A year after All Def Digital, one of the web’s biggest Black-owned digital sites, collapsed in the aftermath of #MeToo allegations against founder Russell Simmons, the reborn company is charting a new course led by two former tech executives and backed by an ownership group that includes music and sports notables such as T.I., Killer Mike, Jason Geter, and Baron Davis.
The new ADD is moving beyond the original platform’s tight digital focus on hip hop, comedy and slam poetry. Under new CEO Cedric J. Rogers and partner Shaun Newsum, the new ADD is exploring more genres and distribution approaches. It’s also expanding relationships and programming ventures with traditional media companies, working with WarnerMedia-owned FullScreen, and Comcast
Rogers and Newsum are engineers by training, working respectively at Apple and what’s now called Disney Streaming Services. By 2018, though, they had launched Culture Genesis to produce programming for underserved “black and brown” audiences online, Rogers said. The company worked with Kevin Hart’s LOL Network and Steve Harvey’s production company Harvey International before bringing to All Def Bar Exam, a digital game show about hip hop music.
Then, things fell apart for ADD. Simmons was one of a number of high-profile entertainment executives facing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, and stepped away from the company in 2017. Last year, as funding and business relationships dried up, ADD went into bankruptcy.
Ultimately, through a bankruptcy process called Assignment for Benefit of Creditors, Culture Genesis was tabbed to take over the ADD assets, in part because it already had relationships with many
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday it will take up a long-running legal dispute over whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can loosen U.S. media ownership rules.
A lower court has thwarted the FCC’s efforts to revise the rules since 2003 in a series of decisions.
In 2017, the Republican-led FCC voted to eliminate a ban in place since 1975 on cross-ownership of a newspaper and TV station in a major market. It also voted to make it easier for media companies to buy additional TV stations in the same market, for local stations to jointly sell advertising time and for companies to buy additional radio stations in some markets.
The FCC said in 2003 “that the ownership rules should be substantially overhauled because they inhibit beneficial combinations between struggling traditional outlets and no longer reflect current market realities.”
The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year directed the FCC to take up the issue again, finding that the regulatory agency “did not adequately consider the effect its sweeping rule changes will have on ownership of broadcast media by women and racial minorities.”
FCC General Counsel Tom Johnson wrote on Twitter on Friday that the Supreme Court’s agreeing to hear the case “is great news for struggling local news outlets and American consumers.”
The National Association of Broadcasters industry group said the 3rd Circuit “has blocked common-sense changes to outdated broadcast ownership regulations to the detriment of local journalism. The time has come to allow the FCC to modernize its rules.”
FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, a Democrat, said that court “was right” that the commission “has repeatedly failed to consider the effect of its ownership rulings on women and minorities, which has impeded greater broadcast diversity.”
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments in the latest challenge to the FCC’s efforts to loosen its rules that limit media ownership.
The high court on Friday said it would take on the case brought by Philadelphia-based Prometheus Radio Project, a collection of low-power radio stations. Prometheus and others are challenging the FCC’s rollback on the grounds that the commission has not given sufficient consideration to how such moves will impact broadcast station ownership by women and minorities.
The FCC has been fighting in court over its media ownership rules for 17 years, through Republican and Democratic administrations. Most recently, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals last September vacated the FCC’s 2017 rule changes, saying the commission had not properly defined some of the specific terms used to define how stations would be evaluated for complying with revenue- and reach-based limits.
The decision had the effect of reinstating rules that limit the ownership of newspapers and TV stations in the same market, and mandates that limit on the number of TV and radio stations that a single entity can own in the same market.
The National Association of Broadcasters and most of the largest TV station groups are siding with the FCC in pushing for an overhaul, arguing that the rules put undue burden on broadcasters at a time when they face tougher competition than ever from largely unregulated competitors.
“NAB looks forward to presenting our case before the Supreme Court this term,” said CEO Gordon Smith, in a statement. “For almost two decades, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked common-sense changes to outdated broadcast ownership regulations to the detriment of local journalism. The time has come to allow the FCC to modernize its rules.”
Oral argument is expected to occur either in January