This story was written by Tameka Kee.
Just as *IAC* shuts down Black-centric search engine RushmoreDrive.com, comes news that NBCU is debuting TheGrio.com, its own news and online video property targeting African-Americans. The site features original video content, as well as news and clips aggregated from sources like msnbc.com.
TheGrio.com will compete with Slate's TheRoot.com, and the current leader in terms of traffic, AOL's BlackVoices. But with the demise of RushmoreDrive.com, this may be an opportune time for a launch: BlackVoices is experiencing a traffic slump (from a high of nearly 3 million uniques in March, to about 1.6 million in May, per Compete), and TheRoot.com's traffic has stayed flat at about 400,000 uniques over the past three months.
David Wilson, TheGrio.com's managing director tells Mediapost that the site's goal is to offer African-Americans "stories and perspectives that appeal to them, but are underrepresented in existing national news outlets;" the targeted focus is what attracted Ford, the site's debut sponsor.
By Tameka Kee