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Robert Johnson Talks Making Money In New Media & Economic Leadership

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 25, 2012 at 2:30PM

Everytime Robert Johnson's name is mentioned around here, those posts are met with derisive comments; but  we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't make sure that you were aware of what one of the few black media moguls is doing, what he's thinking, how he thinks, his motivations, what his politics are, goals, etc.
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Robert Johnson
RLJ Enterprises Robert Johnson

Everytime Robert Johnson's name is mentioned around here, those posts are met with derisive comments; but  we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't make sure that you were aware of what one of the few black media moguls is doing, what he's thinking, how he thinks, his motivations, what his politics are, goals, etc.

As you probably recall, Johnson's RLJ Acquisitions formally completed the purchase of Image Entertainment and Acorn Media, creating RLJ Entertainment Inc., a "formidable" indie distribution company, as he labeled it.

I happened to catch his appearance on CNBC this morning, and was waiting for that video to become available so that I could share it here.

In the he talks making money in new media with this new entertainment company he's formed post-the recent acquisitions, gives his insight and makes observations about delivering/distributing content in this growing multi-platform environment, talks politics, with a presidential election looming, and how whoever is elected could affect the economy; and finally, he touts a cause that he champions. 

The videos follow below, but first, recapping...

As previously noted, the $127 million deal included the purchase of  Image Entertainment - the acquisition and distribution company (primarily) behind the releases of several recent titles we've written about, like 50 Cent's All Things Fall Apart, Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer (home video), Matthew Cherry's The Last Fall, Dysfunctional Friends, the Berine Mac documentary, I Ain't Scared Of You, amongst many, many others. So, I expect to see a lot more "black films" acquired for release by Image, which is now owned by RLJ Entertainment - a black owned company.

Also, Johnson has said that he wants to emulate Tyler Perry’s approach and appeal in the black market, but in the digital space, by launching an urban-based subscription video-on-demand service that will feature Image Entertainment's 800 hours of product, as well as some thirdparty content.

He plans to complement Image Entertainment and Acorn Media's existing libraries with brand new product created under RLJ, with a $60 million film-financing pool that he will use to attract content creators/producers who have the talent and the ideas.

And finally, as far as his YouTube channel is concerned... Johnson said that it will be an ad-supported Faith Channel (so no pay-per-view here). Tracey Edmonds is leading the charge on the programming end (recall she also runs Our Stories Films Inc, which is another Robert Johnson creation). 

And now for this morning's CNBC appearance:


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