September 29, 2023

Celebrities Make News on BlackPressUSA’s #FIYAH! Livestreams

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent

BlackPressUSA’s livestreams have become as anticipated as any broadcast on the internet – at least that’s what some heavy hitters are saying.

“You guys are absolutely killing it,” Denver Public Radio Program Director Willobee Carlan proclaimed. “I’m always wondering who’s going to come on next.”

Novice D. Johnson, a former MCA Records Representative, called BlackPressUSA’s most recent interview with the legendary Stephanie Mills “awesome.”

Mills counts among the multitude of superstars and notable individuals to sit for entertaining and informative interviews with BlackPressUSA. The livestreams are broadcast over BlackPressUSA’s Facebook pages and YouTube channel.

During the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) first virtual convention held in early July, Eric Benét, Salt-n-Pepa’s Sandra “Salt” Denton, Anthony Hamilton, Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman Santana, Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman, Jemele Hill, and Mills all stopped by for interviews.

NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, hip-hop icons Darry “DMC” McDaniels and Kurtis Blow, singer Jody Watley, and politicians Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and Karen Bass (D-Calif.), videotaped congratulatory messages marking the NNPA’s 80th anniversary and the 193rd year of the Black Press of America.

Republican National Committee Chair Rona McDaniel and senior advisor to the president’s re-election campaign Lara Trump were also among those offering congratulations to the Black Press.

The livestream interviews have featured a who’s who of A-listers.

They’ve included Los Angeles Lakers Legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar, hip-hop icons Chuck D, Ice Cube, Russell Simmons, and Big Daddy Kane. They’ve also included important conversations with civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Ben & Jerry’s CEO Michael McCarthy, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, Republican Paris Dennard, singers CeCe Peniston and Jody Watley, gospel singer Kevin LeVar, Supremes Icon Mary Wilson, and Temptations founder Otis Williams. The #FIYAH! interview with Reggae icon Ziggy Marley has reached millions.

Several HBCU presidents have also appeared on the livestream, including Dr. Roslyn Artis of Benedict College, Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D of Virginia State University, Dr. David A. Thomas of Morehouse College, and Dr. David Wilson of Morgan State University.

The series has also led to important business opportunities for our member publishers. After Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sat for an interview with BlackPressUSA, he later negotiated an advertising and sponsorship deal with the Dallas Weekly, an NNPA member newspaper.

In July, the Dallas Weekly, which has served Dallas and the surrounding region since 1954, announced the $100,000 advertising campaign for Mark Cuban Companies, the portfolio of businesses (including the Dallas Mavericks) owned by Cuban.

“We are pleased and excited to work with Mark Cuban and Mark Cuban Companies. This marks a new milestone for our paper, which has worked to expand our digital reach with our audience in the DFW Metroplex in addition to being one of the few local community papers still available in print every week,” Dallas Weekly CEO and Co-Publisher, Patrick Washington stated.

“I believe it is our ability to smoothly integrate these assets that have given us the opportunity to work with MCC.”

The campaign will use both print and digital resources to increase MCC’s presence, from the MCC’s most recognizable member, the Dallas Mavericks, throughout the MCC catalog within the DFW Metroplex, with an emphasis on engaging new long-term customers for both The Dallas Weekly and Mark Cuban Companies.

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