( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) POLARIS Announces Iconic Journalist Sway Calloway As Co-Founder to Create Exclusive Content
ENSPIRE Contributor: Madesen Amadeo
POLARIS, the 100% Black-owned television network, and digital platform have announced an exclusive partnership with Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group (AMG) free digital streaming platform, HBCU GO — the leading media platform for the nation’s 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As part of their partnership, POLARIS will create content for HBCU GO, as well as AMG properties including TheGrio. Content will be focused on black culture, music, and news with special coverage around cultural moments including; the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, and an investigative series around Jam Master Jay.
“It’s important for us to showcase not only the amazing sports and news programming but also the heartbeat of the HBCU and Black Experience – our culture,” said the esteemed Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO of Allen Media Group. “This new partnership with POLARIS will provide amazing programming for our HBCU GO and TheGrio audiences highlighting music, Black culture, and more.” Byron Allen has successfully built a company that has impacted the media realm in many aspects, from TV to movies and streaming services.
In addition, POLARIS announces the iconic journalist and radio personality Sway Calloway as co-founder of the network. He has been a pivotal part of music and culture for over two decades and is a recent inductee into the Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Sway also hosts SiriusXM’s Shade 45 daily morning show, “Sway in the Morning.” This marks the first time Calloway has teamed up with POLARIS founder Rahman J. Dukes following years of influence together at MTV.
“I am ecstatic to be a part of POLARIS and to put my two decades of work in TV and radio into a network that is 100% Black owned and focused on uplifting voices within our culture,” said Sway Calloway. “To be able to partner with Byron Allen’s AMG, HBCU GO, and TheGrio is huge and I am excited to see the impactful content we create together.”
POLARIS, one of the fastest-growing platforms to enter the streaming space, made its debut in December 2021, exclusively to VIZIO users. The television platform saw significant success in 2022 with its coverage of MLK, Black History Month, Essence Festival, and the Rolling Loud Festival. The platform recently launched its digital property watchpolaris.com which will also serve exclusive content around culture, music, and news.
Shaheem Reid one of the most respected informative voices in Hip-Hop journalism for over a decade and former editor for MTV News has become a part of this partnership. “Aligning forces with Byron Allen, HBCU Go, and the Grio is a tremendous opportunity to craft and curate content that people will look back at years later as cultural landmarks,” said Shaheem Reid, “This is a vision that spans over two decades and we are excited to see our vision come to fruition.”
Rooted at the intersection of Black culture, entertainment, and technology, POLARIS aims to remodel content consumption across the media. While Free on VIZIO, The 100% Black-owned entertainment brand is driven by a commitment to illuminate black culture with relatable content that entertains, educates, and inspires. The 24-hour streaming channel will uncover narratives created by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) storytellers, empower emerging content creators, and collaborate with some of hip-hop’s finest. At the head of POLARIS is the primary founder Rahman J. Dukes. The Esteemed TV industry veteran, former MTV and REVOLT TV executive, and behind-the-scenes power player, Rahman Dukes has produced game-changing content across platforms for almost two decades. The co-founders of POLARIS are the iconic Hip-Hip voices, Sway Calloway and Shaheem Reid.
About HBCU GO
HBCU GO is a cultural lifestyle and sports media platform that represents and embraces Black Excellence and Black Voices every day of the year. This all-new platform captures the rich history, perspectives, and cultural experiences at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). HBCU GO also provides a platform for emerging creative artists in media production, branding, and broadcasting. HBCU GO offers viewers the best in live sports, original series, documentaries, films, comedy, and edutainment. Fully produced by African-American producers, directors, and students from select HBCUs.
Launched in 2012, the free-streaming service HBCU GO was purchased by Byron Allen in 2021 and is part of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group (AMG). AMG is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Charleston, SC. AMG owns 27 ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX broadcast television stations in 21 U.S. markets and 13 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 220 million subscribers: THE WEATHER CHANNEL, THE WEATHER CHANNEL EN ESPAÑOL, PETS.TV, COMEDY.TV, RECIPE.TV, CARS.TV, ES.TV, MYDESTINATION.TV, JUSTICE CENTRAL.TV, THEGRIO.TV, BLACK NEWS CHANNEL, THIS TV, and PATTRN. AMG also owns the streaming platforms HBCU GO, THE GRIO STREAMING APP, SPORTS.TV, THE WEATHER CHANNEL STREAMING APP, and LOCAL NOW — the free-streaming AVOD service powered by THE WEATHER CHANNEL and content partners, which delivers real-time, hyper-local news, weather, traffic, sports, and lifestyle information. For more information, visit www.entertainmentstudios.com