GM postpones meeting with Black-owned media executives

Company says it aims to raise spending on Black-owned outlets 400% over next four years

GM to meet with Black-owned media companies after systemic racism claims
GM to meet with Black-owned media companies after systemic racism claims

DETROIT – A meeting between GM officials and Black media owners was canceled Thursday by the automaker.

GM CEO Mary Barra had planned to meet with the Black media owners after a full-page advertisement in newspapers Sunday accused the automaker of being the “definition of systemic racism.”

READ: GM responds to allegations of racism

The current time table for a meeting is unclear.

GM had announced it will soon reschedule several meetings with the owners of Black-owned media companies after what was supposed to be an hour-long web meeting Thursday.

The meetings come after the owners of seven Black-owned media companies -- including Detroit native Byron Allen -- took out a full page advertisement in several state and national newspapers that accused the automaker of racism by ignoring multiple requests for meetings and allegedly spending less than 1% of GM’s marketing budget on Black-owned media companies.

The letter claims that about 0.5% of GM’s ad spending goes toward Black-owned media channels despite Black Americans making up more than 14% of the U.S. population.

Business experts say a lack of investment does real harm to Black-owned businesses.

In a statement Thursday, GM said the company spends 2% of its ad spending on Black-owned outlets and are planning to increase it to 8% by 2025.

“We want to build long-standing partnerships with Black-owned and diverse media companies in a transparent and meaningful way,” the statement reads in part.

GM said it plans to reach legacy Black-owned media companies.

There’s no set dates for the new meetings, but a representative for GM said the automaker is working to get them together as soon as possible.

The automaker cited its work with HBCUs, its partnership with National Association Of Black Owned Broadcasters and AIMM.

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About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.