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The Root Unveils Annual List of Most Influential African-Americans Under 45

Topping the List are #1 Melissa Harris-Perry and #2 Cory Booker

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2012—The Root, the leading online source of news and commentary from an African-American perspective, announces The Root 100 4th annual list. The Root 100 celebrates the best young and emerging leaders (ages 25-45) who demonstrate the power to influence through meaningful engagement and innovative leadership within their fields.

"Since its inception, The Root 100 has served as a platform for us to recognize the top emerging leaders in the African-American community," says Donna Byrd, Publisher of The Root. "It’s our way to celebrate their achievements and educate our readers about the contributions these individuals have made in their local and professional communities and to our nation."

The Root editorial team selected each honoree by utilizing a formula that examined both the reach and substance of each person’s influence. They reviewed news and blog mentions and the number of Twitter followers, and also considered how the winners impact society. "The Root 100 honorees are not only high achievers, they are people who use their influence to shape the world and make it a better place," says Sheryl Salomon, Managing Editor of The Root. "Those who appear on our 2012 list have been especially active in this regard during the past year."

Those selected personify the perfect marriage between reach and substance. A few of the winners include:

  • Melissa Harris-Perry—Host of MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry" and Professor at Tulane University
  • Cory Booker—Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
  • Benjamin Jealous—President and CEO, NAACP

In November, there will be an awards dinner in New York City to honor their work, and Marriott is the event sponsor. "Marriott is delighted to sponsor The Root 100 celebration event," says Joanna Todd, Vice President, Segment Marketing. "We join The Root in applauding such remarkable influencers and their contributions."

To learn more about individuals on The Root 100 list, go tohttp://www.theroot.com/root-100/2012/facewall. As part of recognizing the winners, The Root developed a mobile app to track each honoree. All 100 apps are available for Android devices and each one aggregates content from across the web and social media so that fans can get real-time news and a variety of information about each individual. To receive up-to-date news and social media regarding the winners, download their respective apps from Google Play here: http://www.theroot.com/root-100/2012/android-apps.

About The Root

The Root is the leading online source of news and commentary from an African-American perspective. Founded in 2008 under the leadership of Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University, The Root offers a unique take on breaking news, provides solid analysis and presents dynamic multimedia content. The Root raises the profile of black voices in mainstream media and engages anyone interested in black culture around the world. The Root is owned by The Graham Holdings Company.

Visit us at http://www.theroot.com
Twitter @TheRoot247 (#TheRoot100)
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The Root Spotlights the Nation’s Top Young African-American Trailblazers Meet The 2012 Young Futurists Honorees

February 1, 2012 - (Washington, D.C.) – Blake Leeper: a parathlete who is changing people’s perspectives on people with disabilities and who will be participating in his first Paralympic Games this year in London. Adam Holland: a 16 year-old young capitalist who started a highly successful shaved ice business to help pay for his sister’s education. Adele Taylor: a 16 year-old who launched a book donation program called Adele’s Literacy Library that has distributed more than 5,000 books in her hometown. Today, leading African-American news site The Root unveiled this year’s2012 Young Futurists List– an annual list spotlighting the top young African-American leaders and innovators of the future.

The Young Futurists are between the ages of 16 and 22 and are committed to making the world a better place in which to live. Each year, The Root conducts an open nomination process, seeking candidates who are not only achievers but also innovators in the worlds of green innovation, science and technology, arts and culture, social activism and business enterprise. Past Young Futurists have started non-profits and invented unique technologies, among other creative and praiseworthy ventures. Nominations are submitted from across the U.S. and only 25 are selected each year.

“The Young Futurists list honors trailblazing African-American leaders under 21 who will shape our future, our communities, and our daily conversations with work that matters,” said Managing Editor Sheryl Huggins Salomon. Their range of talent, drive and commitment is so inspiring and they are clearly having an impact on our lives and our communities.”

Other Young Futurists include green innovator Kendyl Crawley-Crawford, a 2012 Marshall Scholar who has traveled to the South Pacific to document environmental issues; Sydney Shaves, a 16 year-old who filmed a documentary “Elvira’s Eyes” that chronicles a genealogical journey through 106 years of her slave ancestor’s life; and Brandon Turner, a Wake Forest University senior whose investigation into the molecular structure of proteins for future drug development led him to be one of just 30 U.S. students named Rhodes scholars this year.

The 2012 Young Futurists list including biographies, photos, and details on why each honoree was selected can be found athttp://www.theroot.com/young-futurists-2012.

About The Root
The Root is the top online source for news and original commentary from an African-American perspective. Founded in 2008 under the leadership of Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University, The Root offers a fresh take on breaking news, as well as solid analysis on politics, social issues and culture. The Root raises the profile of black voices in mainstream media and engages anyone interested in black culture around the world. The Root is owned by The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). Visit The Root atwww.theroot.com, on Twitter @TheRoot247 and on Facebook.

