Byron Allen

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Byron Allen
Born (1961-04-22) April 22, 1961 (age 58)
MediumStand-up, television
NationalityAmerican
Years active1979–present
GenresObservational comedy
Subject(s)Everyday life, American culture
SpouseJennifer Lucas (2007–present)
Children3
Notable works and rolesCo-Host of Real People
Host of The Byron Allen Show
Host of Entertainers with Byron Allen
Host of Comics Unleashed

Byron Allen Folks, known professionally as Byron Allen, is an American businessman, former comedian, television producer, philanthropist, and the founder, owner, chairman, and chief executive officer of the U.S. television production company Entertainment Studios.

Early life and education[edit]

Allen’s interest in show business began during his childhood, when he would accompany his mother to NBC studios in Burbank where she worked as a publicist.[1] Free to roam the sound stages, Allen would sneak onto The Tonight Show set, sit behind Johnny Carson’s desk and play talk show host.[1][2]

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.[1]

He graduated from Fairfax High School in 1979[citation needed] and later attended the University of Southern California.

Career[edit]

Comedian Jimmie Walker saw Allen's stand-up act and was so impressed that he 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 during the show's entire run.

His show "Jammin" was picked up as "Kickin' It with Byron Allen" in 1992, and by the end of its run had made the list of longest-running United States television series. 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.

Entertainment Studios has become a global media company headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in New York, Chicago, Denver, Atlanta and Raleigh. Allen now owns ten, 24-hour HD television networks and continues to produce, distribute, and sell advertising for 42 broadcast and cable television programs. This gives Entertainment Studios one of the largest libraries of family and advertiser friendly lifestyle content.

In 2009, Allen launched eight 24-hour HD television networks simultaneously: Automotive.TV, Cars.TV, Comedy.TV, ES.TV, Justice Central, MyDestination.TV, Pets.TV and Recipe.TV.[3]

Among the company’s top programs are: Emmy-winning Cars.TV, Emmy-nominated America's Court with Judge Ross and We the People with Gloria Allred,[4] Comics Unleashed, Comedy.TV, Beautiful Homes & Great Estates, Pets.TV, Recipe.TV, Career Day and The Young Icons. His company also made its first foray into scripted programming, producing two weekly primetime sitcoms that debuted in September 2012: The First Family[5] and Mr. Box Office.[6]

Entertainment Studios is also the first African American-owned multi-platform media studio producing and distributing wide-release motion pictures and content for all platforms. In 2015, Entertainment Studios purchased Freestyle Releasing, now called Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, a full-service theatrical distribution company.

In 2016, Entertainment Studios purchased TheGrio, a digital, video-centric news platform devoted to providing compelling entertainment, news and lifestyle content for African-Americans. [7]

In 2017 the game show Funny You Should Ask was added to the roster of Byron Allen produced shows.[8]

Allen acquired the television assets of The Weather Channel for approximately $300 million in March 2018.[9] In 2019, he announced the launch of THE WEATHER CHANNEL ESPANOL which is slated for 2020, and will soon also launch LOCAL NOW, powered by THE WEATHER CHANNEL technology. Also in 2019, he would partner with Sinclair Broadcast Group to acquire Fox Sports Networks, which The Walt Disney Company was forced to sell as a condition of its purchasing 21st Century Fox.[10]

Awards[edit]

Allen's Cars.TV series won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lifestyle Program in 2012.

In 2018, Allen was selected for the Bloomberg 50 for his accomplishments as a global business leader.[11] He was also selected for the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at the Goldman Sachs Builders & Innovators Summit 2018, and he was honored as a Distinguished Guest Speaker at the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Luncheon in December 2018.[12]

In 2019, at the annual NATPE conference, Allen was presented with the 16th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award for his extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating television programming.

Byron was honored with the 2019 Whitney M. Young Jr., Award at the 46th Annual Los Angeles Urban League Awards dinner on April 18, 2019.

Personal life[edit]

Allen married Jennifer Lucas in 2007. The couple has three children: two daughters born in 2008[13] and 2010, and a son, born in 2012.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Johnson, Allan. "Byron Allen Followed Destiny (and Carson) into Late Night TV". Orlando Sentinel.
  2. ^ "For Entertainment Studios, Weather Channel CEO Byron Allen, failure is not an option". USA Today.
  3. ^ "Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios Signs Distribution Deal With Vivicast Media". Deadline Hollywood. April 9, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  4. ^ "The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announces "The 39th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy® Award Nominations"". The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. May 9, 2012. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 3, 2012). "Comedy Series Starring Bill Bellamy Eying 100-Episode Order, Fall Launch". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 21, 2012). "Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios Clears Syndicated Sitcom Block For Fall '12 Launch". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  7. ^ "Entertainment Studios Corporate | Founder". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  8. ^ https://funnyyoushouldask.tv
  9. ^ Palmeri, Christopher (March 22, 2018). "Comedian Byron Allen Buys the Weather Channel for $300 Million". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  10. ^ Littleton, Cynthia; Littleton, Cynthia (2019-05-03). "Sinclair Clinches Disney-Regional Sports Networks Deal, Byron Allen Joins as Partner". Variety. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  11. ^ "Bloomberg - Are you a robot?". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  12. ^ "Honoree – Christmas Kettle Luncheon". Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  13. ^ Wihlborg, Ulrica (2008-09-26). "Talk Show Host Byron Allen & Wife Welcome a Girl - Babies". People.com. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
  14. ^ "Byron Allen Welcomes Daughter". Celebritybabies.people.com. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2014-05-23.

External links[edit]