theGrio
Type of site
TV channel and website
Available inEnglish
OwnerEntertainment Studios
Created byMark Burnett, Roma Downey
URLthegrio.com
CommercialYes

TheGrio, styled as theGrio, is an American digital TV channel and website with news, opinion, entertainment and video content geared toward African Americans.[1] Originally launched in June 2009 as a division of NBC News,[2][3] 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.[4] In June 2016, Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios acquired the site.[5] The TV channel was founded as Light TV in 2016 and was relaunched as TheGrio TV on January 2021.

History as web site

TheGrio's editorial mandate is to "focus on news and events that have a unique interest and/or pronounced impact within the national African Americans audience,"[6] 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.[7]

Personnel

Founders

(*) No longer with company

Leadership

History as Light TV

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.[10] 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.[11]

MGM announced the formation of Light TV on November 16, 2016, with a launch planned for December on thirteen major market stations owned by Fox Television Stations.[12] The network launched on December 22, 2016[13] with two stations, and the rest of the group's stations launching the subchannel throughout early 2017.[14]

Light TV was sold by MGM TV in October 2020 to the Allen Media Group division of Entertainment Studios, along with its movie-oriented sister channel This TV.[15] 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 African American community. It was an extension of the Entertainment Studios-owned website TheGrio.[16]

On or after that date, Entertainment Studios stopped feeding Light TV programming to some of the network's affiliates (mainly those associated with Fox Television Stations), leaving a test pattern card promoting TheGrio.TV's upcoming launch, though MGM continues to feature a live stream of Light TV on its website, suggesting only the satellite transponder for Light TV was sold to Entertainment Studios; some affiliates have thus taken the subchannel dark due to a current lack of programming on that satellite space. FTS confirmed on December 9 that it would indeed carry TheGrio.TV on its stations when it launches on January 15, 2021.[17]

Programming

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.[18][19] Infomercials were added to the Light TV lineup in 2019, occupying all of the overnight hours and into the early morning.

Current programming

Below is a current list of programming broadcast on The Grio:[20]

Former programming

Affiliates

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.[22] MGM then offered the network to stations outside the initial markets.[23]

City Station[24] Physical
channel
Virtual
channel
Owner (management company) Date of affiliation Notes

Alabama[edit]

Greensboro WDVZ-CD 3 3.2 University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa/Birmingham WVUA 6 23.2 June 1, 2017

Arkansas[edit]

Harrison K26GS-D 26 26.4 Reynolds Media, Inc. 2017
Little Rock KTVV-LD 18 18.2 Larry Morton

California[edit]

Fresno KAIL 7 7.2 Tri-State Christian Television October 19, 2017
Sacramento KCSO-LD 3 33.4 NBCUniversal 2018
Santa Barbara KZDF-LD 8.3 HC2 Holdings December 2017

Colorado[edit]

Sterling KCDO-TV 3 23.6, 34.6[25] 10.1 E. W. Scripps Company 2017 KCDO-TV 3's display channel for Light TV is 10.1[25]

Florida[edit]

Miami WSVN 7.2[26] 7.2 Sunbeam Television July 14, 2017[27]
Orlando WOFL 22.4[28] 35.2 Fox Television Stations
Tampa Bay WTOG 44.3[29] 44.3 ViacomCBS

Georgia[edit]

Atlanta WAGA-TV 27 5.4 Fox Television Stations 2017

Hawaii[edit]

Honolulu KWHE-TV 31 14.2 Family Broadcasting Corporation 2017

Idaho[edit]

Boise KRID-LD 22 22.7 Karlo Maalouf[30] July 2017
Idaho Falls KVUI 31 31.3 Ventura Broadcasting
Twins Falls KXTF 34 35.3 Tri-State Christian Television

Illinois[edit]

Oakwood Hills (Chicago) WCHU-LD 7.2[31] 59.2 Venture Technologies Group, LLC December 2020 Relocated from WPWR-TV 50.3 and WFLD 32.4
Marion WTCT 30.5[32] 27.3 Tri-State Christian Television
Peoria WAOE 39.3[33] 59.3 Venture Technologies Group 2017

Indiana[edit]

Angola WINM 12 12.3 Tri-State Christian Television September 2017
Fort Wayne WEIJ-LD 38.5[34] 38.3

Iowa[edit]

Des Moines KDMI 19.3[35] 19.3 Tri-State Christian Television
Iowa City KWKB 25 20.2 Tri-State Christian Television 2017

Kansas[edit]

Wichita KAGW-CD 24 26.7 Great Plains Television

Kentucky[edit]

Lexington WLJC-TV 7 65.2 Hour of Harvest
Louisville WBNA 8 21.3 Word Broadcasting Network March 2017[36]

Louisiana[edit]

Baton Rouge KPBN 14.4 Pelican Broadcasting Network January 1, 2018

Maryland[edit]

Baltimore WBAL-TV 12 11.4 Hearst Television September 24, 2021

Michigan[edit]

