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Al Roker's Production Company Sued For Allegedly Failing To Adhere To A Mandated DEI Policy

Al Roker and his production company, Al Roker Entertainment, have been sued for allegedly not following through with a commitment to diversity. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bill Schultz filed a lawsuit against the “Today” host and CEO’s company as he claims that executives failed to commit to its DEI initiative, which would bring Black writers on board for PBS’s “Weather Hunters.” Al Roker Entertainment is the owner of the animated children’s show. As an executive producer for “Weather Hunters,” Schultz addressed the issue at hand, confronting the leaders about the failure to adhere to the diversity program, which is mandated by PBS. However, he says that their response was firing him. In addition, a Black producer was also reprimanded for speaking up. “I put nine years of my career into ‘ Weather Hunters ,’ a project I strongly believe in, with the goal of making a wonderfully crafted show for children to enjoy and learn from,” Schultz shared in a statement, according to...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 19, 2024

Tyler Perry Didn't Successfully Secure Ownership Of BET — But He's Inked An Extensive New Deal With The Media Group

In April 2023, Tyler Perry shared his interest in bidding to purchase a majority stake in BET Media Group from Paramount. As BET is the home of his shows such as “Sistas” and “House of Payne,” there was potential alignment. In addition, the media mogul hoped for the network to become Black-owned once again. However, the aspiration came to an end shortly after. By August 2023, Paramount announced that it had ended its initial plan to sell its majority stake in BET Media Group stating that “a sale wouldn’t result in any meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet,” as previously shared by AFROTECH™. With the change in plans, Perry, along with other reported bidders including Byron Allen, did not gain ownership of BET. As AFROTECH™ previously told you, Perry was reportedly among the offers that ranged from $2 billion to $3 billion, but the bidding process didn’t pan out as he had hoped. “I was disappointed about it for a number of reasons,” Perry shared at Bloomberg’s Equality Summit,...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 16, 2024

Black-Owned Media Drives The Culture, Yet Spending On Them Was Only 1.16% In 2022

In 2020, advertisers jumped at the chance to show their support for Black people through numerous pledges to increase spending with Black-owned media. The million-dollar question three years later is, did they follow through on that promise?

Shanique Yates

May 24, 2023

Byron Allen Slams McDonald’s With Second Lawsuit, Seeks $100M And Punitive Damages

Byron Allen is doubling down on taking McDonald’s to court.

Ngozi Nwanji

May 9, 2023

Group Black Launches Initiative To Deploy Nearly $500M In Black-Owned Media By 2022

It’s time for Black-owned media to have more control within the industry, and this first-of-its-kind collective is launching an inspiring initiative to help us accomplish that. Today, Group Media — a unique media collective and accelerator dedicated to the advancement of Black-owned media properties — has launched with a mission to increase Black ownership and help Black media conglomerates claim their rightful place in this space. Founding member companies of Group Black include ESSENCE, Holler, PlayVS, Afropunk, The Shade Room and Baller Alert. Additionally, Holler’s Travis Montaque joins as co-founder, director and CEO alongside serial entrepreneur Richelieu Dennis, Group Black’s co-founder and chairman. As part of its launch, Group Black is kicking off its buying power with an inaugural $75 million target media investment from GroupM, a press release reports, which is also part of its effort to deploy at least $500 million in Black-owned media by the end of next year. “Our...

Njera Perkins

Jun 29, 2021

Umber Publishing Founder Mike Nicholls Wants To Give Power Back To Black-Owned Media Companies

Like many things in this country that are created out of a sense of repression, Black-owned media companies are just one avenue that has allowed us to take up space and tell our own stories authentically. There’s media conglomerates like Umber Publishing who are giving birth to a new narrative for Black media and keeping the seemingly lost art of print alive and well. Umber Publishing — an independent publishing house based in Oakland, CA — was founded by visual artist and designer Mike Nicholls as a means to provide a platform for Black and people of color to share their worldly and creative perspectives about their own lived experiences. What was originally founded as a single publication back in 2017 has grown to become a full-blown publishing company that’s amplifying the stories of marginalized voices in a way that gives power back to Black media who wish to control their own narratives. “One thing that these white-owned outlets have, for lack of a better word, is legacy and...

