The Shade Room
The Shade Room aka TSR is a mass media company, founded by Angelica Nwandu in March 2014. Instagram-based, The Shade Room offers celebrity gossip on an hourly basis, predominantly within the African American community; The New York Times called it the "TMZ of the internet.” "Shade" in this case refers to a slang term for gossip.
Nwandu lives and works from Los Angeles and employs a staff of 11 working on The Shade Room. The Shade Room has also been compared to MediaTakeOut with one exception, the majority of The Shade Room's news is reported primarily on Instagram.
Unlike most web-based celebrity gossip coverage, Nwandu avoided the typical blog format in favor of publishing full-length stories on Instagram, providing a platform appealing to advertisers. Nwando found Instagram suited to her vision for The Shade Room due to its image-based format. After getting established in the Instagram format, the site was then expanded to include community news, trending news, and user interaction. The Shade Room refers to readers as "roommates", who often provide leads on celebrities to The Shade Room personnel. By the end of 2015, the site was reported to have 2.6 million followers, although the company has less than a dozen employees.
The high readership has drawn celebrity attention to The Shade Room and some have even participated directly on the site. Nwandu no longer is the primary voice of the site, having stepped back to allow others participate.
On December 12, 2015, Countess Vaughn, former star of the hit show "Moesha" posted an apology to Brandy on Instagram. This apology was monumental as Brandy told Vibe Magazine in 1998 that Vaughn left the show out of jealousy. The Shade Room was the first to report the apology with platforms like Vibe, Black Entertainment Television and Rolling Out Magazine covering the story shortly thereafter.
In January 2016, The Shade Room covered the love triangle brewing between Soulja Boy and Nia Riley and Nas Smith, all reality stars from the hit show Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. This controversy sparked an original song where The Shade Room was mentioned in the lyrics.
Recognizing founder Nwandu on its 2016 30 Under 30 list, Forbes said she "revolutionized celebrity gossip" with the founding of The Shade Room. TechCrunch named her to its list of "18 Female Founders Who Killed It in 2015" and BuzzFeed says Nwandu is "figuring things out faster than everyone else."
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- ""Trying to Make It to The Shade Room": Soulja Boy and Nia Went All In on Nas on Instagram". VH1 News. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
- "TSR Exclusive: Trina Gets Into A Fight With Fan Outside Of A Miami Club!! (Video Inside!!) - The Shade Room". The Shade Room. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
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