Detroit WHNE-LD 20.1[37] 14.1 Tait Broadcasting, LLC[37] Since late August 2017
Traverse City-Cadillac WMNN-LD 14.6[38] 26.6 Freelancer Television Broadcasting, Inc.[38] Since August 2017
Flint/Saginaw/Bay City WAQP 48.5[39] 49.3 Tri-State Christian Television Since September 2017
Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo WTLJ 24 54.3 2018

Missouri[edit]

Kansas City KSMO-TV 32.4[40] 62.2 Meredith Corporation May 6, 2018
Springfield, Missouri KRFT-LD 21 8.2 Craft Broadcasting November 9, 2017[41]

Nevada[edit]

Las Vegas KGNG-LD 26 47.5 King Kong Broadcasting, Inc.[42] October 23, 2017 Century Link Cable Channel 22
Reno KTVN 11 2.2 Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. 2018

New Mexico[edit]

Albuquerque KTVS-LD 36.1[43] 36.1 Alpha Omega Broadcasting[43] October 2017[44] (physical and virtual) channel 36.3 is a simulcast of 36.1[43]

New York[edit]

Albany WNYA 13.4[45] 51.2 Hubbard Broadcasting November 1, 2017 Replaced Antenna TV
Jamestown WNYB 26.5[46] 26.3 Tri-State Christian Television ?
Buffalo WBNF 15.5[47] 15.3 Tri-State Christian Television
Rochester DWNIB-LD 42.3[48] 42.3 Tri-State Christian Television

North Carolina[edit]

Charlotte WJZY 47.10[49] 46.8 Nexstar Media Group 2017

Ohio[edit]

Cincinnati WBQC-LD ("WKRP-TV") 47.7[50] 25.5 Elliot Block 2018
Mansfield WMFD-TV 12 68.3 Mid-State Television, Inc. 2017
Marion WOCB-CD 22.5[51] 39.5 Central Ohio Assoc. of Chr. Broadcasters

Pennsylvania[edit]

Pittsburgh WPCW 19.5 ViacomCBS 2018-2020 as LightTV
2021 as theGrio
Occupied channel 19.4 as LightTV until that service was dropped, whereupon Circle TV was moved there from 19.5, thus vacating that channel until theGrio arrived in 2021

South Carolina[edit]

Greenville WGGS-TV 16.6[52] 16.4 Carolina Christian Broadcasting 2017

Tennessee[edit]

Chattanooga WRCB 3 3.2 Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. 2018
Nashville WJFB 44.3[53] 44.3 Tri-State Christian Television November 20, 2017

Texas[edit]

Austin KGBS 19 19.5 CNZ Communications October 9, 2017 Operated by HC2 Holdings
San Antonio KGMM-CD 24.4[54] 24.2 CNZ Communications

Utah[edit]

Ogden KULX-CD 14 10.5 NBCUniversal
Salt Lake City KTMW 20 20.5

Virginia[edit]

Grundy WLFG 49.4[55] 68.2 Living Faith Ministries, Inc. February 3, 2018

Washington[edit]

Seattle KYMU-LD 6.2[56] Seattle 6 Broadcasting LLC 2019

Wisconsin[edit]

Milwaukee WIWN 5 68.2 CNZ Communications September 1, 2017
Milwaukee WISN-TV 28 12.5 Hearst Television September 30, 2021

Former affiliates

Market Station Channel Current owner Years of affiliation Notes
Chicago, Illinois WFLD-TV 32.4 Fox Television Stations 2018-2020
Colorado Springs, Colorado KWHS-LD 51.2[57] Christian Television Network 2017-2019 Replaced by CTN Lifestyle[57]
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas KDFI 27.5 Fox Television Stations 2017-2020
Gary, Indiana
(Chicago, Illinois)
WPWR-TV 50.4 2017-2018
Houston, Texas KRIV 26.2 2017-2020 Replaced by Decades; theGrio bumped to KTXH-DT3 on launch day.[58]
Los Angeles, California KCOP 13.8 [59] 2016-2020
MinneapolisSaint Paul, Minnesota KMSP-TV 9.5 2017-2020
New Orleans, Louisiana WHNO 20.2 Christian Television Network 2016-2018 Replaced by CTN Lifestyle
New York City, New York WNYW 5.4[60] Fox Television Stations 2016-2020
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma KBZC-LD 42.2 HC2 Holdings Replaced by CBN News Channel, and later Revenue Frontier.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania WTXF-TV 29.3[61] Fox Television Stations 2017-2020
Phoenix, Arizona KSAZ-TV 10.4
Tulsa, Oklahoma KWHB 47.2 Christian Television Network 2017-2019 Replaced by Dabl
Washington, D.C. WDCA 20.4 Fox Television Stations 2017-2018 Was dropped due to channel share with sister station WTTG

