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NBC returning ownership of TheGrio.com to founders, but continues content affiliation

(August 25, 2014) Less than four years after it purchased the African-American news website, TheGrio.com, NBC News has announced that it is selling the media platform back to the original owners. Launched n 2009 by co-founders David A. Wilson and Dan Woolsey, the site was one of the first black-targeted destination to be affiliated with a major news organization. Neither party disclosed the financial details of the sale.

Wilson told the media news column, Journal-isms, that he plans to continue the affiliation with NBC News and expand TheGrio's video-centric content and distribute it through social media platforms. Wilson said he is presently seeking investors for the expansion.

TheGrio.com, which debuted in 2009 with Wilson, Woolsey and NBC as partners, was bought outright by NBC a year later. A year earlier, Dr. Henry Louis Gates of Harvard University, through a partnership with The Washington Post Co., launched TheRoot.com.

Both sites were preceded by BlackVoices.com, which was launched by Barry Cooper in 1998 while he was an employee of the Tribune Co. Cooper convinced Tribune to invest $5 million to launch Black Voices in 1998. The site was purchased by AOL in 2004 and was acquired by the HuffingtonPost along with other AOL properties in 2011.


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