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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,, 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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Survey: Majority of Black TV viewers dissatisfied with programming options

(April 24, 2012) At a time when several new channels and programs are targeting the African-American audience, a new survey reveals that the overwhelming majority of these viewers are dissatisfied with their current programming options. When asked, "Are you satisfied with the variety of Black TV programs now on the air," 97% of the African-Americans who voluntarily participated in the survey said they were not satisfied.

A coalition of consumer groups, media activists, clergy and concerned citizens were brought together by Black Heritage Network and commissioned Target Market News to conduct a national online survey. The questionnaire asked African-American households about their viewing habits and the kind of programming choices they'd like to have.

"The television industry has long been in the habit of tracking what African-Americans watched," said Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News. "This was a rare opportunity for this audience to tell the industry what it is they would prefer to watch. It should be no surprise that their answers are contrary to most of the conventional wisdom about what Black viewers preferences would be."

When asked, "What types of Black-oriented programs would you like to see more of," the majority answered more documentaries (75%), history (71%), arts (68%), independent films (65%) and news (59%) programming. There was less support for more Black-oriented talk shows (34%), cooking shows (29%) and sports-related programs (24%).

What's most significant about these responses is the opportunity that they point to. According to data from Nielsen, African-Americans have traditionally consumed more hours of television than other segments of the population. At the same time, the survey suggests that they may be only marginally enthusiastic about they're watching.

"The recent success of ABC's new political drama, "Scandal," proves that African-Americans will flock to shows where they can see themselves in positive, yet non-traditional roles," said Smikle. "Blacks are 13% of the TV households in the U.S., but they were 23% of the total audience watching the first three episodes of the series."

Nearly half of survey participants (47.8%) said they watch about equal amounts of network and cable offerings. About a third (32.8%) said they view mostly cable programs, and 19.8% claimed they spent more time watching broadcast network shows. Nearly two-thirds (73%) said they watch public television shows.

Trying to satisfy the tastes of African-American viewers may prove important to the television industry as it addresses how technology changes viewing habits. Nearly half (47%) of the respondents said they watch TV programs on their computer or iPad.

"The results clearly reflect an appetite for the kind of Black-oriented programming that has long been ignored by the industry," said Smikle. "But it also demonstrates an opportunity for broadcasters, cable and satellite, advertisers and producers. The kinds of programs that are desired by these respondents would be of interest to all segments of the viewing audience, not just African-Americans. It will be interesting to see if the new Black-targeted digital and cable channels will be able to take advantage of this strong demand."

The survey was conducted online from Feb. 13 - March 31, 2012 through the dedicated Web site, The results are based on responses given by 531 self-identified African-Americans from across the U.S. For further information, contact Target Market News at 312-408-1881.

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