Number Of Black-Owned TV Stations Plummets To Zero

News Analysis

Roberts Broadcasting, a Black-owned media company, just announced a deal to sell its three remaining full-power TV stations to ION Media Networks for nearly $8 million.

Once considered a phenomenal success story in an industry known for its stunning lack of diversity, Roberts Broadcasting was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2011.This decline stemmed primarily from Viacom’s decision to shutter the UPN network, which Roberts had affiliated with due to UPN’s unique focus on programming featuring ordinary portrayals of African Americans.

Roberts Broadcasting’s exit from the market comes on the heels of the departures of two other prominent Black owners.

In late October, the Sinclair Broadcast Group continued its buying spree by acquiring a Fox affiliate in Portland, Me., from a company helmed by Charles Glover, a funk musician turned broadcaster. That same month, Access.1 Communications agreed to sell its Atlantic City NBC station to Locus Point Networks.

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