April 26, 2021
The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) commends General Motors for its press release of April 23, 2021, announcing that GM will increase its spending with Black-owned media to 2% in 2021, 4% in 2022, and with a goal of 8% by 2025. We also greatly appreciate the announcement that, on May 14, 2021, GM will hold a dedicated upfront with diverse media owners ahead of the traditional media marketplace.
This announcement follows a historic virtual meeting between the leadership of GM and NABOB members, representing the largest Black-owned broadcast companies, on April 13, 2021.
In the meeting representing GM were: Mary Barra, CEO of GM, Deborah Wahl, Global Chief Marketing Officer of GM, Heather Stewart, Global Director of Media and Marketing of GM, Telva McGruder, Chief Diversity Officer of GM, and several other senior GM executives. Representing NABOB were: DuJuan McCoy, CEO, Circle City Broadcasting; Cathy Hughes, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Urban One; Alfred Liggins, CEO, Urban One; Howard Robertson, CEO, Spotset; Chesley Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, AURN/A Wonder Media; Sherman Kizart, Managing Director, Kizart Media Partners, and Jim Winston, President of NABOB.
In the meeting, Mary Barra advised NABOB that GM would be making the increased marketing expenditures with Black-owned media that were announced in the recent press release. She stated that the GM team represented at the meeting would continue the dialogue and engagement with NABOB that began last year with the creation of the Gia Peppers radio program, and she requested our assistance in reaching the marketing expenditure goals that GM has established.
In subsequent conversations, Deborah Wahl advised Sherman Kizart and Jim Winston that the commitments to be discussed at the May 14th upfront are already in motion.
Regarding GM’s commitment, Jim Winston said, “The meeting with Mary Barra and the senior leadership of GM was very positive. By laying out a commitment to substantially increase their spending with Black-owned media, GM recognized that the long-term solutions for reaching true diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our society must include a commitment from corporate America to do much more business with Black-owned businesses.” Winston added, “Black communities can never break the cycle of poverty unless Black-owned businesses move into the mainstream of American business. GM’s commitment to substantially increase its marketing expenditures with Black-owned media is a very important step.”