The idea for a radio network specifically geared toward the Black community had been floating around at iHeartMedia for several years.
2020 made its need apparent.
When the pandemic took hold early last year, communities of color were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in terms of infection, hospitalization and mortality rates. Black-owned businesses were hit especially hard.
Then the death of George Floyd in May 2020 brought home that “we just couldn’t wait any longer,” according to Tony Coles, a longtime iHeartMedia executive and president of the Black Information Network (BIN).
IHeartMedia launched BIN in June with the goal of creating a national, 24/7, audio-based news service dedicated to providing objective, accurate and trusted coverage in a Black voice for a Black audience.
Since last spring, BIN has expanded into 31 markets across the country, including both iHeartRadio-owned stations and numerous stations not owned by iHeart. BIN content also streams online and through the iHeartRadio app.
BIN is funded by long-term brand partnerships, including Lowe’s, Verizon, 23andMe, GEICO, McDonald’s, CVS Health, Bank of America and Sony.
AdExchanger spoke with Coles and Gayle Troberman, CMO of iHeartMedia.
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