|Type||Digital broadcast television network|
|Broadcast area||United States|
|Affiliates||List of affiliates|
|Headquarters||Beverly Hills, California, U.S.|
|Picture format||1080i master feed (cable and satellite distribution), reduced to 480i SDTV for most over-the-air affiliates|
|Owner||Allen Media Group|
|Launched||December 22, 2016|
|Replaced||Black News Channel (after network purchase and merger into TheGrio TV)|
|Former names||Light TV (2016-2021)|
TheGrio, styled as thegrio, is an American television network and website with news, opinion, entertainment and video content geared toward Black Americans.
TheGrio's editorial mandate is to "focus on news and events that have a unique interest and pronounced impact within the national African Americans audience," offering what co-founder and Executive Editor David Wilson feels "are underrepresented in existing national news outlets".
The website's name is derived from the word griot, the term for a West African oral historian and storyteller.
The website originally launched in June 2009 as a division of NBC News, it became a division of MSNBC in 2013. It was founded by the team who created the documentary film Meeting David Wilson. In 2014, it was sold to its founders. In June 2016, Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios acquired the site.
The TV channel was founded as Light TV in 2016 by reality television producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, as an inspirational network as part of his chairmanship of MGM Television, which operated the network. It was sold to Entertainment Studios in late 2020, and relaunched as TheGrio TV in January 2021, with a Black-specific programming focus.
After Entertainment Studios purchased the assets of the bankrupt Black News Channel in late July 2022, that network was merged into TheGrio TV on August 1, including the former's existing cable, satellite and advertiser supported on-demand streaming carriage, and plans to add more news and commentary to TheGrio TV's schedule.
(*) no longer with the company
The then-new over-the-top (OTT) faith-based channel was under development as early as September 2014 when MGM purchased 55% of One Three Media and LightWorkers Media, owned by Hearst Entertainment, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, and consolidated them into United Artists Media Group. With MGM purchasing Hearst and Burnett and Downey's shares in UAMG, the channel was still a planned streaming service. However, Hearst and Burnett and Downey retained their stakes in the channel.
MGM announced the formation of Light TV on December 15, 2015, with a launch planned for December on thirteen major market stations owned by Fox Television Stations. The network launched on January 20, 2016 with two stations, and the rest of the group's stations.
The network was intended to carry new and original content from LightWorkers as part of Burnett's chairmanship of MGM's television division, but never ended up carrying any new content, only featuring rerun and library content already seen on MGM's This TV (a film-oriented network) and MGM HD, along with low-cost barter programming such as Heartland, which was already in wide syndication across multiple channels, along with other generic inspirational or family-friendly content. By 2019, the network added paid programming which made up its late night and early morning schedule, reducing its programming commitment further.
Light TV and This TV were both sold by MGM TV in October 2020 to the Allen Media Group division of Entertainment Studios. On December 3, 2020, it was announced that the network would be relaunched as TheGrio.TV on January 15, 2021, carrying lifestyle and entertainment programming of interest to the Black American community as an extension of the website.
That same day, Light TV's satellite transponder space was taken over by Entertainment Studios, which stopped carrying programming in the interim and instead transmitted a test pattern promoting the launch of TheGrio (later a looping launch promo), while MGM continued to carry a stream of Light TV through the network's website. Fox Television Stations confirmed its stations would be a part of TheGrio's charter launch group, and much of its affiliate body transferred over through the month-long dark period, though some stations departed for other networks. The network officially relaunched as TheGrio on January 15, 2021, that year's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and that same day MGM handed over the domain of Light TV to Entertainment Studios, ending the stream of Light TV.
TheGrio TV currently provides 16 hours of programming to its affiliated stations every day from 8:00 a.m. to midnight Eastern Time, with paid programming filling the remaining vacated hours.
From 2016 until 2021, TheGrio TV (as Light TV) featured several series and movies meant to fit the network's family-oriented approach, including content from the MGM film and TV library or acquired through outside sources. Infomercials were added to the Light TV lineup in 2019, occupying all of the overnight hours and into the early morning.
