Mr. Johnson brokers a contract for the purchase of a new network based upon it being a Black-owned and Operated Network. He acquired government monies, major advertisers and promoted it to the public as such, when in truth it is not. It is ran by its competitor, GMC TV and GMC TV executives, which are ALL white. Mr. Johnson made no attempt to even entertain procuring black business to work with him, manage or even participate with him in this endeavor. He advertised this deal as a “Change” and now we, the public are asking him to live up to his promise.
Los Angeles – March 11, 2013 – Did Magic Johnson really sell out Black Businesses? Let us take a look. A short time ago a deal came on the table for Comcast to buy NBC. California State Representative, Maxine Waters stepped in and made sure the deal could not go through unless Comcast gave minorities the opportunity to develop minority networks. With this on the table it opened the doors to broadcasting opportunities for minorities that had not been there before. Magic Johnson stepped in and brokered the deal, making a big announcement the he had created a “Black Network” and calling it “Aspire TV”. The possibilities for minorities in broadcasting was given a huge shot in the arm. Thinking that Magic Johnson was actually going to lay out a network that allowed for more minority shows and programs was apparently not what Mr. Johnson had in mind when he bought into this deal.
Magic Johnson inked the deal and promptly turned over all managerial control to GMC TV in Atlanta, GA. – a 100% WHITE owned company AND virtually a direct competitor to Aspire TV. This is after running all over the place telling everyone this is a “black” network and HE was going to change black TV. But this raises the question – Is it really a “black network” and has it changed anything? Let’s take a little deeper look into that question.
GMC, a direct competitor and now the NEW management for Aspire TV, did not go out and try to get top talent or even attempt to acquire people who had previous experience in the key roles. This is what GMC did – moved unqualified people over to fill critical rolls like Director of Programming and General Manager. But these people cannot make final decisions. All final decisions are made by GMC executive management and they are ALL white. GMC Executive (WHITE) Management: – “PUPPET MASTERS” are
Charles Humbard, Founder and CEO, Leslie Chesloff EVP Programming, Brad Siegel, vice-chairman of GMC,
Sopia Kelly SVP Programming and Aspire TV: “PUPPETS” are Paul Butler (former Attorney and VP at GMC) Tina Thompson (Director of Programming) – no Executive level experience in career history and now she is running programming for a start up network.
Aspire TV’s General Manager is Paul Butler (former Attorney and VP at GMC) and Tina Thompson, Director of Programming, both are former GMC TV executives with loyalties that are still with GMC TV. There really only seems to be one reason GMC put unqualified people in place instead of going out and getting people who knew how to launch programming and this is so they keep control. Essentially, GMC has no good reason to make Aspire TV a great property. It would just take valuable market share from GMC.
So what do we have? More of the same – white network executives dictating what is watched and when it is watched. Magic Johnson and his team have no hand in hiring, marketing, deal making and most importantly programming. This complete lack of control and/or interest on the part of Magic Johnson and his team is like a slap in the face of minorities – not just black people but people of color period. The lack of programming depicting the representation of almost any race of color is shameful and disgusting. Corporate America wants the minority population to buy their products, support their businesses and watch their shows but they cannot even respect that same segment of population, and take the initiative and produce and air programming that represents them.
The programming on Aspire TV lacks “Programming” period. This is the schedule that is currently being ran on Aspire TV:
The Flip Wilson Show early 1970s
The Bill Cosby Show late 1960s
I Spy mid 1960s
Soul Train early 1970s
This is when it get embarrassing. First, the channel is nothing less than terrible and surely if you ask people they will agree. No one talks about Aspire TV online. You can only find post about Aspire pre-September. The lineup has been about the same since the first day in June. As you can see they run these shows up to (7) times a day each. No one can keep watching this day after day for months on end. Clearly, GMC and Magic are not taking their audience seriously.
This blotch in programming, management and the overall suspect position of Aspire TV gives cause to think this is all a sham. A sham just to give Comcast a quick buy of NBC and Magic another notch in his belt and GMC a pay check.
If Magic is serious about giving minorities a chance why did he not get a minority company to manage Aspire? Surely, there has to be one that could do a great job somewhere in a country of 330,000,000 people. Isn’t that the reason Maxine Waters got involved? Isn’t that the deal for Comcast to buy NBC? Is this sleight-of-hand? So here are some key questions:
Did Magic not seek out a qualified minority company to manage a minority TV network?
Is Magic Johnson telling the truth to all the folks who believe this is a black run network?
Should the deal for NBC been allowed to go through if this is in fact not what was promised?
What incentive does GMC have to put out a product that could potentially best their own and are they purposely putting out this bad product?
Are the people in critical positions qualified? And if so how?
Does anyone think this is a serious programming schedule with their audience in mind?
The fact that Magic did not find a quality minority company may be because he never looked. Isn’t what is often asked of “white companies” – Why did you not find a black person to fill this position? Magic could have helped so many minority companies by supporting minority companies. But it looks like he wanted to “buy, lie and fly.”
In the end here are the winners – Comcast got NBC, the Government got Good will, Magic got another notch under his belt and GMC got a contract to babysit.
Here are the losers – We got 7 episodes of Flip Wilson every single day for 8 months and the Bill Cosby Show (from the 1960s) on 12 times — 12 times in one 24 hour period.
More questions arise from this deal and maybe one of the biggest is “WHERE IS THE MONEY?” Magic Johnson Entertainment and GMC by virtue of management signed a huge deal with Coke-a-Cola, so where is the money? Where is the incentive money the Government signed over by this being a “black owned and black ran” business?
No one is trying to trash Magic Johnson but the facts remain, he did a deal to promote and create a minority owned and run station, then he obtained millions in advertising dollars from big brand advertisers, put a complete management team in place that lacked a single person of color at all, gave up control of programming and is now running shows from the ’50’s and ’60’s. So what we are really asking is “Did Magic Johnson Sell-Out Black Businesses” and with all the facts in our faces and all the lack of interest on the part of Magic Johnson and Magic Johnson Entertainment this appears to be the case.
Attached to this article is a petition to force the hand of Mr. Johnson and his team to take action to rectify this situation immediately. If we as a people cannot stand up on our word and our bond then what are we left with. Lies, neglect and once again the wool being pulled over our eyes. Please sign petition and share via social networks and friends.
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