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Target Market News has introduced Black Business Chicago, a new monthly which will spotlight news and features on Chicago's African-American businesses, corporate executives and local economic issues. The publication will also be supplemented by a Web site, blackbusinesschicago.com, that will provide updated coverage of relevant business news on a daily and weekly basis between issues of the monthly print publication. Click for more ____________________________________

Buying Power report: Blacks spend as economy grows
New 16th edition shows $507 bil in spending



The finding comes from the 16th annual edition of "The Buying Power of Black America" report. In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. ...

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BET Networks to debut late night show, scripted shows and digital platforms

(April 18, 2012) BET Networks' Upfront presentation to advertisers featured announcements on 12 new programs and original movies for both BET and CENTRIC as well as new web series for BET.com.

During the presentation, BET announced new late night series DON'T SLEEP!, new scripted series SECOND GENERATION WAYANS, HOUSE HUSBANDS, and new reality series THE MATHIS PROJECT. BET is also launching a new film offering, BET PREMIERE CINEMA, which will give its viewers a first look at never-before-seen films on TV such THE MINDLESS BEHAVIOR PROJECT and critically acclaimed Sundance hits MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and LUV, after their theatrical run, as well as BET original films BEING MARY JANE and GUN HILL.

The Network also plans to announced the new BET AWARDS EXPERIENCE that includes an interactive multi-platform Hollywood takeover of the L.A. Live Complex during BET AWARDS Week in 2013.  CENTRIC unveiled its plans to expand  SOUL TRAIN AWARDS into a three-day experience including a Comedy Showcase and Concert as well as launch a new talent competition series APOLLO LIVE . 

In the face of growing TV options targeting African-Americans, BET wants to reinforce its position as “the No.1 provider of content for consumers of black culture globally.” According to the Nielsen Company, BET continues to be the number one ad-supported cable network among blacks 18-49 for 12 consecutive years. CENTRIC also continues to make strides and is now one of the top 10 growth networks on cable television. Coming off of its best year ever, BET continues to rank among the top 20 cable networks among all adults 18-49, outperforming its cable industry peers for four consecutive years.

"We've had an incredible year and in 2012 will continue our reign as the No.1 media brand among African Americans and a top cable network among all viewers," said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks. "We have a diverse roster of new programming that respects our audience and reflects their lives."

"We continue to be the No.1 network targeting and reaching African Americans because we understand the incredible power of our audience," said Louis Carr, President of Advertising Sales at BET Networks. "Our precise understanding of the African American consumer allows us to program with the needs and wants of Black America and to provide unique partnership opportunities across every platform and channel."

At the Upfront, BET also unveiled the new late night series starring former CNN anchor T. J. Holmes, DON'T SLEEP!, which tackles social issues and current events important to BET's audience. Additionally, the Network will launch two additional scripted series SECOND GENERATION WAYANS starring Craig Wayans, Damien Dante Wayans and George O. Gore II alongside Tatyana Ali, and the insanely funny sketch comedy HOUSE HUSBANDS starring Kevin Hart, Nelly, Bobby Brown, Anthony Anderson and Nick Cannon  as well as THE MATHIS PROJECT is a powerful new crime investigative series featuring Judge Greg Mathis that aims to empower neighborhoods plagued by unsolved homicides.

In addition to new series, BET announced a new cinema offering to viewers for exclusive movie content never before seen on television.  BET PREMIERE CINEMA will launch with BEING MARY JANE, created and executive produced by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil and starring Gabrielle Union; GUN HILL, a high-powered cop drama is about identical twins on opposite sides of life starring Larenz Tate; THE MINDLESS BEHAVIOR PROJECT, featuring the teen sensation singing group Mindless Behavior; and critically acclaimed Sundance favorites LUV starring hip hop and Hollywood star Common and the emotional drama MIDDLE OF NOWHERE starring Omari Hardwick and Emayatzy E. Corinealdi.

Award-winning journalist T. J. Holmes gives Jon Stewart and Bill Mahr some competition with his new original late night series DON'T SLEEP!, Holmes delivers smart, biting social commentary on significant issues important to African Americans. Guaranteed to shake up late night, DON'T SLEEP! presents and tackles current headlines that affect our community while also creating awareness about vital stories mainstream media tends to disregard. Airing four nights a week, DON'T SLEEP! is also infused with numerous in-studio and on-location correspondents injecting perspective, humor, and commentary about a wide range of topics.

Making its premiere on BET after its theatrical run, this film chronicles the tribulations of blazing-hot boy band Mindless Behavior, following the tour life of four teens struggling to balance their personal lives and burgeoning careers. An homage to the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," these young men learn valuable lessons about friendship, loyalty and ultimately their places within the group. Mindless Behavior is a social media phenomenon, with more than 110 million collective hits on YouTube, 1.3 million "likes" on Facebook, 530,000 Twitter followers, and more than a half million subscribers to their official mobile hotline.

THE MINDLESS BEHAVIOR PROJECT is a Reuben Cannon Entertainment (RCE) production in conjunction with BET. Produced by Reuben Cannon, Cory Tynan, Vincent Herbert, Walter Millsap, Kenneth Crear, Jason Essex with choreography by Dave Scott.  Starring Princeton, Prodigy, Ray Ray and Roc Royal.


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