TV One's hour-long NewsOne Now with Roland Martin has regained the viewers it lost with its September shift from 9 a.m. to 7 a.m. ET, Alfred C. Liggins III, president and CEO of the parent Radio One, Inc., told Journal-isms on Wednesday.
Liggins said he would like to "ultimately expand the show to a full multi-hour morning show."
"NewsOne Now" is national television's only live daily news show targeting African Americans. Liggins spoke after an onstage interview at the 14th Annual Access to Capital and Telcom Policy Conference in Washington, hosted by the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC).
In the interview with Kim M. Keenan, MMTC's president and CEO, Liggins said his company "has become the poster child for minority ownership" as media companies such as Black Entertainment Television have been bought by conglomerates. Though publicly owned, Radio One, Inc. bought out its original minority partner, Comcast, earning it black-owned status.
Radio One, which Liggins said is due for a name change that reflects its broader interests, is taking more positions on issues, "standing behind candidates" and undertaking more advocacy and philanthropy.
For example, Liggins said, the company recently fulfilled a $4 million pledge it made two years ago to Howard University's School of Communications.
Radio One isn't in the media business, he said. "We always saw ourselves in the 'black people business.' "
Much of Liggins' talk, however, was about the threat to his and other companies posed by Internet-firms such as Google. Google has "taken billions of dollars of advertising" from traditional media, and it knows how to "seek out African Americans," he told Journal-isms.
The CEO said he had no idea that he would have to learn so much about technology, if only to protect his business from the Internet companies. Radio One acquired Black Planet in 2008, then calling it "the premiere social-networking site for African-Americans," but now it is one-tenth the size it once was, Liggins told Journal-isms.
Facebook has dwarfed it along with competitors such as MySpace. "Our job is to figure out how to revive it" and reinvent its role, Liggins said of Black Planet.
Radio One was founded by Liggins' mother, Cathy Hughes, in 1980, with a single radio station, Washington's WOL-AM, obtained under a program by the Federal Communications Commission designed to boost minority ownership.
For the quarter ending March 31, its revenue was approximately $109.1 million, though Liggins said the company is carrying a high debt. Tom Taylor Now, "radio's daily management newsletter," reported on April 26 that Liggins "banked over $1 million in bonus (versus none in 2014) and about $1.3 million in stock awards to sweeten his base salary of $1.25 million."
Liggins said he was proud that 40 percent of TVOne is now original content, and that "Love Under New Management," an "Unsung" feature film. The story of singer Miki Howard, which aired in June, was "the biggest movie we've ever done."
Although Howard was not as well-known as some, her story was compelling.
"NewsOne Now" lost 36 percent of its audience when it moved from 9 a.m. to 7 a.m. ET, according to Nielsen research figures provided to Journal-isms. In April, Nielsen told Journal-isms that from January through the end of March, the show averaged 99,000 viewers, still below the average of 141,000 viewers it drew Sept. 7-11, its last week at 9 a.m. ET.
[On Thursday, Nielsen told Journal-isms that from Dec. 28 to June 24, "NewsOne Now" averaged 100,000 viewers watching live or utilizing time shifting (ie. DVR) within seven days.]
The time shift was implemented to compete with "Good Morning America," "Today," "CBS This Morning" and other such shows for African American viewers. Because there is no West Coast feed for "News One Now," viewers in the Pacific time zone see the show at 4 a.m. unless they record it.
Liggins told Journal-isms that the change was made because "more news viewers are up between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m." As for those on the West Coast, he said, "our target audience is east of the Mississippi."
One measure of "NewsOne Now's" success, Liggins said, was that Martin was able to co-host a Democratic candidates' "presidential town hall" with Jake Tapper of CNN in March.
- Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times: Black TV executives split on FCC's proposed set-top box disruption (March 4)
- Radio Ink: Smiley, Radio One Bringing The Community Together
Which products advertise in the African American and Hispanic communities and thus are worthy of their dollars?
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, senior vice president, U.S. Strategic Community Alliance and Consumer Engagement for Nielsen, posted that question Wednesday at the 14th Annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference in Washington, sponsored by the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) and attended by about 300 people.
"Millennials sometimes don't notice color, and that's OK," Pearson-McNeil said at a presentation titled, "Leveraging Multicultural Consumer Buying Power." "It's only OK until they get in trouble. Then they notice color."
