Byron Allen

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Byron Allen
Born
Byron Allen Folks

(1961-04-22) April 22, 1961 (age 61)
OccupationMedia Executive
Comedian
Employer(s)Allen Media Group
Entertainment Studios
TitleFounder, chairman and CEO[1]
Spouse
Jennifer Lucas
(m. 2007)
Children3
Comedy career
MediumStand-up, television
Years active1979–present
GenresObservational comedy
Subject(s)Everyday life, American culture

Byron Allen Folks[2] (born April 22, 1961)[3] is the founder of the U.S. entertainment company Entertainment Studios which includes The Weather Channel. He is also a television producer, philanthropist, and comedian in his younger years.

Notable shows Allen hosted or co-hosted include: Real People, The Byron Allen Show, Entertainers with Byron Allen, Comics Unleashed and Kickin' It with Byron Allen. He is also the creator and executive producer of Funny You Should Ask, which he appeared on frequently.

Early life and education[edit]

Allen was born in Detroit, grew up there until 1968 when he moved with his mother after her divorce to Los Angeles.[3] His interest in show business began during his childhood when he accompanied his mother, Carolyn Folks,[4] to NBC Studios in Burbank (where she worked as a publicist).[5]

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.[5] Allen attended high school at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles and college at the University of Southern California.[6]

Professional career[edit]

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, becoming the youngest stand-up comedian on the show.[7] One of his earliest roles was as a regular television 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, which 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. It was a weekly, one-hour interview series profiling current stars of film and television.[8]

In 2018, Entertainment Studios acquired The Weather Channel from NBCUniversal, Bain Capital and Blackstone Inc.[9][10]

In 2019, he partnered with Sinclair Broadcast Group in Diamond Sports Group to acquire the regional Fox Sports Networks, which The Walt Disney Company agreed to sell as a condition of its purchase of 21st Century Fox and Diamond Holding Group rebranded as Bally Sports.[11]

In February 2022, Allen made a bid to buy the Denver Broncos.[12] Allen was ultimately outbid by S. Robson Walton.[13][14]

Awards[edit]

In 2018, Allen was selected for the Bloomberg 50 as one of "the people in business, entertainment, finance, politics, technology and science whose 2018 accomplishments were particularly noteworthy".[15]

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.[16]

In January 2019, Allen was a recipient of National Association of Television Program Executives's 16th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards,[17] presented during the annual NATPE Miami Marketplace & Conference. Allen received the 2019 Whitney Young Award[18] at the 46th annual Los Angeles Urban League Awards dinner.

Personal life[edit]

Allen married TV producer Jennifer Lucas in 2007.[19] The couple has three children.[20][21][22] Allen is on the Motion Picture & Television Fund Board of Governors.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Byron Allen's Allen Media Group Acquires Black News Channel". Deadline. July 20, 2022. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Marich, Robert. "Byron Allen Is Still 'Very Acquisitive' After Transformative Year". Variety. Archived from the original on March 26, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Byron Allen's Entertainment Education Came From the Giants at NBC". Variety. October 20, 2021. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  7. ^ "How Entertainment Studios Chairman Byron Allen Grew His Media Empire". CSQ Magazine. November 14, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  8. ^ "Byron Allen". Variety. May 17, 2021. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Byron Allen says the NFL needs him to be an owner as he prepares bid for Broncos". FOX31 Denver. February 12, 2022. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  13. ^ "Broncos and Walton-Penner family enter into a purchase and sale agreement". DenverBroncos.com (Press release). June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 8, 2022.{{cite press release}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ O’HALLORAN, Ryan (June 7, 2022). "Broncos enter into purchase agreement with Walton-Penner family for record $4.65 billion sale price". The Denver Post. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  15. ^ "The Bloomberg 50 > Byron Allen". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on March 26, 2020. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "16th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards To Honor Byron Allen, Mara Brock Akil, Robert Greenblatt, Rita Moreno, and Henry Winkler – NATPE". www.natpe.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  18. ^ "Byron Allen reveals why his award from LA Urban League is especially personal". TheGrio. April 19, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "Byron Allen Welcomes Daughter". People. April 8, 2010. Archived from the original on March 1, 2020. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  22. ^ "Byron Allen Welcomes Son Lucas Byron". People. December 12, 2012. Archived from the original on March 1, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  23. ^ "About Us". Motion Picture & Television Fund. Retrieved February 4, 2021.

External links[edit]