Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer
Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer
Chairman and CEO Byron Allen founded Allen Media Group (Entertainment Studios) in 1993. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it has offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Charleston, SC. Allen Media Group owns 36 ABC-NBC-CBS-FOX network affiliate broadcast television stations in 21 U.S. markets and twelve 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 220 million subscribers: THE WEATHER CHANNEL, PETS.TV, COMEDY.TV, RECIPE.TV, CARS.TV, ES.TV, MYDESTINATION.TV, JUSTICE CENTRAL.TV, THEGRIO.TV, THIS TV, LOCAL NOW TV, and PATTRN. Allen Media Group also owns THE GRIO, HBCUGO, and LOCAL NOW, the free–streaming AVOD service powered by THE WEATHER CHANNEL and content partners, which delivers real-time, hyper-local news, weather, traffic, sports, and lifestyle information. Allen Media Group also produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 68 television programs, making it one of the largest independent producers/distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations. Entertainment Studios International Television continues to extend its corporate branding and content around the globe. It currently has active license agreements and programming in South Africa, The United Arab Emirates, Australia, The Bahamas, Canada and New Zealand. With a library of over 5,000 hours of owned content across multiple genres, Allen Media Group provides video content to broadcast television stations, cable television networks, mobile devices, and multimedia digital. Our mission is to provide excellent programming to our viewers, online users, and Fortune 500 advertising partners.
Further distinguishing Allen Media Group is its status as the first African-American owned multi-platform media company producing and distributing wide-release motion pictures and content for all platforms. In 2015, Allen purchased Freestyle Releasing, now called Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, a full-service theatrical movie distribution company. Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures released 2017’s highest-grossing independent movie, the shark thriller 47 METERS DOWN. In 2018, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures released the critically-acclaimed and commercially successful Western HOSTILES and the historic mystery-thriller CHAPPAQUIDDICK. In 2019 ESMP released 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED, the very successful second film in the potential franchise. To date, 47MD: UNCAGED has earned nearly $47M across all distribution platforms. 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, Allen Media Group purchased The Grio, a highly-rated digital video-centric news community platform devoted to providing African-Americans with compelling stories and perspectives currently underrepresented in existing national news outlets. The Grio 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 100 million annual visitors.
In the spring of 2018, Byron Allen acquired the #1 weather news television network, The Weather Channel. In 2018, The Weather Channel was named the 2018 Harris Poll EquiTrend TV News Brand for the eighth consecutive year. It also deployed cutting-edge storytelling with its IMR (Immersive Mixed Reality) technology which draws viewers into detailed and visually stunning weather and climate events.
In 2019, Byron Allen announced the launch of The Weather Channel en Español which is slated for launch in 2022. Also in late Q4, 2019, Allen’s technical team began rolling out LOCAL NOW, Entertainment Studios’ STREAMING APP. This OTT and MOBILE APP will build revenue streams fed from across Byron Allen’s many content business lines, building stronger engagement with a wider field of audience demographics. Local Now is powered by The Weather Channel technology which was a defining factor that attracted Allen and his executive team when they acquired the all-American brand in March of 2018.
In 2019, Byron Allen formed ALLEN MEDIA BROADCASTING and began building the broadcast station group which includes four, “BIG 4” stations. In February 2020, Allen Media Broadcasting acquired an additional 11 stations from the purchase of USA TELEVISION. The USA TV portfolio acquisition follows several recent transformative transactions executed by Byron Allen. In August 2019, Mr. Allen personally partnered with Sinclair Broadcast Group to acquire 21 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) from Walt Disney/FOX Corporation for $10.6 billion. In July 2019, Byron Allen acquired Bayou City Broadcasting, which included 4 television stations.
In August 2020, Allen Media Broadcasting added Honolulu ABC affiliate KITV, boosting his Allen Media Group’s owned and operated big-four network affiliates to 16 stations in 12 markets.
As with other major television stations in Hawaii, KITV-ABC 4 also operates multiple satellite stations and translators to rebroadcast its programming outside of metropolitan Honolulu – including KHVO-ABC 13 in Hilo and KMAU-ABC 12 in Wailuku – to cover all of the Hawaiian islands. The KITV portfolio also includes carriage of digital cable networks MeTV, Hawaii TV, Start TV and Heroes & Icons, as well as a Washington, D.C. news bureau and correspondent.
In 2018, Allen was selected for the Bloomberg 50 as one of “the people in business, entertainment, finance, politics, and technology and science whose 2018 accomplishments were particularly noteworthy.” He was also selected for the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at the Goldman Sachs Builders & Innovators Summit 2018, and he was honored by the Salvation Army and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Advisory Board at the Salvation Army’s 11th Annual Christmas Kettle Luncheon. In January 2019, Allen was a recipient of NATPE’s 16th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards, presented during the annual NATPE Miami Marketplace & Conference. Allen received the 2019 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award at the 46th annual Los Angeles Urban League Awards dinner. Also in 2019, Byron Allen was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. In 2021, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) elected Byron Allen to the Television Board. Allen is a member of the Motion Picture & Television Fund Board of Governors, and is also a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
In 2020 and 2021, AMG expanded its ES NETWORKS international distribution in the United Arab Emirates, through a partnership with SAWA MEDIA, DUBAI, bringing new audiences throughout the Persian Gulf its family and advertiser friendly content. Also that year, ALLEN MEDIA BROADCASTING added 23 ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox network affiliate stations with its acquisition of most of the Gray Television facilities. The affiliate stations picked up by Allen Media include NBC’s KVOA in Arizona, KWWL in Iowa and WREX in Illinois; ABC’s WKOW in Wisconsin, WSIL/KPOB in Kentucky/Illinois and WAOW/WMOW in Wisconsin.
Ensuring that our Spanish-speaking audience has life-saving alerts and vital information about climate events and storms, in 2022 Byron Allen tasked his production and scientific teams to launch THE WEATHER CHANNEL en ESPANOL, the first 24-hour Spanish language weather service.
Also in 2022, HBCUGO and HBCU SPORTS NETWORK were two ground-breaking network platforms that ALLEN MEDIA GROUP debuted. They feature the young sports talent and big band performances borne out of the HBCU campuses across America. These athletes and performers are the best in their league and Byron Allen’s desire to finally give them their own place in the national audience arena has come to fruition.
Additionally, in summer 2022, Allen acquired the defunct “Black News Channel” and immediately transitioned it to TheGRIO cable network. Taking AMG’s “Voice of Black America” on-line platform into the cable arena happened at lightning speed. In August of 2022, TheGRIO network served some 66 million news subs with its unique and deeply cultural content that its sizable audience had already grown to know.
Grow. Be your best. Make it easy for the consumer. Byron Allen believes in these statements and he acts on them with his multi-office national staff of over 2,400 employees from the many different business units of AMG. He looks at media from a performer’s point of view and he is all about advancing cutting-edge storytelling and entertaining.
His portfolio of companies is constantly finding new and exciting ways to engage its 200 million subscribers, every day.
ALLEN MEDIA GROUP, LLC is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York, Atlanta, Charleston, Chicago and Sarasota.