She said consumers should ask these questions: Was I able to get this product in my neighborhood? Does this company advertise people who look like us? Do they showcase people in a positive way? Do they support causes important to my community?
If the answer is no, the question should be, "Am I going to spend my time and money with you? If there are 45 million of us doing that, you have to see change."
Black-owned media companies have tried to demonstrate the power of the African American consumer market almost since John H. Johnson launched Ebony magazine in 1942. Pearson-McNeil said $2.53 billion was spent advertising to black consumers in 2015 and $8.7 billion advertising for Hispanics. The disparity exists because advertisers believe they must advertise in Spanish-language publications to reach Latinos, but can reach African Americans in English.
According to Pearson-McNeil's presentation, the top advertisers seeking African Americans included the Deutsch agency, AT&T, Ford, Comcast, 21st Century Fox and Sony.
For Hispanics, they included Procter & Gamble, InfoVision, AT&T, Deutsch, General Motors, Nissan and Toyota.
In a separate discussion of the Federal Communications Commission, Reed Hundt, FCC chairman from 1993 to 1997, said Intel Corp., the world’s leading semiconductor design and manufacturing firm, uses goals and timetables to achieve diversity in hiring.
Hundt, an Intel board member, said he believed that use of such measures for broadcasters under FCC jurisdiction would pass court muster.
John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable: MMTC's Keenan Says Digital Issues Need Explaining
John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable: Hundt on Zero Rating: FCC Needs to Let Consumers Get Free Stuff
Nielsen: Connecting Through Culture: African-Americans Favor Diverse Advertising (Oct. 10, 2014)
R. Thomas Umstead, Multichannel News: To Drive Viewing, Remember Diversity
"Armstrong Williams, a media entrepreneur and central figure in the failed presidential campaign of Ben Carson, stands accused of sexual harassment and retaliation from a former sales associate at a local Jos. A. Bank store," Erik Wemple wrote Wednesday for the Washington Post in an account that includes lurid and graphic allegations.
"Charlton Woodyard, in a complaint lodged in D.C. federal court, seeks unspecified damages from Williams for seeking to 'control Mr. Woodyard financially, professionally, and emotionally.' The end result of this effort, notes the suit, was that Williams 'abused his power to attempt to exploit [Woodyard] sexually.'
"The sequence of events outlined in the complaint starts in the spring of 2013, when Woodyard was 26 and working at Union Station’s Jos. A. Bank. Williams struck up a conversation with the sales associate and invited him early the next morning to his office, where they worked together for the whole day. Williams is a Sirius XM radio host and owner of seven television stations across the country. . . ."
Wemple also wrote, "In 1997, Williams was sued by a former producer who alleged that the media figure 'repeatedly kissed and fondled him for almost two years,' according to a Post account at the time." Wemple said the suit maintains that Williams insisted that Woodyard accompany him to workouts at Capitol Hill’s Results Gym, where offensive behavior took place, and added that fitness was also featured in the 1997 allegations, "as the plaintiff in the case was a trainer before Williams drafted him for work with his radio show. The parties settled the dispute.
"That two-decade-old proceeding may well have played a role in Woodyard’s complaint, Williams told the Erik Wemple Blog this afternoon. 'He’s trying to get paid,' said Williams, who claims to have rebuffed attempts by Woodyard’s counsel to quietly resolve the matter. 'Something like this was filed against me before. . . . He’s trying to follow the same script,' he said. . . . "
Alan Rappeport, New York Times: Armstrong Williams, Ex-Adviser to Ben Carson, Is Accused of Sexual Harassment
Will Sommer, Washington City Paper: D.C. Conservative-Media Heavy Accused of Sexual Harassment — Again!
"Simply put, we got it wrong," Louis Graham, editor of the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, wrote on Tuesday.
"Those three big words in headline type stretched across Saturday's front page — Gunman Targeted Whites — were true according to police accounts in Dallas at the time but they badly oversimplified a very complex, rapidly evolving story, and angered many of our readers and many more in the broader community.
"In my view the headline was so lacking in context as to be tone deaf, particularly in a city with a 65 percent African American population. That front page minimized the broader refrain of what's happening in our country with anguish over the deaths of young black men at the hands of police. It has been viewed as suggesting that this newspaper values the lives of white police officers more than young black men who have died in incident after incident.