Sheryl Salomon Becomes Managing Editor of The Root

Deputy Editor to Succeed Joel Dreyfuss

WASHINGTON, D.C. — November 9, 2011 — The Root, The Graham Holdings Company’s African American news and commentary site announced Managing Editor Joel Dreyfuss is stepping down after two years at The Root.

The Haitian-born journalism veteran announced he is moving to Paris (where he spent a large portion of his childhood) to work on a book focusing on the history of Haiti and his family’s role in it. He came to the Washington Post Co. owned website with more than 40 years’ experience in print, broadcast, and online publications, including stints as a Senior Editor at Fortune, Editor of PC Magazine and Editor-in-Chief at Red Herring, Information Week and Urban Box Office. Early in his career he was a reporter in the Style section of the Washington Post and Executive Editor of Black Enterprise. He is a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists.

“This has been a difficult decision because I love The Root,” said Joel Dreyfuss. “It has given me a great opportunity to apply 40-plus years of journalistic experience to an idea that for a long time existed only in my head - a first-rate editorial product with a multitude of consistent and intelligent black perspectives. I'm grateful to Henry Louis Gates Jr. (The Root's Editor-in-Chief) and Donald Graham (Chairman of The Graham Holdings Company) for launching The Root and to The Root’s Publisher Donna Byrd for giving me the opportunity to lead the team for the past two years.”

"We are thrilled to have Sheryl lead The Root into this exciting new chapter," said The Root’s Publisher, Donna Byrd. "Sheryl is passionate about the importance of delivering smart black news and original commentary and deeply committed to moving the news site to the next level of success."

Dreyfuss will be departing at the end of November and will be succeeded by Sheryl Huggins Salomon, The Root’s Deputy Editor. Dreyfuss brought Salomon to the site in February 2010 after her tenure as Managing Editor of AOL Black Voices. Salomon has also been the Editor-in-Chief of NiaOnline.com, which focused on black women’s interests; and the president and publisher of Shade, an urban lifestyle magazine. She has also held positions at Fortune.com’s Small Business website, Dow Jones Newswires and the Asbury Park Press. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University School of Journalism.

Dreyfuss leaves the news site in excellent shape. The site has built a strong editorial team and the sites traffic has grown in healthy double digits over the last two years - setting new records in traffic and readership while raising their profile as a respected source of thoughtful, analytical journalism.

Visit The Root at www.theroot.com, on Twitter @TheRoot247 and onFacebook.

About The Root

The Root is the top online source for news and original commentary from an African-American perspective. Founded in 2008 under the leadership of Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University, The Root offers a fresh take on breaking news, as well as solid analysis on politics, social issues and culture. The Root raises the profile of black voices in mainstream media and engages anyone interested in black culture around the world. The Root is owned by The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). Visit The Root atwww.theroot.com, on Twitter @TheRoot247 and on Facebook.

The Root Ranked Top Black News Site for Four Straight Months

Redesigned Site Grew Engagement; Building Momentum for 2012 Election Cycle

WASHINGTON, D.C. - September 28, 2011 - The Root, The Graham Holdings Company's African American news and commentary site, has been ranked the number one black news site for four straight months, according to comScore.

As the audience for news and analysis by and about African Americans has moved online, The Root has emerged as the dominant destination for those readers. With an average of 1.7 million1 monthly unique visitors and 13.5 million2 page views per month, The Root has been growing steadily over the past six months and has seen a year-over-year increase in its audience size of 35%.3

"At launch we set out to usher in a new generation of black media and the increase in our audience over the last year has shown us that we are truly resonating with readers across the country," said Donna Byrd, Publisher of The Root. "Our growth on the Web has been strong, but our mobile presence has expanded as well, most notably with the launch of our free iPad App."

The Root recently underwent a major redesign, giving it a richer, bolder homepage and many more ways to access content. Byrd credits some of their growth to that: "As we refine the technical and design aspects of our site, it better showcases the work of our writers and becomes more engaging for our readers."

The Root launched on January 28, 2008 and was a leading site covering the 2008 election of the nation's first African American president. It is one of the few sites in its niche to cover politics full-time, and with the 2012 election season heating up, The Root will once again be a must-read for smart political coverage and analysis.

"One of our biggest priorities over the next year is to own coverage of the 2012 elections in the African American space and beyond," said Joel Dreyfuss, Managing Editor, The Root. "With reporting and analysis by seasoned Capitol-watchers, such as Cynthia Gordy, Michael Steele and Jack White, I am confident we will remain a top source of political news and contribute unique and insightful perspectives on the race."

