Media mogul Byron Allen is rolling out his master plan, having invested more than $1 billion over the past two years to buy network affiliates across the nation. His company, Allen Media Group, will celebrate icons, leaders and legends at the TheGrio Awards, a star-studded, black-tie event at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday, October 22, 2022. The inaugural event will be co-hosted by Sheryl Underwood and Taye Diggs. Among those expected to attend and be honored are Tyler Perry, Norman Lear, Patti LaBelle, Kenan Thompson, Robert F. Smith, and Allyson Felix.
The live-to-tape event will air Saturday, November 5, 2022 on broadcast television stations nationwide, theGrio Television Network and other Allen Media Group television and digital platforms. Earlier this summer, TheGrio Television Network was bolstered following Allen’s purchase of Black News Channel from Jacksonville Jaguar’s owner, Shahid Khan, who had previously invested more than $100 million into the network.
“I created theGrio Awards to celebrate and amplify African-American excellence and the incredible champions from other communities who truly support us,” said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. “As a child, strong, positive African-American icons such as Berry Gordy, Jr., Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, and Martin Luther King, Jr. helped me see myself differently, and changed the trajectory of my life. Celebrating and amplifying iconic individuals is something we can never do enough of, especially for our children.”
TheGrio Awards celebrates excellence among cultural icons and innovators who have positively impacted America. Award categories span film, music, comedy, television, sports, philanthropy, business, fashion, social justice, environmental justice, and education. Allen Media Group and Backhand Productions are co-producing theGrio Awards. Executive Producers include: Byron Allen, Carolyn Folks, Jennifer Lucas, Jeff Atlas, and Michelle Willrich.
Jeff Atlas founded Backhand Productions with a contract to produce 14 hours of live TV content for the Democratic National Convention. From there, Backhand went on to produce a series of diverse, high-quality productions for ABC, NBC, FOX, TNT, Nickelodeon, MTV, and more. Notable projects include Kevin Hart’s theatrical blockbuster, Laugh at My Pain, the launch of YouTube Space LA, and the National Urban League’s National Annual Conference and NAACP Image Awards. His virtual event credits include The Gracie Awards, the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions, and the go90s live stream of the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco.
In addition, Atlas co-created, and executive produced the limited series Blood Ivory for Animal Planet, which focuses on the non-profit group of American veterans (VETPAW) and their first mission to Tanzania to support the elephant anti-poaching effort. More recent projects include the Biden Inaugural in 2021, the NBA All-Star Game, and project launches for Instagram and Facebook. Backhand is represented by Robyn Lattaker-Johnson at A3 Artists Agency and Kerry Smith of Smith Entertainment Legal Group.
The Awards will also feature special musical performances by Yolanda Adams, Tyrese, Fantasia and Patti LaBelle. Greg Phillinganes will serve as musical director, and DJ Kiss will serve as both D.J. and announcer.