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Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Buys African-American Digital News Site ‘TheGrio’

Comedian Byron Allen who now serves as founder, chairman, and CEO of Entertainment Studios. Photo courtesy of Es.tv
Comedian Byron Allen now serves as founder, chairman, and CEO of Entertainment Studios. Photo courtesy of Es.tv

African-American news site, TheGrio, is now under new management.

According to The Wrap, Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios announced its acquisition of the New York-based website Tuesday. Allen launched his television production company in 1993 and serves as founder, chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios.

“David Wilson and his founding partner Dan Woolsey have done an incredible job these past seven years building TheGrio, and we are one thousand percent committed to continue expanding this digital news community’s reach across all global media platforms, including our broadcast television syndication programs, cable television networks, and motion picture division,” Allen told The Wrap in a statement.

“We plan on investing heavily in digital publishing, and TheGrio has an excellent management team, making it the perfect asset to start our portfolio of online publishing,” he continued.

Previously owned by NBCUniversal, TheGrio draws an audience of predominately Black readers and pushes content on issues and events that primarily affect the Black community.

“TheGrio.com is the first video-centric news community site devoted to providing African-Americans with stories and perspectives that appeal to them but are underrepresented in existing national news outlets,” the website states.

According to a November 2015 news release from PRWeb.com, the digital news site was originally launched in 2009 and purchased by NBCUniversal in 2010. TheGrio became an independent Black-owned company when founders Wilson and Woolsey bought it back from NBCUniversal.

The news website has shifted gears once again as seasoned TV producer and comedian Allen plans to take TheGrio in a new direction. Allen made headlines in January when he offered Sundance $20 million for Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” and then filed a $10 billion lawsuit against the FCC and Charter Communications for alleged racial discrimination, The Wrap reports.

Wilson made a point to emphasize that although TheGrio is under new proprietorship, it will remain a Black-owned media platform.

“We look forward to developing the next iteration of TheGrio, and the fact that it will remain 100 percent African-American-owned is very significant,” the co-founder said.

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