"The checks and balances in place to avoid just this type of disconnect didn't work that night for a variety of reasons. Too few people looked at the front page before it rolled off our presses. We've taken steps to correct that. But the larger challenge is recruiting a diverse enough staff to better reflect the city we cover. We continue to work on that and will be more introspective about how we do our jobs. . . ."
"About 50 protesters gathered in front of The Commercial Appeal offices Wednesday to voice their disappointment in the newspaper for its coverage historically," Kayleigh Skinner and Yolanda Jones reported for the Commercial Appeal on Wednesday.
"While the more immediate cause of the rally was Saturday’s headline," Tracie Powell wrote Wednesday for alldigitocray.org, "tensions have been brewing over The Commercial [Appeal's] lack of diversity in coverage and staffing for months. In December, leaders of the local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity . . . convened a community meeting to discuss the misrepresentation of minorities in local media. And in April, The Commercial Appeal published a damning indictment of its own, acknowledging “inadequate” coverage of civil rights issues during its 175 year history. . . ."
Powell also wrote, "Meadiaverse, a Memphis-based online media watchdog website, posted on Wednesday that the copy editor responsible for green-lighting Saturday’s headline resigned Tuesday before Graham published his apology. The copy editor, according to Mediaverse, had worked at The Commercial Appeal for 20 years. Meadiaverse did not identify the copy editor by name. . . ."
Jonathan Abel, Washington Post: Prosecutors’ duty to disclose impeachment evidence in police personnel files: The other side of police misconduct
Danielle C. Belton, The Root: #WeWontBeSilent: 2 Things the DOJ Can Do Now to Stop Police Violence
Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic: The Near Certainty of Anti-Police Violence
Editorial, the Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.: Citizens now must take lead in healing Baton Rouge after Alton Sterling shooting
Sydney Ember, New York Times: Front-Page Editorials Aim to Soothe the Grief-Stricken
ESPN.com news services: NBA stars call for an end to violence
Shelley Hepworth, Columbia Journalism Review: Cop to arrested reporter: ‘I’m tired of y’all saying you’re journalists’
Rodney Ho, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: CBS46 producer fired over racist rants about Black Lives Matter on Facebook
Patricia Lopez, Denise Johnson, John Rash, Star Tribune, Minneapolis: Listen: A summer of discontent (audio)
Karen Good Marable, New Yorker: Remembering Sandra Bland’s Death in the Place I Call Home
Maynard Institute for Journalism Education: Journalistic challenges from the ’60s, fast-forwarded
Brandon Ellington Patterson, Mother Jones: African American Gun Ownership Is Up, and So Is Wariness
Geraldo Rivera, Fox News Latino: We cannot allow this atrocity to escalate into a Civil (Race) War
E.R. Shipp, Baltimore Sun: A spirit in turmoil
Liz Spayd, New York Times: Opinion Editors Tone Down Piece on Race, and Some Readers Cry Foul
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, NBC News Asian America: Asian Americans Crowdsource Open Letter to Families: 'Black Lives Matter To Us, Too'
James Warren, Poynter Institute: CNN’s Don Lemon asks viewers to take Obama memorial speech ‘to heart’
Armstrong Williams, Washington Times: A clear double standard
"Jose Diaz-Balart, the veteran Telemundo and MSNBC anchor, will take the reins of the Saturday-evening edition of 'NBC Nightly News,' NBC News said Wednesday," Brian Steinberg reported Wednesday for Variety.
"Balart will continue to anchor his Telemundo programs, 'Noticiero Telemundo' on weeknights and 'Enfoque con José Díaz-Balart' on Sunday mornings, but will cede his anchoring duties on MSNBC to NBC News correspondent Craig Melvin.
"Diaz-Balart will start his new duties officially August 6, ending NBC’s use of a rotation of hosts since Lester Holt moved from anchoring 'Nightly' on weekends to the weekday editions. Diaz-Balart has been a member of that group, which has also included Kristen Welker and Thomas Roberts.
"The new role will essentially mean that Diaz-Balart will host top news programs on two different broadcast networks — and use two different languages. He will also be on the job seven days a week, anchoring from both Miami and New York City, depending on the program. . . ."
Mekahlo Medina, National Association of Hispanic Journalists: NAHJ Commends NBC News for José Díaz-Balart Promotion
Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.
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