Showing posts with label Byron Allen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Byron Allen. Show all posts

Monday, November 21, 2022

CBS to Air ‘Byron Allen Presents theGrio Awards’

CBS will broadcast the inaugural “Byron Allen Presents theGrio Awards,” a two-hour event honoring “icons, leaders and legends” including Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah, who also took the stage for a special performance with Fantasia and Yolanda Adams.

The star-studded black-tie event — a first for the African American-focused news, lifestyle, sports and entertainment platform theGrio — was co-hosted by Sheryl Underwood and Taye Diggs. Allen Media Group founder, chairman and CEO Byron Allen serves as an executive producer of the special, which will be broadcast Saturday Nov. 26 on CBS from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT, and will be available to stream live on Paramount+.

Honorees include Dave Chappelle (Cultural Icon Award), Ben Crump (Justice Icon Award), Allyson Felix (Sports Icon Award), Hudson (Trailblazer Icon Award), LaBelle (Music Icon Award), Latifah (Television Icon Award), Norman Lear (Champion Award), Alena Analeigh McQuarter (Young Icon Award), Don Peebles (Business Icon Award), Tyler Perry (ICON Award), Robert F. Smith (Philanthropy Award) and Kenan Thompson (Comedy Icon Award).

[SOURCE: VARIETY]

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

BYRON ALLEN'S ALLEN MEDIA GROUP WINS SIGNIFICANT LEGAL VICTORY IN RACIAL DISCRIMINATION-BASED LAWSUIT AGAINST MCDONALD'S

Byron Allen's Allen Media Group (AMG) divisions Entertainment Studios Networks, Inc. ("Entertainment Studios") and Weather Group, LLC ("Weather Group") won a significant legal victory in federal court on Friday, September 16, 2022. The AMG lawsuit initially filed on May 20, 2021 against McDonald's Corporation ("McDonald's") seeks $10 billion in damages for racial discrimination. According to the lawsuit, McDonald's intentionally discriminated against AMG divisions Entertainment Studios and Weather Group through a pattern of racial stereotyping and refusals to contract in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and the California Aruh Civil Rights Act, Cal. Civil Code § 51.5. On Friday, September 16, 2022, defendant McDonald's was denied a Motion to Dismiss by Judge Fernando M. Olguin of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The case will now proceed to trial before a jury in May 2023.

McDonald's is the world's leading global food service retailer with over 39,000 locations that generate over $100 billion in annual revenue. African Americans represent approximately 40 percent of McDonald's U.S. sales, with McDonald's taking billions of dollars each year from African American consumers. Per the lawsuit, of its approximately $1.6 billion annual advertising budget, McDonald's spends less than approximately $5 million each year on African American-owned media, and it has refused to advertise on Entertainment Studios networks or The Weather Channel since Allen acquired the network in 2018. Per the lawsuit, the McDonald's President and CEO Chris Kempczinski makes approximately $11 million per year, which is more than double what McDonald's spends per year on ALL of Black-owned media combined.

The lawsuit (case number 2:21-cv-04972-FMO-MAA Entertainment Studios Networks, Inc. et al v. McDonald's USA, LLC) alleges that McDonald's refusal to contract is the result of racial stereotyping through McDonald's tiered advertising structure that differentiates on the basis of race. The primary advertising tier for McDonald's is referred to as "general market" and it constitutes the vast majority of McDonald's advertising budget. McDonald's, however, created a separate "African American" tier with a much smaller budget and less-favorable pricing and other terms. McDonald's contracts with a separate ad agency, Burrell Communications, for this African American tier, thereby creating separate and unequal tracks for Black-owned media companies to earn advertising revenue. McDonald's has created a discriminatory environment that is separate but not equal.

According to the lawsuit, McDonald's relegated Entertainment Studios to the less-favorable African American tier even though the companies own and operate television networks that have general market appeal and do not specifically target African American audiences. McDonald's does so because the companies are owned by Allen, an African American. Through this stereotyping, McDonald's prevented Entertainment Studios and Weather Group from accessing McDonald's general market advertising budget and deprived the companies of advertising revenue that otherwise would have been paid if McDonald's treated the companies the same as similarly situated, White-owned companies.

