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How To Pitch: The Grio

This website aimed at the black perspective is on the lookout for fresh talent

- January 28, 2013

Unique monthly visitors: 2.5 million
Circulation: 2 million page views monthly

Background: As an African-American well aware of the complicated and heavily mixed bloodlines that resulted from U.S. slavery, David Wilson was curious about white connections in his own family tree. And, like any producer worth his salt (he worked previously in the production department at CBS News), Wilson captured his personal journey on film. The final documentary was an overwhelming success and was purchased by NBC News President Steve Capus -- along with Wilson's offshoot idea to develop a website that focused on news and feature stories of interest to the black community.

The Grio launched in 2009 and today averages 2 million page views per month, a noteworthy accomplishment in the increasingly crowded market of culturally specific news sites. But while Huffington Post Black Voices and The Root are considered competitors, editors believe that The Grio stands alone. "We have a lot of video-driven content, so we really offer the best of both worlds," said managing editor Joy-Ann Reid. "And everything is amplified by NBC News' ability to efficiently cover national news."

The Grio also provides a lot of original reporting, unlike some commentary-heavy outlets. And though Wilson's vision of creating a site that speaks directly to the African-American experience is still the name of the game, Reid clarified that The Grio is written "not just for a Black audience but for anyone interested in the Black perspective."


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