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Media Mogul Byron Allen Plans to Add More Inclusion to the News Industry With Purchase of Black News Channel


Media mogul Byron Allen will be addressing the lack of inclusion in the news industry with the purchase of Black News Channel.

BNC  joined Allen Media Group’s 12-company portfolio in July after a Florida bankruptcy court approved Allen’s $11 million purchase of BNC from Shahid Khan. Since the acquisition, the network’s name will change to TheGrio, a West African term for storyteller.

In a recent interview with CNN, Allen said that he doesn’t think a “Black news channel” is needed but rather a “good news channel.” He added that TheGrio will be “more focused on lifestyle, entertainment, news, and sports.”

J.C. Watts originally debuted Black News Channel in February 2020 with the goal of creating digital content for and by Black people. Before the company’s launch date was postponed to 2020, Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, made his initial investment in it in 2019. The network was reportedly going to shut down in March 2021, and by late 2021, the company will have laid off most of its 300 staff.

According to Allen, there was a decline in subscriber feeds for the Black News Channel and scarce advertising dollars, which enabled him to purchase the company before it filed for bankruptcy.

“Allen Media Group will deliver a best-in-class network to serve the underserved African American community and the advertisers who want to reach this extremely valuable audience,” Allen said. “Also, we appreciate the opportunity to provide cable operators, satellite companies, telcos, and digital platforms diversity of ownership, voices, and viewpoints on their programming line-ups by having a 100% African American-owned network.”

According to Allen, BNC will broaden its programming by partnering with historically black colleges and universities, which will license more than 2,000 sporting events to air on the network. This will help to promote Black sporting events while funding the schools’ education programs.

In addition, he stated that corporate America must support diversity in ownership to ensure that it has a clear, resounding voice.

He told CNN, “We need to own our networks, control the narrative, control how we’re produced and depicted and seen around the world — and until all of our voices are heard, then we don’t really have a true democracy.”


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