Below is a current list of programming broadcast on TheGrio:
Light TV initially launched on subchannels of fourteen Fox and MyNetworkTV stations owned by Fox Television Stations, with most of the initial affiliates being owned-and-operated stations of the Fox Broadcasting Company. MGM then offered the network to stations outside the initial markets.
|Owner (management company)||Date of affiliation||Notes|
|Greensboro||WDVZ-CD||3||3.2||University of Alabama|
|Tuscaloosa||WVUA||6||23.2||June 1, 2017|
|Phoenix||KSAZ-TV||10||10.4||Fox Television Stations||2017|
|Harrison||K26GS-D||26||26.4||Reynolds Media, Inc.||2017|
|Little Rock||KTVV-LD||18||18.2||Larry Morton|
|Fresno||KAIL||7||7.2||Tri-State Christian Television||October 19, 2017|
|Los Angeles||KTTV||11||11.3||Fox Television Stations||2020|
|Santa Barbara||KZDF-LD||8||8.3||HC2 Holdings||December 2017|
|Sterling||KCDO-TV||23.6, 34.6||10.1||E. W. Scripps Company||2017||KCDO-TV 3's display channel for Light TV is 10.1|
|District of Columbia|
|Washington||WRZB-LD||61||31.1||J. Christopher Blair
(DC Broadcasting, Inc.)
|Miami||WSVN||7.2||7.2||Sunbeam Television||July 14, 2017|
|Orlando||WRBW||28||65.4||Fox Television Stations||2020|
|Atlanta||WAGA-TV||27||5.4||Fox Television Stations||2017|
|Honolulu||KWHE-TV||31||14.3||Family Broadcasting Corporation||2017|
|Boise||KRID-LD||22||22.7||Karlo Maalouf||July 2017|
|Idaho Falls||KVUI||31||31.3||Ventura Broadcasting|
|Twin Falls||KXTF||34||35.3||Tri-State Christian Television|
|Chicago||WFLD||24||32.4||Fox Television Stations||2018|
|Marion||WTCT||30.5||27.3||Tri-State Christian Television|
|Oakwood Hills||WCHU-LD||7.2||59.2||Venture Technologies Group, LLC||December 2020||Relocated from WPWR-TV 50.3 and WFLD 32.4|
|WAOE||39.3||59.3||Venture Technologies Group||2017|
|Angola||WINM||12||12.3||Tri-State Christian Television||September 2017|
|South Bend||WNDU-TV||27||16.4||Gray Television||January 31, 2022|
|Des Moines||KDMI||19.5||19.3||Tri-State Christian Television|
|Iowa City||KWKB||25||20.5||Tri-State Christian Television||2017|
|Wichita||KAGW-CD||24||26.7||Great Plains Television|
|Lexington||WLJC-TV||7||65.2||Hour of Harvest|
|Louisville||WBNA||8||21.3||Word Broadcasting Network||March 2017|
|Baton Rouge||KPBN-LD||14||14.4||Pelican Broadcasting Network||January 1, 2018|
|Monroe||KMCT-TV||22||39.11||WGGS Inc.||May 1, 2021|
|New Orleans||WDSU||19||6.5||Hearst Television]||October 5, 2021|
|Baltimore||WBAL-TV||12||11.4||Hearst Television||September 24, 2021|
|Detroit||WHNE-LD||3||3.1||Bridge Media Networks||Since late August 2017|
|Traverse City-Cadillac||WMNN-LD||14||26.6||Bridge Media Networks||Since August 2017|
|Flint/Saginaw/Bay City||WAQP||48.5||49.3||Tri-State Christian Television||Since September 2017|
|Minneapolis–Saint Paul||KMSP-TV||9||9.5||Fox Television Stations||2017|
|Kansas City||KSMO-TV||32.4||62.2||Gray Television||May 6, 2018|
|Springfield, Missouri||KRFT-LD||21||8.2||Craft Broadcasting||November 9, 2017|
|Las Vegas||KDNU-LD||30||7.3||Bridge Media Networks||July 11, 2022||O&O station.|
