Byron Allen has enjoyed considerable growth with his Entertainment Studios film studio and his recently formed Allen Media Group, which presently owns 14 broadcast TV stations. He also purchased well-regarded African American lifestyle and entertainment brand The Grio, in 2016.
With more growth very much part of Allen’s plans, his Allen Media Group arm is partnering with one of the nation’s biggest wireless services companies in hosting a Black-owned Media Summit for a yet-to-be determined day in May — right in the heart of Upfront time.
Allen Media Group is teaming with Verizon in the development and execution of a new diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative and summit expressly designed to get CMOs to increase media spending with U.S. Black-owned media companies.
“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 said. “The biggest trade deficit in our nation is the trade deficit between corporate America and Black America, and we must close that gap immediately.”
Speaking for Verizon, Chief Media Officer John Nitti commented, “Verizon has been working to address diversity, equity and inclusion issues for years and we are proud of the actions we continue to take to move the industry forward. Increasing our financial commitment to Black-owned media companies and partnering with Allen Media Group to host a summit that will provide these companies with resources to help enable long term growth is a crucial part of our responsible marketing action plan. It is also an important step in creating the equity the industry needs.”
Details regarding the forthcoming event were not released by Allen Media Group, including when it will be held or who the other participants are.
But, sources tell RBR+TVBR that Verizon is committing at least 2% of its overall media investment with Black-owned media companies in 2021.