Numerous key points from the court ruling (see attached PDF) that are favorable to the AMG/Entertainment Studios/Weather Group position include, on page 11 of its opinion, the court recognized that racist comments by senior executives—even if not directed to the plaintiff—can evidence racial bias to support a racial discrimination claim under Section 1981. The lawsuit alleges that senior McDonald's executives, including its current CEO, made racially derogatory comments that evidence a culture of racial hostility within the company.

"This is about economic inclusion of African American-owned businesses in the U.S. economy. McDonald's takes billions from African American consumers and gives almost nothing back. The biggest trade deficit in America is the trade deficit between White corporate America and Black America, and McDonald's is guilty of perpetuating this disparity. The economic exclusion must stop immediately," said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. "McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski got caught sending racist text messages and McDonald's has been sued by the Black franchisees, the Black executives, the Black employees, the Black vendors, and 52 percent of the McDonald's stockholders recently voted to hire a third-party firm to investigate McDonald's for civil rights violations. This is historic!!! The overt and systemic racism at McDonald's is undeniable and indefensible. McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley, and the Board of Directors must be fired."

"As alleged in our complaint, McDonald's has engaged in pernicious racial discrimination in violation of federal and state law," said counsel for Mr. Allen and his companies, David Schecter and Skip Miller, partners in Miller Barondess, LLP. "We are confident the jury will recognize the injustice that has occurred here and will award significant damages. We are looking forward to our day in court."

Saturday, September 10, 2022

BYRON ALLEN'S HBCU GO/THE GRIO ATTRACTS MAJOR FORTUNE 500 SPONSORS FOR HBCU SPORTS NETWORK

Byron Allen's Allen Media Group (AMG) is proud to announce it has secured numerous major Madison Avenue advertising sponsors for the launch of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) sports for HBCU GO and theGrio Television Network's 2022-23 sports programming season. Brand sponsors include: Procter & Gamble, Honda, AT&T, Stellantis, Walmart, Toyota, Bank of America, Verizon, Lexus, Meta, Allstate, Boost Mobile, Lowes, Kia, SC Johnson, UnitedHealthcare, Safelite, Macy's, Taco Bell, T.J. Maxx, Dairy Queen, Capital One, Geico, Pizza Hut, Mastercard, Target and many more.

HBCU GO is the leading media provider for the nation's 107 HBCUs, and recently announced nationwide clearance for their 2022-23 sports season as part of a new carriage deal with CBS owned-and-operated broadcast television stations in key broadcast television markets including New YorkLos AngelesPhiladelphiaDallasAtlantaSan FranciscoBostonSeattleTampaDetroitMiami, and PittsburghAMG's FREE-streaming digital platform HBCU GO brings together major HBCU NCAA conferences, with major market carriage across broadcast television, cable, satellite, and digital platforms. HBCU GO's 2022-23 season began this past Saturday, September 3 with "The HBCU GO Sports Kickoff Show." The three-hour pre-season special aired LIVE on the AMG platforms HBCU GO, theGrio Television Network, theGrio Streaming App, Sports.TVLocal Now, and on broadcast television stations throughout the U.S.

HBCUs are widely known for graduating exceptional athletes, celebrities, politicians, and historical figures including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Wilma RudolphAlthea GibsonWalter PaytonMichael StrahanJerry RiceSpike LeeAlice WalkerSamuel L. Jackson, astronaut Ronald McNairAlex HaleyEarl GravesOprah WinfreyChadwick Boseman, Justice Thurgood Marshall, Common, Booker T. Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Judge Kevin RossLangston HughesKatherine JohnsonKenya Barris, and Vice President Kamala Harris, to name a few.

"The HBCU brand represents over 184 years of historic excellence, dating back to 1837, which helped cultivate some of the world's greatest minds and talent," said Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group. "HBCU GO and theGrio position our advertisers to speak to the heart and soul of Black America 24/7, and help our sponsors stay strongly connected with one of the most valuable, untapped audiences in the world."

For more information about HBCU GO visit HBCUGO.TV or follow us on FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Byron Allen’s HBCU Go streamer enters deal with CBS stations to air HBCU football games

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group (AMG) free-streaming digital platform, HBCU GO -- the leading media provider for the nation’s 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) – proudly announces nationwide clearance for their 2022-23 sports season as part of the new carriage deal with CBS owned-and-operated duopoly stations. Key television markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Miami, and Pittsburgh. HBCU GO will kick off the fall sports season on September 3rd with a star-studded pre-season show featuring the nation’s top Gridiron NFL and Black College Hall of Famers and HBCU alums.

