Radio One Buys

The $38 million deal gives company ownership of multiple community Websites

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With its acquisition of Community Connect Inc. (CCI) for $38 million, Lanham, Maryland-based Radio One Inc. is expanding its Internet reach by adding the popular community networking Website to its arsenal of media properties. In addition to, CCI owns and operates a number of social-networking brands under its umbrella including and

“Radio One has been interested in expanding in the online space for a number of years,” says Tom Newman, president and COO of the company’s interactive unit. “We’re a leader in radio, obviously focused on the urban market place. This immediately puts us number one online in the urban space.”

With more than 18 million members, was rated the most popular social networking site targeting a multicultural group in 2007 and the fourth most popular social networking site overall by New York-based market research firm Hitwise. Company executives hope Radio One’s clout will propel the site even further.

“When the team at Radio One started showing interest in aligning their Internet efforts with ours, it made sense to put the companies together,” says Ben Sun, CEO of CCI. Had the merger not happened, “BlackPlanet would still continue to grow, but we felt like we could jumpstart and take it to another level by leveraging the cross-platform assets that Radio One brings to the table.”

The acquisition of CCI comes at a time in which Radio One (Nasdaq: ROIA) has been selling radio stations to reduce its debt load, most recently unloading KRBV-FM in Los Angeles to Bonneville International for about $137.5 million. Its losses swelled to $386 million last quarter.

The company, which also owns the Internet site, wants to expand its interactive efforts, but it is a strategy some analysts question. “We believe that [Radio One] completed this acquisition to further its digital media initiatives,” says Marci Ryvicker, an analyst with Wachovia Capital Markets, LLC. “However, we are disappointed that it chose to purchase interests in non-core assets instead of paying down debt.”

Radio One executives, however, see the CCI acquisition as an avenue to strengthen the company by increasing advertising revenue. “It’s an opportunity to allow our marketers to reach customers in a way that Radio One may have never been able to reach,” Newman says. Cross-platform advertising campaigns that encompass the Internet and radio are among the initiatives the company will pursue, Sun adds.

CCI’s targets the African American online community, targets the Latino community, and is a site for Asian Americans. In addition to its 53 radio stations in 16 urban markets, Radio One owns cable network TV One and the print magazine Giant, putting it in a position to be reach urban markets across all media.

“Radio One is not looking at BlackPlanet to be the only piece in the puzzle,” Sun says. “They’re looking at a number of efforts online combined with BlackPlanet that would just make us that much more important to African American urban media consumers. It’s a really great alignment to show value to consumers and take a

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  • I enjoyed checking out your blog today and I will be back to check it more in the future so please keep up your good quality work. I love the colors that you chose, you are quite talented!

  • Re-branding may be very necessary sometime. Great information. Thanks

  • I rebranded my chocolate business to My Dessert Bar,  Now we are expanding to Cakepopalooza thanks to the Black Enterprise Small Business University. 

    • Infinitehi4

      The greatest benefit of all is all the wonderful information that is shared in each of these very short video sessions.  In business it’s important to search for ways to save the budget while learning how to operate more effectively and effciently.  That is a blessing in any business Thanks Black Enterprise Presenters.

    • Infinitehi4

      The greatest benefit of all is all the wonderful information that is shared in each of these very short video sessions.  In business it’s important to search for ways to save the budget while learning how to operate more effectively and effciently.  That is a blessing in any business Thanks Black Enterprise Presenters.

    • So I just viewed your web site. yummy! where are you located???


       Shennice – nice goodies – congrats on rebranding your business – good luck!

    • HSlater

      I am in the process of rebranding my company.  I will be checking out your site.  Much success to you>

    • I am really happy for you. 

    • Itiel

      Woowee, Shennice!  Everything looks good.  Congrats, lady!  Onward and upward. 

  • Good news, but I don’t think I would recreate my company logo. It is hard to come up with a trade mark.

  • Eugenewjr

    Good thing to think about if your brand is stail. Reinvention to the 21st century.

  • Lucubrate75
  • Mr. Chike

    Great tips Melinda! and Congratulations again on the new blogging gig! 

  • Thank you for the awesome tips! You be right on time Ms. Melinda!!

  • Lucubrate75

    Who are those students that won the prizes? Funny how those with the most points and those who have left the most comments didn’t win anything yet. LOL

  • Donna


  • Tettcommunitydevelopment

    traditional selling is dead!!

  • Thank You

  • Sandra Butler

    Update your business logo….Traditional selling is dead…Use social media to expand your business..

  • Zurriane

    This is very true

  • Zurriane

     I like this one

  • This week’s courses have been very helpful. As a Entrepreneur, Melinda offered some great Feedback. I Will definitely be incorporating this knowledge as I re-brand my company
     Thanks BE/DELL

  • The one social networking source that many forget about…. The one that started in all… Blogging.  Blogging is a business owner’s voice on the WWW.  Writing post to education about bath & body care, giving helpful bath & body tips, highlighting other women entrepreneurs, and sharing my personal thoughts on business has brought in a tremendous amount of business.   The ‘help mantra’.  YES, traditional selling is dead….especially on social network.

  • ok thank you. 

  • I just added Juniors to my company and sales already started to take off I already offered it but customers didnt know so I had to reinvent what they didnt know was there already great advice!

  • Artiste1

    Very informative course. It made me rethink how im marketing my business.

  • Many people assume that their brand only consists of the basic colors,
    fonts, and symbols, but really, it is much more complicated than that.
    It is your companies perceived image. Your brand is a compilation of
    everything that your company does, what your employees do and how they
    act, it is the perceptions of your audience. Including, the way your
    staff answers the phone, the way you handle client / customer disputes,
    what your marketing materials say, how they are designed and many
    additional factors all impact your image. Knowing this it is also
    important to clarify that while a graphic designer can help lay the
    foundation for a brand, but they cannot make a brand on their own. When
    it comes to your image; everything you do, own or produce should exude
    the goals of your business and how you want to be perceived.

  • Im in the process of reviewing now. THanks for letting me know im on the right track.

  • Devonne

    Good info and I agree that using the help mantra is the key and out with the old and in with new way of selling.

  • Janarthanan Dakshnamoorthy

    Rediscovering and updating the business profile is very important. Following the market trend is very crucial