 stores, and a lot of it is out of the Black community. McDonald’s is spending approximately, we believe, a billion dollars a year in advertising – a billion. And Black-owned media, when I filed the lawsuit, was getting less than $5 million when we believe they’re pulling about 40 billion in sales out of the Black community. So I filed a $10 billion lawsuit against them using the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Section 1881.”
Deggans then brought up the response issued by McDonalds quoting from the company’s public statement, “Byron Allen files baseless lawsuits as part of a public smear campaign against our company to try to line his pockets. We will not be coerced by these tactics and will defend ourselves vigorously.”
Allen responded, referencing California Civil Code of 1711 that says if a company makes a pledge, you have to live up to it, then he noted the pledge made by “white corporate America” during the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically citing a Washington Post article where a number of organizations pledged over $50 billion to Black America. Allen claims less than 1 billion of that has been lived up to, making an argument for rightful legal action.
Deggans then asked Allen about his recent appearance on Bloomberg, referencing comments about Allen purchasing Tegna, a media company that manages 64 TV stations across the country.
Deggans said,”You own lots of non-, you know, Black-focused media platforms. How do you make sure that the companies that you own are fair and free from racism and prejudice? And in particular, if you’re going to buy a bunch of Tegna stations, will you be able to ensure that their local news coverage, for example, is free from these problems?”
“Absolutely. I mean, that goes without saying. Most people who deal with me know who I am. I’m very clear, I’m very loud, I’m very proud, and they know that I take action, and I take immediate action when I see something that I believe is not right.” Allen stated.
Maddy Troy serves as a writer and editor for Barrett News Media, with a specific focus on media business, advertising, and podcasting. You can find her on Twitter @Troy_Maddy.
Tom Tradup Named Contributing Editor of All Israel News
Salem Radio Network Vice President Tom Tradup has been hired as Contributing Editor of All Israel News, the publication has announced.
In his new role, Tradup will coach the outlet’s writers and editors, and will also provide a weekly column about Israel, the Arab world, and U.S. policy in the Middle East.
“I could not be more thrilled that Tom Tradup has agreed to help All Israel News publish more great content and dramatically expand our traffic, reach, and influence,” founder Joel C. Rosenberg said.
Tradup will continue in his full-time role at Salem Radio Network, in addition to his new role with All Israel News.
“I’m honored to work with Joel Rosenberg and his awesome team. Given that they only launched on September 1, 2020, I’m astonished by just how much they’ve accomplished. They’re breaking stories that are getting picked up by much larger American and Israeli news outlets. They’re getting exclusive interviews with the most powerful leaders in Israel and the Arab world,” said Tradup.
“Also, they’re providing the best daily online coverage of what’s happening with Christians in Israel and the broader Middle East. TBN loves their work and has created a prime-time TV show with Joel as anchor and executive producer. And Joel is being interviewed by Fox News, Newsmax, the Jerusalem Post, and so many other major media outlets because of his expertise and unique perspective on the region.
“Clearly, the Lord is doing something very special here, and at this pivotal moment in history, I’m really looking forward to helping Joel and his colleagues build on this successful foundation and create exciting new content that educates Evangelical Christians about what’s happening in Israel and the region from a distinctly Biblical worldview.”
NAB CEO Curtis Legeyt Applauds Court Decision to Complete Quadrennial Review
“This ruling is an important step to compel a review that the record makes clear is necessary to allow local broadcasters to more fairly compete and deliver our trusted, locally-focused programming in a transformed media marketplace.”
A U.S. Court of Appeals has handed down a decision providing the FCC 90 days to complete the 2018 quadrennial review. The NAB has shared their pleasure with the decision.
“NAB applauds the Court for recognizing the vital importance of the FCC completing its long overdue 2018 quadrennial review. Today, broadcasters’ service to communities across the country is imperiled by the Commission’s failure to modernize its decades-old media ownership rules,” NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt said. “This ruling is an important step to compel a review that the record makes clear is necessary to allow local broadcasters to more fairly compete and deliver our trusted, locally-focused programming in a transformed media marketplace.”
Earlier this year, the NAB threatened to sue the FCC if it did not respond to a request to postpone the 2022 review until the 2018 review was completed. FCC Jessica Rosenworcel subsequently shared that changes to the commission’s ownership rules were still a work in progress, despite the legal challenges facing the quadrennial review.
However, the broadcaster group has shared its intention of working together with the FCC to find a resolution.
“NAB looks forward to actively engaging with the FCC to forge a path forward and reinforce the essential service provided by free, local broadcast stations in communities across the country.”
X Will Be Turning a Profit in 2024 Says CEO Linda Yaccarino
“90% of the top 100 advertisers have returned to the platform in the last 12 weeks alone.”
The profitability of X, formerly Twitter, has been a hot topic since the social media platform was purchased by billionaire Elon Musk. His hand-picked CEO, Linda Yaccarino, says the company will be in the black in 2024.
While appearing at the Code Conference, Yaccarino said that since she has taken on the role of CEO, she know sees a path to profitability for the company.
“Now that I have immersed myself in the business, and we have a good set of eyes on what is predictable, what’s coming is that it looks like in early ’24, we will be turning a profit,” Yaccarino said.
During the interview, which has been labeled by observers as “odd” and “uncomfortable, Yaccarino claimed, “90% of the top 100 advertisers have returned to the platform in the last 12 weeks alone.”
In its first 13 years of operation, the social media company has yet to turn a profit. However, the insinuation of profitability by Yaccarino isn’t the first time she’s claimed the company was close to being in the black. In an interview with CNBC in August, she said the platform was “pretty close to breakeven”.
Yaccarino added that she views X as “a new company”, saying it’s a “new day”. She continued by noting that her belief is X is “building a foundation on expression and freedom of speech”, whereas Twitter was “operating on different sets of rules…different philosophies and ideologies that were creeping down the road of censorship”.