Los Angeles has been without a National Football League team since the Raiders departed some 13 years ago, but that did not prevent local television station KTLA from inking the Bay area team to a four-year contract to televise Raiders’ games to the Southland during the preseason.
After a two to four year process, KTLA has successfully negotiated a four-year deal to broadcast all of the team’s exhibition games as well as two weekend shows throughout the regular season.
We consciously decided to we’re going to make the station about L.A. and the areas we can control,” vice president/general manager Vincent Malcolm told the Sentinel this week.
Sitting in his KTLA offices just off Sunset Blvd. and comfortably dressed in a soft pink Lenin shirt with matching pink socks, Malcolm, among the most powerful African Americans in Los Angeles television, explained of his reasons for signing the Raiders and re-rooted the station in the Black community.
“Even though L.A. doesn’t have a football team, from our research there’s still a tremendous amount of interest in the Raiders especially among Hispanics and African Americans,” Malcolm said.
Additionally he has spearheaded the station’s programming to be progressive in making sure that many of the sitcoms geared towards the urban communities.
The 2007-08 primetime lineup, announced this summer, features three shows with predominately Black casts—”Everybody Hates Chris,” “Girlfriends” and “The Game”—as well “America’s Next Top Model” hosted by Tyra Banks.
Malcolm’s goals does not just start and begin with program at the station which was recently transitioned from public to private ownership, he also plans as equally aggressive marketing and advertising approach that includes minority own print and radio stations.
Among media outlets in their campaign is the Sentinel, which salutes the efforts of the station which in addition to Malcolm also employs another high ranking Black in Jymm Adams, who is director of marketing and brand solutions.
The team, which now plays in Oakland, called L.A. home from 1982 to 1994.
Malcolm said that this deal is part of the station’s desire to fulfill its slogan that is to be “Where LA Lives”
Sentinel executive editor Danny Bakewell Jr. applauded the management at KTLA for “understanding the importance of African American programming and African American viewers.”
“The Raiders have always been important to our community and our readers are excited that they will have an opportunity to view them,” Bakewell said.
This latest deal is the most recent move showing the station’s commitment to represent the tastes of all their viewers. Their entertainment segment, The CW, has consistently been a leader in showing diverse programs among their regular lineups.
Both Malcolm and Adams are leading the way in a field where African Americans rarely get the opportunity to make these types of executive decisions.
“For me, it’s been an incredible, exciting journey,” Adams said who has been with the station since 1995. “I have a lot more responsibility and that’s certainly something that probably would not have happened at any other TV station.”
More importantly, they are able to use their insight into what African Americans want to see on television. One of the things they have noticed are that the group still tends to be the trendsetters when it comes to determining successful programming.
“[African Americans] watch a lot of television and shows that attract them along with other folks tend to do well.”
In Malcolm’s case, he also serves as station manager and under his watch, KTLA has making great strides to be a station that reflects the entire city and what they want to see
It has been the culmination of over a decade of work at the station for both men to be in this position
“We were the first commercial station west of the Mississippi and we want to get back to our roots,” Malcolm said.