It’s a new day for theGrio, the digital media platform dedicated to amplifying Black culture and news.

Byron Allen, CEO of Entertainment Studios, has named award-winning journalist Todd Johnson, as the Chief Content Officer of theGrio.  Johnson is based at the Entertainment Studios New York City offices.

“As our broadcast television, cable networks, motion picture, and digital divisions continue to expand at a rapid pace, the appointment of Todd Johnson to theGrio reflects our commitment to providing the best news and video content for our platforms,” said Allen in a press release. “Todd is an amazing executive, and under his leadership theGrio will continue its phenomenal growth.”

Johnson is a Grio alum, who helped launch the brand in 2009 as a video journalist.  During his tenure, he covered critical news events such as the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the impact of  Ferguson protests.  Johnson has also provided reporting and on-air commentary for MSNBC, CNN, and NBC’s TODAY show.

Todd Johnson has been named as Chief Content Officer of theGrio. (Photo: theGrio)

While at theGrio, Johnson was promoted to Managing Editor, helping guide the news site through multiple transitions before it was acquired by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios in 2016.

Johnson is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he received both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. He currently resides in South Orange, NJ with his wife Monica and three-year-old son, Todd, Jr.

Prior to his return to theGrio as Chief Content Officer, Johnson served as Editorial Director of NBC BLK, a division of NBC News Digital.

“I’m grateful for the tremendous opportunity to lead The Grio,” Todd Johnson said. “I’m looking forward to further elevating The Grio’s voice and branding – to deliver quality content and grow its audience globally.”

In a viral interview on The Breakfast Club last week, Allen emphasized the importance of news media like theGrio, which are 100 percent Black-owned.

I felt it was important when buying theGrio to own our voice, to own our position in the marketplace, to really control our narrative.”

Entertainment Studios is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of film and television, with 64 shows on the air, and owner of nine 24-hour HD television networks now serving nearly 160 million subscribers, including The Weather Channel television network and its streaming service Local Now.


theGrio is owned by Entertainment Studios.