A very powerful acquisition that might affect the way Black news is disseminated happened this week. It was announced that Hispanic media giant Univision purchased Black news website The Root. Although The Root was never a Black-owned media company (common ownership with The Washington Post) it is considered one of the few serious Black news websites in the business. By the same token, Univision is not a majority Hispanic-owned company but rather is owned by a handful of private equity companies and venture capitalists.
The overall strategy of the purchase is a nod to the growing power and influence of the demographic group known as millennials. These are people between ages 18 and 35 who are digital information age-oriented. Millennials prefer to receive their news via smartphones or other digital devices as opposed to print media.
“Like Univision, The Root aims to serve a significant segment of America’s diverse population. Our diverse communities are continuing to define the fabric of the country, from buying power, to social influence, to elections,” said Issac Lee, president of Univision, regarding the purchase.
Respected publisher of The Root, Donna Byrd, will move to the leadership team of Univision as part of the purchase. “The combination of our two companies strengthens our collective ability to engage the changing American population. In addition, it will provide The Root access to greater resources, as well as an opportunity to expand our reach and scale our business,” said Byrd.