Visit The Root at http://www.theroot.com, on Twitter @TheRoot247and on Facebook.

About The Root

The Root is the number one online source of news and original commentary from an African-American perspective. Founded in 2008 under the leadership of Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University, The Root offers a fresh take on breaking news, as well as solid analysis on politics, social issues and culture. The Root raises the profile of black voices in mainstream media and engages anyone interested in black culture around the world. The Root is owned by The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). Visit us at www.theroot.com, on Twitter @TheRoot247 and on Facebook.

1 comScore Media Metrix May - Aug 2011, 4-Month Average
2 Omniture Site Catalyst May - Aug 2011, 4-Month Average
3 comScore Media Metrix May - Aug 2011, 4-Month Average vs. May - Aug 2010 4- Month Average

Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Launches "The Root"

WASHINGTON January 28, 2008 "The Root" launches today, a daily online magazine published by The Graham Holdings Company's Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive. "The Root" blends intelligent, thought-provoking discussion of issues from a variety of black perspectives and a round-up of news from around the world with an interactive genealogical section, creating a unique online destination devoted to the black experience.

"The Root" aims to be an unprecedented departure from traditional American journalism, raising the profile of black voices in mainstream media and engaging anyone interested in black culture around the world.

Conceived by Donald Graham, Chairman of The Graham Holdings Company and Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, "The Root" will feature penetrating, lively commentary on political, social and cultural issues, and will showcase the breadth and depth of viewpoints currently shaping black culture. The site will also feature multimedia including slideshows and videos interviews.

"This is an historic endeavor The Root' is one of the world's first web-based magazines dedicated to reporting and commenting upon the interests, concerns and achievements of African Americans and people of African descent throughout the world," said Gates, Editor in Chief of "The Root." "Since 1827, black journalists have dreamed of creating a national black newspaper and since W.E.B. Du Bois created The Crisis Magazine in 1910 and John H. Johnson created Ebony in 1945, black people have demonstrated a profound devotion to magazines targeted to their aspirations, dreams and challenges. 'The Root' fulfills both of these goals and through the power of the Internet creates a truly interactive community."

In addition to Gates, Lynette Clemetson joins "The Root" as Managing Editor from The New York Times. Previously an award-winning national and foreign correspondent for Newsweek magazine, Clemetson has covered race, ethnicity and shifting demographics both in the United States and abroad. Terence Samuel, a top political reporter formerly of U.S. News & World Report and AOL Black Voices, will serve as Deputy Editor of "The Root." Associate Editor for the site will be Natalie Hopkinson, former Assignment Editor for The Washington Post's Outlook section.

The Root resists the notion that there is--or ever was--such a thing as a monolithic black community. The Web site will be a forum for true conversation, celebrating the rich mix of voices, issues and points of view that bring nuance and complexity to the black experience. And while the site is committed to topics of special interest to blacks, it is a destination for anyone interested in the dynamic link between history and our collective future," says Clemetson. The site uniquely offers an array of commentary from Malcolm Gladwell, Thelma Golden, William Julius Wilson, John McWhorter, Charlayne Hunter Gault, among others, fostering spirited debate and celebrating the medley of voices that exists among the national African American and International black populations, including the ongoing conversation about family history.

"Family history through genealogy is a critical piece to African American heritage," said Gates, an expert on African American genealogy, Executive Producer of "African American Lives" and co-founder of the testing site AfricanDNA.com. "To embrace the future it is essential to understand one's past. We are giving the black community the resources to restore the memories destroyed after the middle passage."

"The Root" hosts an interactive section to trace genealogy and heritage, enabling users to participate in a genealogy test through AfricanDNA.com, co-owned by FamilyTreeDNA. Readers will also have the opportunity to build and map family trees using software developed by Avencia.

Jacob Weisberg, Editor of Slate magazine, and Cliff Sloan, Vice President and Publisher of Slate, were tapped by Don Graham to help guide the creation of "The Root." Weisberg said, "Slate has been delighted to lend a hand in developing 'The Root.' To me, 'The Root' is groundbreaking, and I believe it will change the media landscape for black America.

"The Root" will continue to grow over the coming year, adding innovative tools and sharing functions to greater promote community.

"All of us at The Graham Holdings Company are excited to be part of launching 'The Root.' The chance to work with Skip Gates and the team he and Lynette Clemetson have assembled is a great one," said Donald Graham, Chairman of The Graham Holdings Company. "We hope to help create a strong online community with interactivity across the site."

HBO has signed on as the first founding sponsor of "The Root," a significant collaboration in establishing the growth of the site.

In addition, MSN will regularly feature links to "The Root's" articles on its homepage, providing an important channel to drive national and international readers to "The Root."

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