Billionaire Byron Allen Reflects On The Struggles He Faced While Building Allen Media Group

Across three decades, Byron Allen has cemented himself as one of today’s biggest media moguls.

The 62-year-old first got his big break in the entertainment industry at age 14 when he started out working in stand-up comedy, as previously shared by AFROTECH. By 1993, Allen founded what is known today as Allen Media Group. 

The media and entertainment company is the owner of 10 cable networks including The Weather Channel, JusticeCentral.TV, Cars.TV and Pets.TV, to name a few, according to Variety. Allen also claimed to the outlet that Allen Media Group is “the largest provider of first-run syndicated shows for broadcast stations” — totaling over 70.

While the company has grown into a massive media empire, its rise was built from humble beginnings. Allen shared with Variety that in the early stages of being in the business, he faced countless rejections.

“When I started calling stations from my dining room table asking them to carry my weekly television show for free, I had to work through about 50,000 noes to get the 150 yeses that became my lineup,” Allen said, per the outlet.

Along with the challenge of building his lineup, Allen faced being unable to secure advertisers for his national slots. The obstacle led to financial struggles in his personal life.

“My home went in and out of foreclosure many times over a five-year period,” he recalled. “My phone would get shut off, and I’d be calling people from pay phones.”

Despite the period of struggle, Allen stuck to pursuing his vision. Facing adversity head-on ultimately led to his successful revenue model of allowing each network to license his shows for free in exchange for his having the right to sell 50% of the advertising directly, as previously explained by AFROTECH.

According to Allen, the future of his company looks like the expansion of “organic,” “strategic acquisitions” in order to reach his overall mission.

“I haven’t yet done what I set out to do — we’re tiny, and while we’re growing exponentially, we’re still in our infancy,” Allen shared. “The goal is to build the world’s biggest media company and use it to effect change for the greater good.” 


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