Launched in January 2019, CLEO TV is a lifestyle and entertainment network targeting millennial and Gen X black women. Named for the Egyptian queen, CLEO TV will offer content that defies culturally demeaning stereotypes of women of color.
The network promises a diverse offering of short-form and long-form content including travel, home design, cooking, talk shows, movies, docu-series, sitcoms and much more. CLEO TV is wholly owned by TV One, LLC, a brand of Urban One Inc., formerly known as Radio One. CLEO TV will join the roster of Urban One’s brands including TV One, Radio One, Reach Media, iOne Digital, One Solution and R1.
“While CLEO TV was my brainchild, our CEO and my boss Alfred Liggins III, quickly supported the idea as we both recognized that there was still room in the current television landscape specifically, for millennial and Gen X women of color for quality content and positive images,” said Michelle Rice.
In March, Comcast hosted a star-studded reception commemorating the launch of two new networks including CLEO TV at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on Thursday night. CLEO TV is broadly distributed on Comcast and Spectrum. The event also highlighted the launch of AFRO TV, another independent network with diverse majority ownership offered on Comcast platforms.
“While these women’s voices were amplified in politics, business, music, sports and many other areas, their voices were still on mute on television and that’s why we developed CLEO TV,” said Rice.
Mainstream networks have made strides toward reaching African American viewers, but according to Nielsen, black networks produce programming that account for 76 percent of the top-indexing programs for black adults.
Television stations owned and operated by African Americans have provided an important counterbalance to mass market media, since their inception. These television stations and publications have simultaneously celebrated and shaped black culture, from business and entrepreneurship to politics and government, to fashion and music.
With shows in the lineup such as “New Soul Kitchen,” “Lens of Culture,” and “Cleo Speaks,” Cleo TV is poised to position itself as a place where quality content can and will exist.