With this new carriage deal, HBCU GO is currently in 60 percent of U.S. television households and 70 percent of African-American households. This news comes on the heels of HBCU GO’s recent announcement of the distribution partnership with the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA) -- that grants HBCU GO cable, linear, streaming, broadcast, VOD, and pay-per-view rights to premier NCAA Division 2 HBCU conference sporting events.

In addition to the newly announced CBS owned-and-operated duopoly station clearances, HBCU GO has secured distribution with group-owned television stations including Nexstar, Gray, Cox, Scripps, Tegna, Sinclair, Lockwood, Allen Media Broadcasting, Hearst, Circle City Broadcasting, McKinnon Broadcasting, Cowles, Graham, Block, Sun Broadcasting, Tougaloo College, Sagamore Hill, and Marquee. HBCU GO programming is available on HBCUGO.TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Viewers can also access programming by downloading the HBCU GO App.

“Allen Media Group is thrilled that the CBS O&O stations have joined our excellent group of broadcast television station partners to increase the reach of HBCU GO’s high-quality sports programming,” said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. “We are proud to amplify these amazing athletes and HBCUs, while at the same time helping to finance the education of these young adults. Now sports fans across the country will have access to best-in-class games from America’s HBCUs.”

“We are honored to work with our partners at Allen Media Group to bring live broadcasts of HBCU football games to our audiences in 12 major markets,” said Wendy McMahon, President and Co-Head, CBS News and Stations. “As a Louisiana native and football fan, I am personally and professionally proud to play a role in having our stations shine a light on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the student athletes who are living out their dreams both on the field and in the classroom.”

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Byron Allen Talks Buying Black News Channel, TheGrioTV, and HBCU Football

Entertainment Studio's Byron Allen talks to Reliable Sources anchor Brian Stelter about buying the Black News Channel assets for $11 Million months after the company went bankrupt, changing it to TheGrio.tv and even talked about his plans to showcase HBCU Football on the platform.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Byron Allen Buys Black News Channel

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group is buying the Black News Channel, with plans to revive the bankrupt cable news outlet and significantly grow its distribution footprint.

Allen’s company is acquiring “substantially all” of BNC’s assets for $11 million, with a bankruptcy court in Tallahassee, Florida, formally signing off on the sale.

Allen says that his company “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.

“Also, we appreciate the opportunity to provide cable operators, satellite companies, telcos and digital platforms diversity of ownership, voices and viewpoints on their programming lineups by having a 100 percent African-American-owned network,” he added.

Allen says that his company “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.

“Also, we appreciate the opportunity to provide cable operators, satellite companies, telcos and digital platforms diversity of ownership, voices and viewpoints on their programming lineups by having a 100 percent African-American-owned network,” he added.

[SOURCE: HOLLYWOOD REPORTER]

Sunday, February 20, 2022

An Interview with Broadcasting mogul Byron Allen

Four years ago, comedian and media mogul Byron Allen became the first Black American to own a 24-hour mainstream cable news network when he purchased The Weather Channel for $310 million – in cash. Now, Allen is preparing a bid to buy the Denver Broncos, which – if successful – would make him the NFL's first Black majority owner. CBS correspondent Lee Cowan talks with Allen about his entrepreneurial spirit, and his success at increasing minority ownership in broadcasting.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Supreme Court sides with Comcast in Byron Allen’s racial discrimination case

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Comcast in a high-stakes civil rights case Monday, ruling that media mogul Byron Allen must show race was the determining reason that the cable company refused to carry his channels in order for his discrimination case to survive.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a lower court used the wrong legal standard in allowing Allen’s $20 billion racial discrimination lawsuit to proceed. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California for reconsideration.

Allen, an African American entertainment executive, says the Philadelphia cable giant racially discriminated against him when it refused to carry his cable-TV channels on its systems. Comcast says race had nothing to do with rejecting Allen’s channels, noting that they had low ratings.

