Byron Allen

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Byron Allen
Byron Allen Folks

(1961-04-22) April 22, 1961 (age 60)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
OccupationMedia Executive
EmployerAllen Media Group/Entertainment Studios
TitleChairman and CEO
Jennifer Lucas
(m. 2007)
Comedy career
MediumStand-up, television
Years active1979–present
GenresObservational comedy
Subject(s)Everyday life, American culture
Notable works and roles

Byron Allen Folks[1] (born April 22, 1961)[2] is an African American businessman, comedian, television producer, philanthropist, and the head of the U.S. entertainment company Entertainment Studios.

Early life and education[edit]

Allen was born in Detroit, but grew up in Los Angeles.[2] His interest in show business began during his childhood, when he would accompany his mother, Carolyn Folks,[3] to NBC studios in Burbank where she worked as a publicist.[4]

At age 14, Allen put together his first stand-up routine and began appearing on amateur night at comedy clubs throughout the Los Angeles area.[4]


Comedian Jimmie Walker saw Allen's stand-up act and invited the 14-year-old comedian to join his comedy writing team alongside promising young comedians Jay Leno and David Letterman. At age 18, Allen made his television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. One of his earliest roles was as a regular presenter on the NBC series Real People, joining the cast at the beginning of the second season.

His show Jammin' was picked up as Kickin' It with Byron Allen in 1992, and it ran for more than 21 seasons. Allen's foray into television production began in Los Angeles in 1993 when he founded Entertainment Studios with the launch of his first series — Entertainers with Byron Allen — a weekly, one-hour series profiling the current stars of film and television.

In 2018, Entertainment Studios acquired The Weather Channel from NBCUniversal, Bain Capital, and The Blackstone Group.[5][6]

In 2019, he partnered with Sinclair Broadcast Group in Diamond Holding Group to acquire Fox Sports Networks, which The Walt Disney Company agreed to sell as a condition of its purchase of 21st Century Fox.[7]


In 2018, Allen was selected for the Bloomberg 50 as one of "the people in business, entertainment, finance, politics, and technology and science whose 2018 accomplishments were particularly noteworthy".[8] He was also selected for the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at the Goldman Sachs Builders & Innovators Summit 2018, and he was honored by the Salvation Army and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Advisory Board at the Salvation Army's 11th Annual Christmas Kettle Luncheon.[9] In January 2019, Allen was a recipient of NATPE's 16th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards,[10] presented during the annual NATPE Miami Marketplace & Conference. Allen received the 2019 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award[11] at the 46th annual Los Angeles Urban League Awards dinner.

Personal life[edit]

Allen married TV producer Jennifer Lucas in 2007.[12] The couple have three children: daughters Chloe, born in August 2008[13] and Olivia in April 2010,[14] and a son, Lucas born in December 2012.[15] Allen is on the Motion Picture & Television Fund Board of Governors.[16]


  1. ^ Kearn, Rebekah (December 27, 2012). "Comics Say Producer Byron Allen Is No Joke". Courthouse News Service. Archived from the original on April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Byron Allen: Former Detroiter made a name for himself in television…independently". Michigan Chronicle. April 23, 2013. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  3. ^ Marich, Robert. "Byron Allen Is Still 'Very Acquisitive' After Transformative Year". Variety. Archived from the original on March 26, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Johnson, Allan. "Byron Allen Followed Destiny (and Carson) into Late Night TV". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016 – via Orlando Sentinel.
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Fleming, Mike (March 22, 2018). "Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios Acquires The Weather Channel TV Network For $300 Million". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Albiniak, Paige (March 22, 2018). "Byron Allen Acquires The Weather Group in $300 Million Deal". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on March 22, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  7. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (May 4, 2019). "Sinclair Clinches Disney-Regional Sports Networks Deal, Byron Allen Joins as Partner". Variety. Archived from the original on July 25, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Bloomberg 50 > Byron Allen". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on March 26, 2020. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  9. ^ "11th Annual Christmas Kettle Luncheon Honoree". The Salvation Army Southern California. n.d. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "16th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards To Honor Byron Allen, Mara Brock Akil, Robert Greenblatt, Rita Moreno, and Henry Winkler – NATPE". Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  11. ^ "Byron Allen reveals why his award from LA Urban League is especially personal". TheGrio. April 19, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  12. ^ Wihlborg, Ulrica (September 1, 2007). "Talk Show Host Byron Allen Marries TV Producer". People. Archived from the original on March 1, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  13. ^ Wihlborg, Ulrica (September 26, 2008). "Talk Show Host Byron Allen & Wife Welcome a Girl". People. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2020. ...the couple tells People exclusively. Daughter Chloe Ava Allen was born in Los Angeles on Aug. 22...
  14. ^ "Byron Allen Welcomes Daughter". People. April 8, 2010. Archived from the original on March 1, 2020. Retrieved May 23, 2014. ...a daughter named Olivia Rose Allen, on Wednesday, April 7th ... his rep tells 'People' exclusively.
  15. ^ "Byron Allen Welcomes Son Lucas Byron". People. December 12, 2012. Archived from the original on March 1, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2020. ...welcomed their third child on Tuesday, Dec. 11, his rep confirms to 'People. ... Lucas Byron Allen...
  16. ^ "About Us". Motion Picture & Television Fund. Retrieved February 4, 2021.

External links[edit]