Njera Perkins

May 27, 2021

Byron Allen Sues McDonald's Corp. For $10B, Alleges Racial Discrimination

Byron Allen wants Black-owned media to receive what’s rightfully theirs! According to Deadline , The Byron Allen Media Group (AMG) has sued McDonald’s Corp. for $10 billion in damages and alleges that the company has discriminated against Black-owned media. This comes as the high-profile businessman continues to come for big corporations who fail to give Black-owned media a fair shot when it comes to the distribution of massive advertising budgets. Filed in the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles, the lawsuit accuses the fast-food giant of both alleged racial stereotyping and refusing to contract with AMG’s Entertainment Studios and Weather Group in violation of federal and state law. The suit states that while African Americans represent about 40 percent of McDonald’s U.S. sales, African American-owned media receives less than $5 million out of its circulation of $1.6 billion in annual television advertising. In the lawsuit, AMG also alleges that the corporation’s refusal...

Shanique Yates

May 21, 2021

Byron Allen's Year-Long Campaign For Black-Owned Media Lands Deal To Diversify The Ad World

For the past year, media mogul Byron Allen has been leading the charge for Black-owned media companies through a campaign that aimed to address the inequities in the ad business. According to an exclusive from AdAge, Allen’s efforts have proven to be successful after advertising giant IPG Mediabrands committed to invest a minimum of five percent in Black-owned media across all of its clients by the year 2023. “The time is past due to embrace the opportunities to connect with influential audiences through Black-owned media,” Daryl Lee — global CEO at Mediabrands — shared in a statement. “Innovation and growth are flourishing across Black-owned media outlets, providing brands with deeply authentic ways to reach diverse audiences in a supportive, meaningful manner. We are excited to be adding our voice to a growing industry conversation in support of greater diversity and equity in media spend.” The outlet also reports ad giant GroupM has pledged to ask its clients to commit two...

Njera Perkins

May 11, 2021

Diddy Calls Out GM, Corporate America For Exploiting Black-Owned Media Companies

Music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs penned an open letter calling out corporate America, specifically General Motors (GM), for exploiting Black-owned media companies via his cable network’s entertainment and news site, REVOLT. In a letter titled, “If You Love Us, Pay Us,” Diddy exposes how corporations like General Motors falsely claim to support Black media companies like his own in an act that both robs them of advertising revenue and contributes to a history of systemic racism. “The same feet these companies use to stand with us in solidarity are the same feet they use to stand on our necks,” he writes, reports Blavity. The letter also calls additional attention to efforts from Byron Allen of Allen Media Group in which he and several other Black media companies took out a full page advertisement in the Detroit Free Press that directly blasted GM CEO Mary Barra for racism against said companies. While GM has claimed to be in support of companies like REVOLT, Diddy challenged that...

Njera Perkins

Apr 8, 2021

Byron Allen, Verizon Team Up To Host Black-Owned Media Summit In May

Verizon is increasing its spending with Black-owned media companies based in the U.S., starting with a new partnership with Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group. According to a press release, the two entities have joined forces to launch a new diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative for a Black-owned media summit scheduled for May that will help Verizon reach its goal. “I’m very proud of Verizon, one of the largest advertisers in the world, coming to the table to make sure we have real economic inclusion for Black-owned media,” Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group, shared in a press statement. “The biggest trade deficit in our nation is the trade deficit between corporate America and Black America, and we must close that gap immediately.” John Nitti — Chief Media Officer at Verizon — shared his thoughts about how the company has been working toward increasing its DEI efforts to help the industry as a whole progress. “Verizon has been working to address diversity,...

Njera Perkins

Apr 8, 2021

Diddy Appoints Detavio Samuels and Colin McIntosh to Lead the Revolution at REVOLT

The revolution will be televised! Sean “Diddy” Combs has the Midas touch when it comes to longevity in an industry that most predicted wouldn’t be around forever. In 2020, reports revealed that Hip-Hop is America’s favorite and most influential genre thus far and the numbers don’t lie. Just like Diddy has an eye for musical talents, he has an eye for an executive team that will take his leading Black-owned media company, REVOLT, to revolutionary heights. Detavio Samuels and Colin McIntosh understand that they have a role to fulfill as the new leaders of REVOLT and they’re prepared to do it by any means necessary. “The mission is to create the largest Black global media empire that ever existed,” said Samuels, who has been appointed to CEO of the company, “and in that world, we can take care of our people.” McIntosh adds the title of Chief Operating Officer to his current position as  REVOLT’s Chief Financial Officer. “We want to build a platform for creators,” said McIntosh in an...

Shanique Yates

Mar 12, 2021