The high court did not weigh the merits of Allen’s allegations. At issue was whether a person filing a racial-discrimination lawsuit must allege that race was the determining reason that a contract decision was made, or if a person can merely allege that race was one “motivating factor” for a case to proceed.

“To prevail, a plaintiff must initially plead and ultimately prove that, but for race, it would not have suffered the loss of a legally protected right,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote on behalf of the court, in an opinion released Monday morning.

Allen said he would continue his fight by asking Congress and presidential candidates to revise the statute in question to overcome the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has rendered a ruling that is harmful to the civil rights of millions of Americans,” Allen said in a statement. “This is a very bad day for our country.”

Read the full article here: The Philadelphia Inqurier

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Sean Combs upset with Comcast over Byron Allen US Supreme Court case

In the Byron Allen vs. Comcast case, Comcast has been using Sean Combs channel, Revolt as an example of inclusion when it comes to carrying African American cable stations. Unfortunately for Comcast, Sean Combs has released a statement which clearly states that he sees the inclusion situation differently. He also believes that Comcast has taken an approach that can weaken civil rights protections. Read his statement below.

My name and my network, REVOLT, have been mentioned recently by Comcast in reference to the Comcast/Byron Allen US Supreme Court case as an example of Comcast’s inclusive practices with respect to African American owned cable networks. While it is true that we are in business with Comcast, it is not accurate to use my name or my network as an example of inclusion. I do not want my name to be used inaccurately so I must speak my truth. I also want to make clear that this case is now about much more than cable distribution. It’s about the civil rights of millions of African Americans and other minorities.

First, it’s important that people really understand what’s at stake. In its efforts to get the lawsuit filed by Byron Allen dismissed, Comcast has taken a legal approach that could weaken fundamental civil rights protections. I have a problem with this. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 section 1981 was designed to ensure Black people are able to do business in this country and not be denied because of race. Comcast is arguing that this law only applies if racial discrimination is the only factor that leads to a refusal to do business, which would be extremely hard to prove. If they are successful, it will become much harder for any victim of discrimination to seek justice in court. By taking this stance in the Supreme Court, Comcast has put its legal tactics ahead of the rights of millions of Americans to be heard. This is not OK.

Above anything else, my goal has always been to achieve true economic inclusion for Black people. How can Comcast suggest that it champions diversity and inclusion if it attacks the laws that provide the foundation for economic inclusion? What good are any of their efforts if they are fighting to make it harder for victims of discrimination to be heard in court? Comcast has made this about much more than Byron Allen, and now the civil rights of my children and my community are at stake. To be clear, anything that makes it harder to fight against discrimination is wrong. Comcast is choosing to be on the wrong side of history.

On REVOLT, I can only share the truth of my experience. Starting an independent cable network is incredibly difficult and capital intensive. The start we received from Comcast, which was a condition of the United States government approval for Comcast to acquire NBCUniversal, was important, but it is not the level of support needed to build a successful African American owned network. Not even close. Since that launch our relationship has not grown, and REVOLT is still not carried by Comcast in the most affordable packages nor is REVOLT available in all of the markets that would enable us to serve our target audience. Comcast spends billions of dollars on content networks every year, but just a few million go to African American owned networks like REVOLT. That is unacceptable.

Supporting diversity and economic inclusion requires a real partnership. The only way Black owned networks grow and thrive is with meaningful and consistent economic support. Otherwise they are set up to fail. REVOLT has never been in a position to truly compete on a fair playing field because it has not received the economic and distribution support necessary for real economic inclusion. Our relationship with Comcast is the illusion of economic inclusion.

Rather than using this case to diminish the civil rights protections of millions of Americans, Comcast should use this as an opportunity to listen to a community it relies on and, above all, do better.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Byron Allen Wins Two Big Federal Court Victories Against Comcast And Charter Communications

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Rejects First Amendment Right to Discriminate.

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios (ES) and the National Association of African-American Owned Media (NAAAOM) – plaintiffs in federal lawsuits filed against Comcast and Charter Communications – are pleased to announce two decisions issued today by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The lawsuits were filed against two of the largest cable television carriers in the country—$20 billion against Comcast and $10 billion against Charter—for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, prohibiting racial discrimination in contracting. For years, Entertainment Studios has been requesting that Comcast and Charter carry its networks, which are distributed by Comcast and Charter's competitors, including Verizon, DirecTV, AT&T, DISH, and many other carriers, to millions of people around the country.

