Media mogul Byron Allen didn’t let the recent dismissal of his lawsuit against McDonald’s over racial discrimination set him back. Allen is continuing to grow his media empire and just added another TV station to his broadcasting holdings with the purchase of Fox affiliate WCOV-TV in Montgomery, Ala.
Allen Media Group bought the station for $28.5 million in cash from Woods Communications, Variety reported. The station offers 16 other channel feeds in addition to Fox through its multicast channels. With this acquisition, Allen Media Group now has 36 TV station holdings in 21 U.S. markets.
“WCOV-TV is an excellent asset and has been extremely well-managed for decades by the Woods family, who I’ve known for over 35 years,” said Allen, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group. “Over the past two years, we’ve invested approximately $1 billion to acquire best-in-class, top-tier, Big 4 broadcast network affiliates and we plan to invest significantly more to acquire additional ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox TV stations with the goal of being the largest broadcast television group in America. All of our media assets work in concert to amplify our free-streaming services, theGrio.TV, Sports.TV, HBCUGo.TV, The Weather Channel en Español, and Local Now.”
A former comedian and actor, Allen launched his media empire in 1993 with the founding of Allen Media Group/Entertainment Studios, a company with offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Raleigh, according to theGrio, which Allen also owns.
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Allen has been on a buying spree. Just this year, he acquired more than a dozen local broadcast stations, including 10 local stations in seven markets divested from the Gray Television transaction with Quincy Media.
Folks on Twitter celebrated Allen’s business moves.
“Byron Allen forever making smart media moves,” tweeted F R E N C H Y (@GoFrenchy)
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Allen has been filing and threatening lawsuits against major corporations over racial discrimination. In May, Allen Media Group filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue, for $10 billion in damages, alleging racial discrimination. The lawsuit accused the fast-food giant of racial stereotyping and refusing to contract with Allen Media Group’s Entertainment Studios and Weather Group in violation of federal and state law. The suit was filed in the Superior Court Of California in Los Angeles. In December, the courts dismissed the suit.
In March, Allen threatened to sue the entire advertising industry if it didn’t increase ad spending in Black media outlets. Also in March he took out a full-page ad in the Detroit Free Press demanding that General Motors increase its advertising with Black media. Allen’s push was joined by others such as Ice Cube several owners of Black-owned media companies.
Allen has taken legal action before to fight against discrimination in corporate America. In 2020, he settled a racial discrimination lawsuit with cable giants Comcast and Charter that went to the Supreme Court. Both operators agreed to carry some of his channels.
Photo: Byron Allen speaks during a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Oct. 20, 2021 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)