Byron Allen’s Media Company Starts Layoffs ‘Across All Divisions’

The Allen Media Group owner recently put in a bid on Paramount Global and also owns The Weather Channel

Byron Allen (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group has begun layoffs across every division of the company, which includes The Weather Channel, The Grio and Freestyle Digital Media, a rep for the company told TheWrap on Thursday.

“Allen Media Group is making strategic changes to better position the company for growth that will result in expense and workforce reductions across all divisions of the company,” read the statement, dated Monday. That’s when cuts at TheGrio, a multi-platform media outlet catering to Black Americans, were first reported.

“Allen Media Group’s brands continue to perform well and in many areas our revenue growth has greatly outpaced the market. We are aligning these changes to drive future business opportunities and support our growth strategies in our rapidly evolving industry,” the statement, which was shared with TheWrap again on Thursday, concluded.

“The axe is falling at TheGrio,” an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap on Monday. Managing editor Christy Oglesby and members of the podcast and video team were laid off, the individual said.

Allen, who founded his company in 1993, offered to buy Paramount Global for $14 billion in January. The deal would have included the assumption of Paramount Global’s debt, bringing the total cost to $30 billion.

“Mr. Byron Allen did submit a bid on behalf of Allen Media Group and its strategic partners to purchase all of Paramount Global’s outstanding shares. We believe this $30 billion offer, which includes debt and equity, is the best solution for all of the Paramount Global shareholders, and the bid should be taken seriously and pursued,” a representative for Allen said in a statement provided to TheWrap at the time.

TheGrio was acquired by Allen Media Group in 2016, which also owns 27 network affiliate broadcast television stations in 21 U.S. markets. 

The Hollywood Reporter first reported this story.


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