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Sat, 04.22.1961

Byron Allen, Entertainment Businessman, born

Byron Allen

*Byron Allen was born on this date in 1961. He is a Black businessman, comedian, television producer, philanthropist, and the head of the US entertainment company Entertainment Studios.

Byron Allen Folks was born in Detroit but grew up in Los Angeles. His interest in show business began during childhood when he accompanied his mother, Carolyn Folks, to NBC Studios in Burbank (where she worked as a publicist). At age 14, Allen put together his first stand-up routine and began appearing on an amateur nights at comedy clubs throughout the Los Angeles area. Allen attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. Comedian

Jimmie Walker saw Allen's stand-up act and invited the 14-year-old comedian to join his comedy writing team alongside promising young comedians Jay Leno and David Letterman. At age 18, Allen made his television debut on The Tonight Show, Starring Johnny Carson, becoming the youngest stand-up comedian on the show. One of his earliest roles was as a regular television presenter on the NBC series Real People, joining the cast at the beginning of the second season. His show Jammin' was picked up as Kickin' It with Byron Allen in 1992, which ran for more than 21 seasons.

Allen's foray into television production began in Los Angeles in 1993, when he founded Entertainment Studios with the launch of his first series, Entertainers, with Byron Allen. It was a weekly, one-hour interview series. Allen married TV producer Jennifer Lucas in 2007 and has three children. In 2018, Allen was one of the Bloomberg 50. One of "the people in business, entertainment, finance, politics, technology, and science whose 2018 accomplishments were particularly noteworthy".

He was among the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at the Goldman Sachs Builders & Innovators Summit 2018. Allen was also honored by The Salvation Army and the Los Angeles Metropolitan advisory board at the Salvation Army's 11th annual Christmas Kettle luncheon. In 2018, Entertainment Studios acquired The Weather Channel from NBCUniversal, Bain Capital, and Blackstone Inc. In 2019, he partnered with Sinclair Broadcast Group in Diamond Sports Group to develop the regional Fox Sports Networks, which The Walt Disney Company agreed to sell as a condition of its purchase of 21st Century Fox, and Diamond Holding Group rebranded as Bally Sports. I

n January 2019, Allen received the National Association of Television Program Executive's 16th Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards, presented during the annual NATPE Miami Marketplace & Conference. Allen received the 2019 Whitney Young Award at the 46th annual Los Angeles Urban League Awards dinner. Allen is on the Motion Picture & Television Fund Board of Governors. In February 2022, Allen bid unsuccessfully to buy the Denver Broncos.


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