Broadcast mogul Byron Allen is a role model for future black business leaders
Byron Allen, head of a major media company that includes Weather Channel, TV stations, cable networks and more, said he sees his company as leverage to bring about real change in the way businesses Americans Do Business, in an interview with correspondent Lee Cowan for “CBS Sunday Morning,” airs Sunday, Feb. 20 and airs on Paramount+.
Allen plans to bid for the Denver Broncos, which, if successful, would make him the first majority black owner of an NFL franchise. He tells Cowan that his media company is worth billions, but he won’t sell it. He sees it as a powerful tool to help not only increase programming focused on black issues, but also to demand more widespread inclusion in all areas of business.
“Do we or don’t we have economic inclusion? Allen asked. “And the answer is no. … We need to fix the biggest trade deficit in America, which is the trade deficit between white corporate America and black America.”
In addition to owning Weather Channel (which provided content to CBS News), Allen Media Group includes 36 television stations, 12 cable networks, six streaming platforms and several distribution companies. “There are kids who look like me, when they see this…it’s going to change their perspective on themselves,” Allen said of his media empire.
In a wide-ranging conversation, Allen talks with Cowan about his childhood; trying to make it as a stand-up comedian; and why he needed to own his own business.
He said: “When Berry Gordy sold Motown – and I understand why he sold Motown – I was in the back of the room. And I started crying. I started crying because I had the felt like we as African Americans had to own something. We don’t own anything.”
Cowan also speaks with Allen’s mother, Carolyn Folks, who said of her son, “I remember he was playing managerial when he was about 5 and 6. He had a desk. And that desk was in the basement.”
Allen explained, “I sat at a desk and just talked to imaginary executives.”
To watch a preview of Lee Cowan’s interview, click on the video player below:
The Emmy Award-winning “Sunday Morning” airs on CBS Sundays starting at 9 a.m. ET. “Sunday Morning” also airs on the CBS News app [beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET] and on Paramount+, and is available on cbs.com and cbsnews.com.
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