Black-Owned Media Leaders To Gather for TVN Webinar

Systemic racism in the advertising industry has left Black-owned media with a fraction of the advertising dollars that should be flowing their way, argues Byron Allen, owner of The Weather Channel and founder of Entertainment Studios and Allen Media Group. Allen, who maintains big marketers can ameliorate the problem by devoting 2% of their advertising spend on Black-owned media, will press his case during a TVNewsCheck webinar, Black Owned Media Matters, set to take place Thursday, April 15, at 1 p.m. ET. Register here.

African American entrepreneurs who run media companies would like big marketers to help dismantle systemic racism in the business world by devoting a portion of their annual advertising budgets to Black Owned Media.

To drive the message home, a group of them will gather to talk about the challenges they face during a TVNewsCheck webinar, Black Owned Media Matters.

Set for Thursday, April 15, at 1 p.m. ET, the webinar will feature Byron Allen, owner of The Weather Channel and founder of Entertainment Studios and Allen Media Group. Allen has led the charge in recent months to pressure advertising giants to address chronic under-investment in advertising on Black Owned Media companies.

Last week, his effort got a boost when Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, announced the company would dedicate 4% of its ad budget to Black-owned media companies in 2022 and 8% by 2025.

Barra appeared to be responding to a full-page ad Allen and leaders of several other Black-owned media companies had bought in the Detroit Free Press accusing her of refusing to meet with them. “Mary, the very definition of systemic racism is when you are ignored, excluded and you don’t have economic inclusion,” the letter said.

Business leaders who joined Allen in signing the letter were Roland Martin, CEO of Nu Vision Media; Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., president-CEO, Black Enterprise; rapper, actor and filmmaker Ice Cube, who founded the 3 on 3 basketball league, Big3 and is co-founder of production company Cubevision; Junior Bridgeman, owner of Ebony Media; Don Jackson, founder, chairman and CEO of Central City Productions; and Todd F. Brown, founder of Urban Edge Networks.


As the 2021 Upfront Season draws near, Allen and his fellow Black-owned media company leaders want large marketers to join Barra in setting aside funds to advertise on their networks, print publications and digital properties.

“Because of the Black Lives Matter movement, for the very first time in our business, there is real accountability. Many CMO’s and ad executives are not going to survive it because they have been tone-deaf forever,” Allen said.

“Our industry must have true economic inclusion, and this can only start when agency planners and the global brands they represent mandate a 2% media allocation for Black-owned media companies across all annual planning.”

To join the webinar, please register here.

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Hopeyoumakeit says:

April 8, 2021 at 10:22 am

I am a black account executive and have been successfully selling major market broadcast TV for 30 years. What these owners need to understand is that advertisers buy eyeballs, not concepts or ownership groups. You do not ask for advertising dollars, you take them. You take them buy taking the viewers. Advertisers dont give a flip about anything other than reaching viewers. (see Fox News). The Weather Channel only has viewers when weather is making the news. Ok, so change that. regionalize the programming to enhance relevancy. Black Americans change things and make them better. Would anyone have ever believed that there would be billionaire “Poets” walking among us. ? Poetry has been written for a 1000 years. I expect black media owners to attack this problem the exact same way.

weneedhelpnow says:

April 8, 2021 at 4:23 pm

Right on..Earn it..don’t pressure companies for handouts or anything for that matter based on race..Proud of you for speaking up!!