As we reported on this blog a week ago, commemorating the 18th anniversary of its IPO (May 5, 2017), Radio One, Inc. (parent company of TV One, whose programming we cover aplenty here on S&A) changed its name to Urban One, Inc., Although its longstanding mission to inform, entertain and inspire the African American community, providing culturally relevant integrated content through its various brands and platforms, remains the same.
During a press conference call that was held on Thursday, May 11, 2017, Urban One executives Yashima White AziLove (U1 Corporate), D’Angela Proctor (TV One), Jay Stevens (Radio One and Reach Media), Kierna Mayo (iONE Digital), Tuwisha Rogers (One Solution and OneX Studios), Dwayne Whitaker (R1 Digital), Kim Bandell (One VIP) and Marveesha Frazier (BHM Digital), discussed the company’s name change and business outlook for the company overall, and at each of its individual subsidiaries, including TV One, which is of most interest to us at this time.
And from the conference call transcript received today (since I couldn’t participate at the time of the call), here are highlights from the TV One segment which was handled by D’Angela Proctor, Head of Original Programming at the cable TV network.
— Maybe the most significant announcement made is that a TV One streaming app will be launching later this year, that will include live streaming, viewing of TV One series episodes 24 hours after their initial airing, and access to the network’s library past content. Proctor doesn’t share specifics like cost of the app; of course I’m assuming it’ll be a standalone subscription app, and not one that still requires you to have a cable TV service to log into. The former would seem to be preferable especially as cord cutting becomes more of a thing.
— The network will expand Roland S. Martin’s “News One Now” to two hours, and also change its name to “Black America Today,” a daily news and lifestyle show airing weekdays from 7-9 a.m. ET. And a 3rd hour of live programming will be added to the morning lineup that will follow the new 2-hour “Black America Today” time block. Details on what this 3rd hour will contain aren’t shared, but Proctor says that a “soon-to-be-announced partnership for a live program” is coming. Maybe it’ll be something similar to morning talk shows like “The View,” “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” or “The Wendy Williams Show” and others.
— Expect more true crime and justice docu-series, which Proctor says have been “hugely successful” for the network (“Fatal Attraction” has been a standout, which she calls a “juggernaut” for TV One. In addition, there’s “For My Man,” etc); and so the true crime and justice block has been expanded to two nights, with more additions under that umbrella that will soon debut.
— And finally of note, Proctor closed her segment of the conference call with the following: “We’re looking forward to creating more videos that include behind the scenes, after shows, digital miniseries to go along with our television programs, and we hope to increase our footprint in the social media space as well.”
Three weeks ago, TV One unveiled its 2017/2018 programming slate during its annual upfronts presentation in NYC, which includes several new and returning shows, as well as original movies. They presented a hefty lineup of both scripted and unscripted programming, including original films on the DeBarge family and 1990s R&B quartet Xscape, and much more. Catch up here.