2 Black-Oriented Websites to Collaborate

TheGrio.com and NewsOne.com have decided to share news and resources in what the two companies are touting as "an expanded platform for African-American journalism." Plus: Essence hires a white male managing editor.

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NBC’s theGrio, Radio One’s InteractiveOne in Partnership

NBC News’ theGrio.com and Interactive One’s NewsOne.com have decided to share news and resources in what the two companies are touting as “an expanded platform for African-American journalism.”

Theoretically, each site will now have available the resources of NBC News, Radio One, TV One, Reach Media’s syndicated Tom Joyner radio show, theGrio.com, NewsOne.com, HelloBeautiful.com and theUrbanDaily.com.

Not all of these entities employ journalists. In fact, Tom Newman, president of InteractiveOne, told Journal-isms he looks more toward the Web model of using bloggers, contributors and social media, rather than journalists, to deliver information.

However, company spokeswoman Kristen Tate said later by email, “I think it’s important to note that this partnership is the first step to being able to devote more resources to news gathering. With the digital industry (especially targeted to African Americans) so new, it’s moves such as these that can open the doors for more journalism jobs and opportunities as advertisers take notice.”

Radio One stations, criticized like much of black radio for sharply cutting back on news departments, still have employees available to provide local reports, Newman said. Tate provided an example from WOLB in Baltimore about young sisters who created an “Open Letter to Lil Wayne” video.

A news release said, “Under the partnership that went into effect July 1st, 2011, TheGrio.com and NewsOne.com will coordinate and share editorial content for both websites, and Interactive One will provide sales representation and oversee advertising sales operations for both entities. The relationship also opens up the potential for co-marketing and promotional opportunities in a shared portfolio that includes Interactive One’s various digital assets, Radio One’s 52 radio stations, TV One and Reach Media, and the many platforms of NBC News.”

The June figures from the comScore measurement company show theGrio.com with 1,231,000 unique visitors and NewsOne with 756,000.

For other black-oriented websites, the figures were 3,128,000 unique visitors for MediaTakeOut.com; 3,036,000 for BET Networks; 2,215,000 for Black Voices, now part of Huffington Post; 2,121,000 for theRoot.com; 1,686,000 for Bossip.com; 1,194,000 for essence.com; 935,000 for HelloBeautiful.com; 771,000 for BlackPlanet.com; and 652,000 for MadameNoire.com. Black Planet and Hello Beautiful are also InteractiveOne sites.

Newman said the idea for a collaboration first arose when Comcast, which owns 49 percent of TV One, proposed buying NBCUniversal about a year ago. “We have a great relationship with Comcast and NBC,” he said. “At the same time, we started to get to know some of the folks at theGrio and NBC News. . . . We liked the fact that it was tied into a big news organization. We were liking each other’s product.”

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