iHeartMedia, the number one radio broadcaster in the nation, launched Black Information Network (BIN) Tuesday with 15 radio stations across the country and an online presence, according to the Wall Street Journal.
What We Know:
- Although the idea for a news division representing the Black community had been in the works at iHeartMedia for over a year, the killing of George Floyd and national calls for racial equality placed a sense of urgency on BIN’s inception.
- The company says the network aims to be an objective, accurate, and trusted source of news coverage with a Black voice and perspective while remaining focused on issues that affect the Black community.
- “A lot of stories told on news radio don’t necessarily speak to the Black community,” said Tony Coles, president of BIN. “We think we can shed a light on things that don’t stay in the news cycle in traditional media.”
- As opposed to selling advertisements, BIN is relying on long-term sponsorship arrangements with a list of large corporate backers. These include Bank of America Corp., CVS Health Corp., Lowe’s Cos., McDonald’s Corp., 23andMe Inc., Sony Corp., Geico, and Verizon Communications Inc. This strategy is meant to allow the network to worry less about ratings.
- In addition to national news, the 15 broadcast radio stations will provide local news, weather, traffic, and sports in markets including Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Seattle. Some of the radio content will also be distributed as podcasts.
iHeartMedia’s new platform comes at a time where members of the Black community are fighting for justice in the wake of protests and riots. “The problems that exist today aren’t going to be gone in one or two years.” Tony Coles explained. “There’s going to be this ongoing need.”