At the time we wrote that article, I could pretty much guarantee that no reader had ever heard the name Byron Allen. His wikipedia page was just a few sentences. There wasn’t a single photo of Byron available in Getty Images. His first page of Google was mostly a reflection of his mediocre 1980s career as a standup comedian.
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His lack of profile was fairly remarkable when you considered Byron’s success as a producer. Back in 2014, Byron had 30 TV shows ON THE AIR… he has many many more shows airing today… Perhaps more impressively, those 30 shows were self-produced and 100% owned by Allen under his media empire. An empire that was generating $100 million per year in revenue!
Over the years, including today, whenever we write about Byron Allen we feel the need to describe him as an “under-the-radar media mogul.” That description might need to go away at some point. Perhaps even from now on.
Allen Media Group
Byron Allen runs his empire through a holding company called Allen Media Group, LLC (AMG), which he launched in 1993 right around the time he was basically throwing in the towel on a not-so-great standup career.
It’s a good thing Byron chose to focus on producing instead of standup because by the late 1990s he was one of the largest independent television producers in America.
Outside of self-producing more than 40 television programs, through AMG Byron owns one of the largest portfolios of cable television networks in the entertainment business. Allen’s portfolio includes around two dozen CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC network affiliate TV stations.
Outside of his marquee network affiliate stations, Allen owns a dozen 24-hour HD streaming networks, including Pets.TV, Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV, Cars.TV, ES.TV, and MyDestination.TV
In 2018 AMG paid $300 million to acquire The Weather Channel television network (not the website or app, which are owned by IBM).
In 2020, AMG and Sinclair Broadcast Group partnered in acquiring 21 regional sports networks from Walt Disney/Fox. The acquisition price? $10.6 BILLION.
Black News Channel
That brings us to AMG’s latest acquisition.
On Wednesday it was revealed that AMG successfully outbid several other suitors for the bankrupt cable news network Black News Channel (BNC). AMG’s $11 million bid was selected by the Florida bankruptcy judge overseeing the sale after the company entered Chapter 11 a few months ago.
Prior to entering bankruptcy, BNC reached 45 million homes thanks to distribution deals with DirecTV, Comcast and Charter.
In a statement, Byron announced his goal to get BNC back on track, reaching 80 million homes by the end of this year.
BNC had previously been substantially owned by rags-to-riches-immigrant-turned-billionaire NFL owner, Shahid Khan. Shahid Khan reportedly poured over $100 million into the network since its launch in 2020.
After the BNC deal was approved, Byron released the following additional comments:
“Allen Media Group will deliver a best-in-class network to serve the underserved African-American community and the advertisers who want to reach this extremely valuable audience. Also, we appreciate the opportunity to provide cable operators, satellite companies, telcos and digital platforms diversity of ownership, voices and viewpoints on their programming lineups by having a 100 percent African-American-owned network.“
Today we estimate that Byron Allen’s net worth is $500 million. If I had to pick one person on CNW who I almost guarantee will be a billionaire at some point, it would definitely be Byron. Maybe he should add CelebrityNetWorth to his growing empire. If he does that, we would CERTAINLY stop calling him “under-the-radar.” We could replace with “extremely-handsome-super-cool-over-the-radar” media mogul.
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