Both Comcast and Charter, however, rebuffed all of Allen's requests for network carriage. Accordingly, Allen filed lawsuits in federal district court in Los Angeles. The cases are entitled National Association of African American-Owned Media, et al. v. Comcast Corporation, Case No. 2:15-cv-01239-TJH-MAN (C.D. Cal.) and National Association of African American-Owned Media, et al. v. Charter Communications, Case No. 2:16-cv-00609-GW-FFM (C.D. Cal.).

In two historically significant decisions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected Comcast and Charter's attempts to dismiss the cases before trial. The Court upheld Entertainment Studios' Section 1981 claims against both Comcast and Charter; and instead ruled that both cases could proceed in the trial courts to discovery and trial.

"These two decisions against Comcast and Charter are very significant, unprecedented, and historic," said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Entertainment Studios. "The lack of true economic inclusion for African Americans will end with me, and these rulings show that I am unwavering in my commitment to achieving this long overdue goal."

"The Court's rulings overwhelmingly reflect the Ninth Circuit's rejection of the Defendants' positions and arguments," said Mark DeVitre, President of plaintiff, NAAAOM. "I look forward to quickly moving into discovery where we expect much more evidence to surface."

"These decisions are hugely important in terms of opening the courts to African American-owned media. The Court paved the way to our eventual success at trial by ensuring that the proper 'mixed motive' standard for our claims – a lower standard of proof than the 'but for' standard argued by Comcast and Charter – applies," said Entertainment Studios' attorney, Skip Miller, partner in Miller Barondess. "Additionally, the Court dismissed Charter's and Comcast's attempts to use the First Amendment as a shield for their alleged discrimination. I very much look forward to trying these cases. And I give Mr. Allen tremendous credit for having the will and the constitution to invest the capital and resources to pursue them relentlessly."

About Entertainment Studios / Allen Media LLC

Chairman and CEO Byron Allen founded Entertainment Studios in 1993. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it has offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, and Raleigh. Entertainment Studios owns eight 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 160 million subscribers: THE WEATHER CHANNEL, PETS.TV, COMEDY.TV, RECIPE.TV, CARS.TV, ES.TV, MYDESTINATION.TV, and JUSTICE CENTRAL.TV. The company also produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 41 television programs, making it one of the largest independent producers/distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations. With a library of over 5,000 hours of owned content across multiple genres, Entertainment Studios provides video content to broadcast television stations, cable television networks, mobile devices, multimedia platforms, and the World Wide Web. Our mission is to provide excellent programming to our viewers, online users, and Fortune 500 advertising partners.

Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures is a full-service, theatrical motion picture distribution company specializing in wide release commercial content. ESMP released 2017's highest-grossing independent movie, the shark thriller 47 METERS DOWN, which grossed over $44.3 million. In 2018, ESMP also released the critically-acclaimed and commercially successful Western HOSTILES and the historic mystery-thriller CHAPPAQUIDDICK. Upcoming releases include the Keanu Reeves sci-fi thriller REPLICAS, the John Krasinski/Emily Blunt-starring animated feature ANIMAL CRACKERS, and Joe Carnahan's Mel Gibson/Naomi Watts starring action-thriller BOSS LEVEL. The digital distribution unit of Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, Freestyle Digital Media, is a premiere multi-platform distributor with direct partnerships across all major cable, digital and streaming platforms. Capitalizing on a robust infrastructure, proven track record and a veteran sales team, Freestyle Digital Media is a true home for independent films.

In 2016, Entertainment Studios purchased TheGrio, a digital video-centric news community platform devoted to providing African-Americans with compelling stories and perspectives currently underrepresented in existing national news outlets. TheGrio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles and opinion pieces on topics that include breaking news, politics, health, business and entertainment. Originally launched in 2009, the platform was then purchased by NBC News in 2010. The digital platform remains focused on curating exciting digital content and currently has more than 20 million annual visitors.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

NAACP statement on COMCAST attack on the Civil Rights Act of 1866

While Trump's shenanigans continue to capture the headlines this story about an attack on the Civil Rights act of 1866 is one that we all should be paying attention to.

