TV One exec Michelle Rice leads launch of Cleo TV for Black millennial women

TV One exec Michelle Rice leads launch of Cleo TV for Black millennial women
Michelle Rice, general manager at TV One and Cleo TV. (Photo by Terry Shropshire for Steed Media Service)

Young Black women are among the most influential yet most undervalued and underrepresented demographic in America, but soon they will have a television station devoted solely to their empowerment, edification and entertainment.

In January 2019, TV One will launch Cleo TV, a new aspirational lifestyle and entertainment cable network designed to speak to millennial and Gen X women of color.

Michelle Rice, general manager of TV One and principal architect of Cleo TV, calls the new station her “baby.”

”I think this is a very important time in our history for women to see women at the forefront of different areas: politics, entertainment and sports just to name a few,” Rice said at the Cleo TV unveiling at The Gathering Spot on Nov. 29, 2018, in Atlanta. “It’s really our time, particularly for women of color, millennials, and Gen X women. They have such an authentic voice, and so this network, Cleo TV, will be lifestyle and entertainment really targeted to tell their stories. We’re really, really excited about this opportunity.”

Cleo TV will consist of new programming covering a wide range of topics, including home design, food, relationships, travel, dating and finances and more. Some of the featured programs include:

  • “New Soul Kitchen,” a cooking show featuring culinary superstars, such as chef Jernard Wells and vegan chef Porsche Thomas.
  • “Just Eats With Chef JJ,” featuring the Harlem-based chef, who will chop and chew it up with celebrity friends and influencers.
  • “Living By Design With Jake and Jazz,” hosted by brother and sister Jake and Jazz Smollett.
  • Two travel series that will join the lineup in the third quarter of 2019, with one show serving as a travel and culture guide for Black millennials.

Rice noted that Cleo TV is set to launch on Comcast’s Xfinity platform — exactly 15 years after the start of TV One. And she reiterated that these are exciting times for Black women in this genre.

“We have been directing cultural norms for many, many years,” Rice said. “We cannot be ignored. We just wanted a place where we could show our authentic voice and be heard.”

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