On Wednesday, August 19, from 11:30am-12:30pm, RBR+TVBR will host the Black Media Symposium, presented by Triton Digital. The hour-long live event on Facebook Live and the RBR+TVBR YouTube channel is a free event that begins with a keynote conversation with highly respected award-winning journalists Ed Gordon and Roland Martin, ahead of a virtual roundtable discussion with a host of Black media leaders.
RBR+TVBR spoke with each of the roundtable panelists to offer a preview of what’s to come during the Symposium. Today, we present highlights of a chat conducted Monday with DuJuan McCoy, owner and President/CEO of Circle City Broadcasting, which operates WISH-8 and WNDY-23 in Indianapolis.
The conversation took place just hours before McCoy filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against AT&T over its six-month retransmission fee impasse for his two Indianapolis stations. Our coverage, along with an exclusive comment from AT&T on the matter, can be found here.
CALLING THE SHOTS, WITH PASSION
RBR+TVBR: As the owner of two TV stations in one market, responding to the challenges of our times may be different than for a media outlet owned by national media conglomerate. What can you say are the positives of your ownership of WISH-8 and MyNetworkTV affiliate WNDY?
DuJuan McCoy: The biggest benefit is that when you become an entrepreneur, you do so because you call the shots, make the decisions and become responsible for those decisions. Being an entrepreneur during this time has been very valuable. I don’t have to report to anyone to call the shots.
Owning these stations, and what I am doing, is very rare. It gives me the flexibility to positively reflect my community without corporate approval. And, at WISH we now have 80 hours of news programming. This has increased since the loss of the CBS affiliation, which ended with Media General’s sale of its stations to Nexstar, before I acquired WISH. I’ve owned WISH since Sept. 19, 2019, and I added an additional five hours of news a week.
I believe what we are doing, and the branding we have been able to establish since September as “the only locally owned and operated station” has seen the market taking kindly to us. People want to have a station they could call their own.
RBR+TVBR: How did WISH-8 cover the social injustice protests that emerged following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor?
DuJuan McCoy: Our guys were wanting to report from the center of the protests. They were getting tear-gassed with milk bottles to protect their eyes. This offered something no other station offered, and puts a keen sense of local ownership to their local reporting.
RBR+TVBR: How has 2020 impacted initial plan of action?
DuJuan McCoy: It really slowed my roll … from a standpoint of making larger investments in the TV station.
RBR+TVBR: What’s perhaps the biggest thing the financial and regulatory leaders in the media industry should recognize about minority media ownership today?
DuJuan McCoy: I am on the FCC advisory committee. I am on boards across the country. And, my passion is to promote diversity in broadcasting from a small, fairness, and African American and women-owned business standpoint. If women and people of color cannot get a sustainable seat at the table, I believe it is a problem for America. The nation’s airwaves need to be indicative of the people they serve, and diversity in media – giving a voice to the underserved in America – is a problem. We just need bigger companies and the government to continue to do things to not forget about women, or minorities. The taxpayer owns the airwaves, and they should have a say in who owns them! All should have an equal and fair opportunity to own broadcast stations. I’ve been fighting this fight since 2007 and I’m not about to stop.
The “Black Media Symposium” will be presented on Facebook Live and via YouTube on Wednesday, August 19, from 11:30am-12:30pm Eastern.
You may view the Black Media Symposium on YouTube by clicking here.