The NAACP has released the following statement on a very important civil rights case involving Byron Allen and Comcast case to be heard on Wednesday November 13, 2019. The statement is in reference to attempts by COMCAST to roll back protections against discrimination given by the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

In a few days the United States Supreme Court will hear one of the most important civil rights cases to come before it this term. Comcast – the second largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world – is poised to take an unprecedented step. Because of a dispute with a Black businessman, the company has urged the Supreme Court to roll back the crucial protections of one of the nation’s oldest civil rights laws, Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

For more than a century, Section 1981 has been used as an important tool to combat race discrimination, particularly for employment discrimination claimants. Throughout the NAACP’s history, standard-bearers of justice like Thurgood Marshall have harnessed the power of Section 1981 to fight various forms of discrimination. Yet now, in a situation that has become all too familiar during this era, an upcoming Supreme Court decision has the potential to reject these lessons of history by rolling back the clock on basic civil rights.

Although the NAACP takes no position on the underlying dispute, we have decided to take the lead on this issue. We urge Comcast to cease its attack on Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866; a bedrock civil rights statute that has been in place for more than 150 years.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

BYRON ALLEN STRIKES $290M DEAL TO BUY 11 LOCAL STATIONS FROM USA TELEVISION

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has acquired 11 local TV stations from USA Television for $290 million.

The stations serve small to mid-sized cities (spanning markets ranked No. 79 to No. 188 in the U.S.) and have network affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

While the deal’s valuation is a fraction of the recent Nexstar-Tribune local TV merger, the USA pickup is the latest in a series of moves by Allen. His company is a partner in the recent takeover of the formerly Fox-run regional sports networks led by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. It also acquired four stations in Indiana and Louisiana for $165 million in July, and in 2018 bought the Weather Channel.

Entertainment Studios is also active in areas like broadcast syndication and theatrical and digital film production, acquisition and distribution.

“I have known Byron Allen for decades and we are delighted that these stations will now be part of his dynamic company, and that Heartland management will continue to guide them,” USA Television CEO Robert S. Prather Jr. said.

Allen saluted Prather’s stewardship of the stations, adding that the deal is “another milestone for our company.” He added that Entertainment Studios will “continue to aggressively look for other opportunities to grow our global media company through strategic acquisitions.”

RBC Capital Markets acted as sole financial adviser to Allen Media Group. Latham & Watkins LLP, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP and Loeb & Loeb LLP acted as legal advisers to Allen Media Group. Moelis & Company, LLC was the exclusive financial adviser to USA TV and Eversheds Sutherland (U.S.) LLP provided legal services.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Comcast, Al Sharpton Beat $20B Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

A California judge has made short order of a $20 billion lawsuit that accused Comcast and Time Warner Cable of racial discriminating through the licensing of cable channels. The legal action fails because the National Association of African-American Owned Media "failed to allege any plausible claim for relief."

The legal action, spearheaded in part by Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios Networks, gained some notoriety for including as co-defendants Al Sharpton, the NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Action Network for allegedly facilitating discrimination. In 2010, Comcast acquired NBCUniversal and entered into voluntary diversity agreements with these groups. The lawsuit said it was a "sham, undertaken to whitewash Comcast's discriminatory business practices," and raised hackles over Sharpton's salary as host of an MSNBC show.

U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter Jr. agreed, and in a sign he didn't even think this was a close call, spent just three pages analyzing the claims in an order to dismiss. He rules that the plaintiffs have failed to plead sufficient facts to show his court has personal jurisdiction over Sharpton and various African-American advocacy groups. And the claims against the other defendants don't survive further because Hatter can't reasonably infer they are liable for misconduct alleged even accepting plaintiff's facts.

"Knowing that our lawsuit helped the FCC and the DOJ deny Comcast's bid to buy Time Warner Cable is already a big win for us," said Allen in a statement. "We are going to immediately appeal this decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who I believe will deliver us a favorable decision."

Read more: Comcast, Al Sharpton Beat $20B Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Let's Talk Honestly: The Byron Allen Controversy

Let's Talk Honestly Host George Cook discusses what was really lost when Byron Allen made his unnecessary and just plain nasty comments about Al Sharpton. You know, those fried chicken comments. Listen to the 5 minute show by using the player below.