Our Origin Story
(n) grī/ō, ‘grīō: Journalist. Historian. Praise Singer. Poet. Musician. Curator. Storyteller.
TheGrio, is a digital, video-centric news community devoted to giving voice to trusted figures on the front line who inspire us every day, and to fresh perspectives who buck convention because there’s more than one way to be Black. We are the largest Black newsroom in America devoted to satisfying the need to stay connected. We believe a well-informed community best determines its own interests. And so, TheGrio’s editorial mandate is to focus on news and events which have a pronounced impact on a Black global audience. We unabashedly explore culture and entertainment, health and lifestyle, politics and policy, business and empowerment, food and fitness, science and climate, tech and innovation, and everything in between that matters to us. From Kampala to Atlanta TheGrio is Black culture amplified. Find us wherever you use the internet — on our mobile App (coming soon), Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Podcasts, Instagram, LinkedIn, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, AppleTV, and now an over-the-air-network!.
Byron Allen, comedian, producer, media mogul, and philanthropist, purchased TheGrio in 2016 to provide compelling entertainment, news, and lifestyle content targeting African-Americans. Entertainment Studios, Allen’s Los Angeles-based media company, is the first and largest Black-owned multi-platform media studio producing and distributing movies and content for all platforms. It produces and distributes Emmy Award-winning shows and sells advertising for 67 broadcast and cable television programs.
TheGrio was launched at NBC News in June 2009 by David A. Wilson, Barion Grant, and Dan Woolsey.
Meet our Leadership Team
Geraldine Moriba, Senior Vice President, is a media executive, filmmaker and journalist who has worked in leadership roles at PBS, CNN, NBC, ABC and CBC. She has developed television news programs, launched news sites, produced documentaries, covered live elections, and provided standards and practices coverage. Moriba is a former John S. Knight journalism fellow and Stanford University Brown Institute research scientist who used machine learning to analyze cable news editorial decisions. She’s the co-host and executive producer of Sounds Like Hate, a podcast series funded by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Her work has earned five Emmy Awards, an Alfred I. DuPont Award, two Peabody Awards, the Princeton University Ferris Professorship of Journalism Fellowship, an Anita Hill Gender Justice Award, two RTNDA-Unity Awards, two NABJ First Place Documentary Awards, and many more. Follow her on Twitter.
Dan Woolsey, Co-Founder and VP of Digital Operations, implements top performance and procurement strategies across TheGrio on all platforms. He started his career on set with television crews and film productions in New York City. In 2006, he teamed up with David A. Wilson and Barion Grant to create the award-winning documentary, Meeting David Wilson. Together they co-founded TheGrio.com at NBC News and a few years later Dan and David re-acquired the brand. They ran it independently until selling to its current owner, Byron Allen in 2016.
Todd Johnson, Chief Content Officer, first joined the team as a reporter and video journalist shortly after its launch in June 2009. His reporting includes trips to Haiti reporting on the devastating earthquake, the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, and the Ferguson protests. Johnson previously served as theGrio’s Managing Editor, as well as the Editorial Director for NBCBLK, a division of NBC News Digital. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Natasha Alford, VP of Digital Content & Senior Correspondent, is an award-winning journalist, and content creator. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Oprah Magazine. She is a CNN contributor covering politics and culture. In 2020, Alford received a Black Voices For Black Justice grant from the Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Media, and in 2017, she received the Harvard University “Rising Leader” Women’s Leadership Award. She’s been named NABJ Emerging Journalist of the Year, and Rolling Out Magazine’s “Leading Lady in Media.” Follow her on Twitter
Gerren Keith Gaynor, Managing Editor, is the co-host of TheGrio’s Dear Culture podcast. He is a journalist who has published with New York Times and served as an editor at Fox News, BET, and Vibe magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram
Cortney M. Wills, Entertainment Director, is the host of TheGrio’s Acting Up podcast. has been covering music, TV, and film since 2005. She’s a pop culture junkie from LA who started her career at Teen People Magazine. Wills has written for THR, Billboard, Jet, NAACP Crisis, MTV News, and Variety among others.
Shana Pinnock, Social Media Director, is the co-host of TheGrio’s Dear Culture podcast. She is a lover and creator of content For Us and By Us. You can count on her for current events, all things pop culture, and a little humorous shade. Follow her on Twitter.
Mariel Turner, Senior Editor, previously worked as a senior entertainment editor for Us Weekly, and as a digital producer for KTLA 5 News in Los Angeles. Mariel strives at the intersection of entertainment and social issues. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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