|KGNG-LD||26||26.5||King Kong Broadcasting, Inc.||October 23, 2017||Century Link Cable Channel 22|
|Reno||KTVN||11||2.2||Sarkes Tarzian, Inc.||2018|
|Albuquerque||KTVS-LD||36.1||36.1||Alpha Omega Broadcasting||October 2017||(physical and virtual) channel 36.3 is a simulcast of 36.1|
|Albany||WNYA||13.4||51.2||Hubbard Broadcasting||November 1, 2017||Replaced Antenna TV|
|Jamestown||WNYB||26.5||26.3||Tri-State Christian Television||?|
|Buffalo||WBNF||15.5||15.3||Tri-State Christian Television|
|Syracuse||WWLF-LD||35.2||35.2||Metro TV, Inc.||September 1, 2021|
|New York City||WNYW||5.4||5.4||Fox Television Stations||December 2016|
|Charlotte||WJZY||47.10||46.8||Nexstar Media Group||2017|
|Cincinnati||WBQC-LD ("WKRP-TV")||47.7||25.5||Elliot Block||2018|
|Mansfield||WMFD-TV||12||68.3||Mid-State Television, Inc.||2017|
|Marion||WOCB-CD||22.5||39.5||Central Ohio Assoc. of Chr. Broadcasters|
|Oklahoma City||KOCO-TV||7||5.5||Hearst Television||2021|
(operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
|Philadelphia||WTXF-TV||31.5||29.3||Fox Television Stations||2017|
|Pittsburgh||WPCW||11||19.5||CBS News and Stations||2021|
|Greenville||WGGS-TV||16.6||16.4||Carolina Christian Broadcasting||2017|
|Chattanooga||WRCB||3||3.2||Sarkes Tarzian, Inc.||2018|
|Austin||KGBS-CD||19||19.5||HC2 Holdings||October 9, 2017|
|Dallas–Fort Worth||KDFI||27||27.5||Fox Television Stations||2017|
|Lubbock||KMYL-LD||22||14.2||Gray Television||February 6, 2022|
|San Antonio||KGMM-CD||24.4||24.2||CNZ Communications|
|Salt Lake City||KTMW||20||20.5|
|Grundy||WLFG||49.4||68.2||Living Faith Ministries, Inc.||February 3, 2018|
|Seattle||KYMU-LD||6||6.2||Seattle 6 Broadcasting LLC||2019|
|Milwaukee||WISN-TV||28||12.5||Hearst Television||September 30, 2021|
|Market||Station||Channel||Current owner||Years of affiliation||Notes|
|Chicago, Illinois||WPWR-TV||50.3||Fox Television Stations||2016-2018|
|Colorado Springs, Colorado||KWHS-LD||51.2||Christian Television Network||2017-2019||Replaced by CTN Lifestyle|
|Houston, Texas||KRIV-TV||26.2||Fox Television Stations||2017-2020||Decades and theGrio exchanged channel positions, with theGrio activated on KTXH-DT3 on launch day.|
|Los Angeles, California||KCOP-TV||13.8 ||2016-2020|
|New Orleans, Louisiana||WHNO||20.2||Christian Television Network||2016-2018||Replaced by CTN Lifestyle|
|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||KBZC-LD||42.2||HC2 Holdings||201?-2021||Replaced by CBN News Channel, and later Revenue Frontier|
|Orlando||WOFL||35.2||Fox Television Stations||2016-2020|
|Tampa Bay||WTOG||44.3||CBS News and Stations||2017-2021|
|Tulsa, Oklahoma||KWHB||47.2||Christian Television Network||2017-2019||Replaced by Dabl|
|KGEB||53.2||GEB America||2019-2021||Replaced by Shop LC|
|Washington, D.C.||WDCA||20.4||Fox Television Stations||2017-2018||Was dropped due to channel share with sister station WTTG|
On July 14, 2017, Sunbeam Television-owned WSVN-7 dropped Estrella TV from its DT2 multicast channel, replacing it with LIGHT TV…