Media has been a part of our lives for as long as many of us can remember. How we consume it may have changed over the years as we see a decline in printed media in favor of digital media with the onset of the internet.
Web sites and blogs on a variety of topics are springing up everywhere with no end in sight, we can all agree that the internet is officially crowded.
With that said, magazines, newspapers, and radio whether digital or otherwise are how we stay abreast of what is going on in the world and in areas that interest us.
Specifically, in the black community, there are a few publications and media outlets that you and I might consider to be 100% black owned because the content is predominantly black oriented. The problem is you might be wrong! In this post I have listed 7 media outlets that produce content geared towards the black community but are not black owned.
1. Essence Magazine In 2013, Essence magazine’s editor Constance White was fired as overseer of the magazine because she thought the magazine was going in a direction that was dumbing down the black woman in America. She did not want to focus on fashion or beauty tips and felt they should focus on more serious issues.
These days Essence does represent the modern black woman which in my opinion isn’t ‘Dumbing” us down at all but still the magazine was finally sold to Time Inc.
2. Ebony Magazine This one we all knew happened but the shock at the time was crazy because we are talking about a family owned business that was black owned for almost 70yrs. The company that now owns Ebony is JPMorganChase! — Crazy right?
3. XXL Magazine These days almost all ‘Hip Hop’ big media publications are not owned by black folk. XXL magazine, for example, is owned by Townsquare Media.
When we all heard about the BET sale it was almost funny because of the name, but we all know by now that doesn’t matter. The network was originally founded by an African American, Robert Johnson, in the ’80s, but in 2003, BET was sold to Viacom.
Viacom also owns MTV and VH1. At the end of the day, it is just business and the only color that matters is green. The sale made Johnson one of the first black billionaires!
5. Huff Post – Black Voices Huff Post: Black Voices was originally Blackvoices.com but is now owned by Arianna Huffington. The website focuses on many of the issues that affect the black community but Ariana was that white woman who once said that Michelle Obama ‘wasn’t black enough”.
6. TheRoot.com I do not know about you but I religiously read TheRoot! Even though it is one of my favourite publications it is now owned by Univision, a Hispanic media company that primarily services Hispanic communities.
7. TV One Now TV One on the surface is blackety black black but it was once owned by a partnership between Radio One’s Cathy Hughes and cable company Comcast Corporation.
There is good news though in 2015 Radio One announced a deal to buy out Comcast’s 47.9% share of TV One for $550 million and in late 2015 they did just that! The network is now completely black-owned making it the only minority-owned TV network in the country.
In mid to late 2015, Radio One purchased, from Comcast, the ownership interest it didn’t already own in the network, placing TV One as the only minority-owned TV network in the country. In February of this year TV One updated their logo with the slogan that says “Represent.” How is that for a complete turn of events? – TV One is very unique which is why it here but technically it shouldn’t be on the list at all.
I thought this list was pretty interesting and by no means should it be used to wag a finger shamefully at the original owners of the media companies. Rather it is great to know so that we can understand that there is always a need for more black-owned media companies.
It also shows that you should not take the platform you do own for granted regardless of how small it is because on the other side of the coin, in business, nothing is certain. Who did I miss? Comment below!