Jan 23, 2024

Celebrating 30 Years: Byron Allen, An All-American Success Story

Variety EXTRA Edition. Byron Allen climbs to new heights with AMG on its 30th anniversary By Cynthia Littleton

12.06.2023 Variety Extra Edition_Page_01_Image_0001Byron Allen made his mark on the media business from the moment he began producing first-run TV syndicated fare in the early ’90s. It was a jackpot moment when wily producers turned series such as “Baywatch” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” into billion- dollar global assets.

From his dining room table in Los Angeles, Allen parlayed his experience as a primetime personality and daytime talk show host to begin building the million-dollar cornerstones of the Allen Media Group empire. At the outset, Allen produced low-budget comedy game shows, panel shows, interview shows and standup specials.

From those green shoots came Allen’s steady expansion into cable TV channels, broadcast TV stations, streaming and digital media, film production and distribution and video-on-demand distribution — and, most recently, distributing college sports TV packages for HBCU institutions. As he marks the 30th anniversary of his company this month, Allen’s voice has never been louder or more influential.

“We love our position in the marketplace,” Allen tells Variety. When pressed for a sum of the parts valuation, he demurs. “It’s worth billions in my humble opinion. It’s worth what someone is willing to pay. I’m having so much fun building and growing that I haven’t really thought about is it worth $1 or $1 trillion.”

Allen has been on a growth spurt the past dozen years, taking advantage of industry trends and opportunities to dramatically diversify AMG beyond its original core business of producing TV shows and cable channels. AMG has invested more than $1 billion in buying more than 30 local TV stations since 2019 — without outside investors. Allen, the sole equity owner, has financed his numerous acquisitions in recent years through cash flow and bank loans.

AMG started by committing $165 million to four stations owned by Bayou City Broadcasting. Today, it owns 31 stations covering 5% of U.S. TV households — a good-sized footprint for a startup.

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