Magic Johnson, at 52, is one of this countries most successful entrepreneurs: he owns movie theaters, radio stations, and is set to become chairman of Vibe Holdings which includes Vibe magazine and the show “Soul Train.” Now, Johnson is joining Oprah Winfrey and Sean Combs as the latest black business mogul to take on the task of running a television network. The channel will be called Aspire, and will include everything from original programming, faith-based programs, and films to syndicated black shows and music specials.
From the LA Times:
“This is so exciting for me, I’m pinching myself,” Johnson said in a phone interview. “This is big for myself, for the African American community and the African American creative community. I wanted a vehicle to show positive images and to have stories written, produced and directed by African Americans for our community. Aspire — that’s how I’ve been leading my life.”
Johnson promises that the programming will give black actors who have not been able to get their due, and also joked that his admittedly horrible 1998 talk show “The Magic Hour,” will not be part of the line-up.
Like Diddy’s upcoming channel Revolt, Aspire is part of a package of new networks that Comcast Cable is launching as part of an agreement with FCC to add diversity to its broadcasting. The deal between the media giants requires that Comcast launch 10 minority-owned networks by January 2013. Among those are also a package of six networks owned by comedian Byron Allen and a Historically Black College and University – centered station.
Johnson plans to launch Aspire by June 30.