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A group of Chicago's black media owners negotiate new ad deal with Mariano's

(August 29, 2017) Following a recent successful effort to secure a more equitable share of local advertising, a group of six Chicago media owners are now deciding where to turn their attention next.

The group led by Carl West of TBT News includes The Chicago Defender, The Chicago Crusader, N'Digo, The Chicago Citizen and WVON. After numerous attempts made individually to get advertising from grocery chain Mariano's, the owners pursued another strategy.

West decided to start informing his 60,000-plus daily readership directly about those difficulties. "Individually each of the owners had been calling, writing, emailing and not getting any response," said West. "I wrote the first article [about the issue] and when they saw the article popping up online they came to the [negotiating] table."

Soon after the first story appeared, Mariano's executives reached out to the Black media owners for a meeting and the grocery chain's president, Donald S. Rosanova, traveled to Chicago to speak with the group. Ultimately they were each media outlet was given an ad buy, and a promise that Mariano's would include them in the 2018 media plan.

West said that the group is now considering other local retailers and chains for negotiations, including Target, Walmart and Jewel. "This is only the beginning of the black press flexing its muscle to ensure that companies are meeting their obligation to be great community partners," West said.


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