References

  1. ^ Kee, Tameka (June 10, 2009). "Can NBCU's TheGrio.com Succeed Where RushmoreDrive.com Failed?". CBS News. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  2. ^ "The Grio Web Site". C-SPAN Video Library, August 20, 2012.
  3. ^ "TheGrio reveals annual Top 100 list". Today, February 4, 2013.
  4. ^ Jordan Chariton (August 14, 2014). "NBC News Selling TheGrio.com". TVNewser. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  5. ^ Debbie Emery (June 14, 2016). "Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios Acquires TheGrio". TheWrap. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  6. ^ Ham, Jon (August 10, 2009). "NBC’s theGrio.com needs diversity training". Carolina Journal Online.
  7. ^ Mayes, Julia (October 3, 2011). "Positively Black: NBC Launches The Grio". 4 NBC New York.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "theGrio team". theGrio. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d "How to Tell Stories for a Living, According to 3 Game-Changing Women in Media".
  10. ^ Busch, Mike Fleming Jr,Anita (September 22, 2014). "MGM Buys 55% Of Roma Downey And Mark Burnett's Empire; Relaunches United Artists". Deadline. Penske Business Media. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  11. ^ Lieberman, David (December 14, 2015). "MGM Taps Mark Burnett To Run TV Operation After Buying Out JV Partners". Deadline. Penske Business Media. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Busch, Anita (November 16, 2016). "Roma Downey, Mark Burnett And MGM Launch Light TV With Fox Stations On Board". Deadline. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  13. ^ Bouma, Luke (March 3, 2017). "Three New Over-the-Air TV Networks Recently Launched - Cord Cutters News". Cord Cutters News. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  14. ^ "Light TV". Light TV.com. LightWorker Media OTT, LLC. Archived from the original on December 23, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  15. ^ "Allen Media Group Buys Two Networks From MGM," from Deadline, 10/28/2020
  16. ^ Haring, Bruce (December 4, 2020). "Byron Allen's Light TV Will Transition To 'TheGrio.TV' Next Month To Kick Off MLK Day Weekend". Deadline. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  17. ^ Miller, Mark (December 9, 2020). "Fox O&Os Adding TheGrio.TV To Subchannels". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  18. ^ "MGM Launches Light TV on Fox Owned Stations and Affiliates". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  19. ^ "Faith-Based LIGHT TV Coming To FOX 32.2 In December". Chicagoland Radio & Media. November 16, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  20. ^ "LIGHT_SCHEDULE_AUGUST_24_UPDATE" (PDF). August 1, 2017.
  21. ^ a b https://lighttv.com/schedule/
  22. ^ "Fox Stations Sign on For Roma Downey and Mark Burnett Network". TVSpy. Prometheus Global Media. November 16, 2016.
  23. ^ Kate Stanhope (November 16, 2016). "Roma Downey, Mark Burnett and MGM to Launch Faith Digital Network on Fox Stations". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  24. ^ "Stations for Network - Light TV". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  25. ^ a b RabbitEars TV Query for KCDO
  26. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WSVN". RabbitEars.info. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  27. ^ Jacobson, Adam (January 5, 2018). "Exclusive: 'Estrella TV' Ready For A Big Miami Return". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved January 7, 2018. On July 14, 2017, Sunbeam Television-owned WSVN-7 dropped Estrella TV from its DT2 multicast channel, replacing it with LIGHT TV…
  28. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WOFL". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  29. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WTOG". RabbitEars.info. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  30. ^ "KRID-LD 22". FCCData.org. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  31. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WCHU". RabbitEars. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  32. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WTCT
  33. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WAOE". RabbitEars. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  34. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WEIJ-LD". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  35. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KDMI
  36. ^ "About Us". WBNA 21. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  37. ^ a b RabbitEars TV Query for WHNE
  38. ^ a b "Digital TV Market Listing for WMNN-LD". RabbitEars.info. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  39. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WAQP
  40. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KSMO-TV". RabbitEars. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  41. ^ "KRFT-LD TV8 Launches Nuestra Vision on Channel 8.6". Craft Broadcasting. March 14, 2018.
  42. ^ "KGNG-LD 26". FCCData.org. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  43. ^ a b c "RabbitEars TV Query for KTVS-LD". RabbitEars.info.
  44. ^ "KAZQ/KTVS - Alpha Omega Broadcasting". www.facebook.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  45. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WNYA". RabbitEars.info.
  46. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WNYB
  47. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WBNF
  48. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for DWNIB-LD". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  49. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WJZY". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  50. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WBQC
  51. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WOCB-CD". RabbitEars. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  52. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WGGS
  53. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for WJFB". Rabbitears.Info. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  54. ^ "RabbitEars TV Query for KGMM-CD". RabbitEars. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  55. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WLFG
  56. ^ https://lighttv.com/#footer LIGHT TV - Find Light TV in Your Area (via Zip Code search query)
  57. ^ a b RabbitEars TV Query for KWHS
  58. ^ What's On FOX TitanTV (via fox26houston.com). Retrieved 2 December 2020
  59. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KCOP
  60. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WNYW". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  61. ^ "Digital TV Market Listing for WTXF". RabbitEars.Info. Retrieved September 16, 2018.