16 Jan Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Promotes Natasha S. Alford To Vice President Of Digital Content For The Grio Digital Network Platform
Entertainment Studios, one of the largest independent producers and distributors of film and television, with 64 shows on the air, and owner of nine 24-hour HD television networks now serving nearly 160 million subscribers — including The Weather Channel television network and its streaming service Local Now — proudly announces the appointment of Natasha Alford as the Vice President of Digital Content for TheGrio digital network platform. In her new position, Alford will continue to be based at the Entertainment Studios offices in New York City.
Alford’s writing and on-air commentary has appeared on TheGrio for four years during her tenure as Deputy Editor, as well as numerous other outlets from THE NEW YORK TIMES to MSNBC to THE BREAKFAST CLUB. A former educator, Alford has also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in visual journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. She got her start in journalism as a general assignment reporter at WROC-TV in Rochester, New York.
Named “Emerging Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2018, Natasha S. Alford is a 2019 Pulitzer Center grantee for her series on race, policing, and identity called: “A Revolution for Puerto Rico’s Afro-Latinos.” Other honors include being a 2019 Maynard 200 Fellow, and a 2017 Harvard Women’s Leadership Award recipient. Alford’s TEDx talk “The Courage to Report,” detailed her experience as a TV news reporter in the era of digital media and Black Lives Matter. Alford holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University.
“Natasha S. Alford is a valuable member of our digital network, TheGrio,” said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Entertainment Studios. “Natasha’s extensive background as a journalist, host, and educator elevates TheGrio brand tremendously.
“I am honored that Byron Allen has entrusted me to lead TheGrio in reporting the most critical news and issues impacting America,” said Natasha S. Alford. “The role of the press is more important than ever in delivering truth and substance. Our original storytelling will further highlight the brilliance and innovation that exists in our communities, while inspiring the next generation”
About Entertainment Studios / Allen Media
Chairman and CEO Byron Allen founded Entertainment Studios in 1993. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it has offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Raleigh. Entertainment Studios owns 15 U.S. broadcast television stations and nine 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 160 million subscribers: THE WEATHER CHANNEL, PETS.TV, COMEDY.TV, RECIPE.TV, CARS.TV, ES.TV, MYDESTINATION.TV , and JUSTICE CENTRAL.TV. Entertainment Studios also owns the LOCAL NOW streaming service, powered by THE WEATHER CHANNEL and content partners, which delivers real-time, hyper-local news, weather, traffic, sports, and lifestyle information. Entertainment Studios also produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 64 television programs, making it one of the largest independent producers/distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations. With a library of over 5,000 hours of owned content across multiple genres, Entertainment Studios provides video content to broadcast television stations, cable television networks, mobile devices, multimedia platforms, and the World Wide Web. Our mission is to provide excellent programming to our viewers, online users, and Fortune 500 advertising partners.
Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures is a full-service, theatrical motion picture distribution company specializing in wide release commercial content. ESMP released 2017’s highest-grossing independent movie, the shark thriller 47 METERS DOWN, which grossed over $44.3 million. In 2018, ESMP also released the critically-acclaimed and commercially successful Western HOSTILES, the historic mystery-thriller CHAPPAQUIDDICK and the sequel to 47 METERS DOWN, 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED. The digital distribution unit of Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, Freestyle Digital Media, is a premiere multi-platform distributor with direct partnerships across all major cable, digital and streaming platforms. Capitalizing on a robust infrastructure, proven track record and a veteran sales team, Freestyle Digital Media is a true home for independent films.
In 2016, Entertainment Studios purchased TheGrio, a digital video-centric news community platform devoted to providing African-Americans with compelling stories and perspectives currently underrepresented in existing national news outlets. TheGrio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles and opinion pieces on topics that include breaking news, politics, health, business and entertainment. Originally launched in 2009, the platform was then purchased by NBC News in 2010. The digital platform remains focused on curating exciting digital content and currently has more than 20 million annual visitors.