Africana.com Shutting Down; Another Black Media Firm Hits The Dirt

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There appears to be a pattern of Black-owned media companies either closing down or selling their stake to non-black firms.

Just days after Essence Magazine is sold to Time Warner, popular web site Africana.com announces that they are shutting down at the end of January 2005 and merging with AOL's BlackVoices. It was just two years ago that Vanguarde Media closed down Savoy Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, and Honey Magazine. It was just 5 years ago that BET was sold to Viacom.

It appears that there's a pattern of Black-owned media companies either closing down or selling their stake to non-black firms.

Africana.com is or was an online portal to Black news, comics, and other Black-focused activities. The announcement as posted on their web site said, "After 6 years, Africana.com is shutting its doors on January 31, 2005. It's been an exciting and interesting ride, and we hope you've enjoyed it as much as we have."

It went on to say, "While Africana.com will be no more, many of the features that comprised Africana.com will be given a new home at AOL BlackVoices."

Many African-Americans are saddened when a Black media firm closes down, but are outraged when one is no longer Black-owned. Sometimes the firms are labeled as "sell-outs", but they usually respond to ensure that it was the best move for the company, and that nothing will really change. No one, but the company itself knows if such a statement is really true. However for the most part, nothing really does change.

While there does seem to be a pattern of "close-outs" and "sell-outs", there are still quite a few Black-owned media firms that don't appear to be going anywhere. Below is a brief list of some well-known ones:

TELEVISION

1) Black Family Channel - http://www.blackfamilychannel.com
2) TV One - http://www.tvoneonline.com
3) Jericho Broadcasting - http://www.jerichobroadcasting.com

RADIO

1) Reach Media (Tom Joyner) - http://www.reachmediainc.com
2) NuOpp Inc. (Steve Harvey) - http://www.nuoppinc.com
3) American Urban Radio Networks - http://www.aurnol.com
4) Radio One - http://www.radio-one.com

MAGAZINES

1) Johnson Publishing (Jet Magazine) - http://www.jetmag.com
2) Johnson Publishing (Ebony Magazine) - http://www.ebony.com
3) Upscale Communications (Upscale Mag) - http://www.upscalemagazine.com
4) Turning Point Communications (Turning Point Magazine) - http://www.turningpointmagazine.com
5) Earl G. Graves, Ltd. (Black Enterprise Magazine) - http://www.blackenterprise.com

WEB SITES

1) Reach Media (BlackAmericaWeb.com) - http://www.blackamericaweb.com
2) Diversity City Media (BlackNews.com) - http://www.blacknews.com
3) Rabercom Enterprises (EURweb.com) - http://www.eurweb.com
4) NNPA, Inc. (BlackPressUSA.com) - http://www.blackpressusa.com
5) Grandlin Interactive (HBCUconnect.com) - http://www.hbcuconnect.com
6) IMDiversity, Inc. (IMdiversity.com) - http://www.imdiversity.com

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Dante Lee