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Original Board of Directors Adds 6 New Board Members for a New Total of 9



LOS ANGELES /PRNewswire/ — Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group is proud to announce that it will expand its board of directors from its original 3 board members to a new total of 9 board members. This change is effective immediately.

Allen Media was originally called Entertainment Studios when it was founded in 1993, and the original board of directors consisted of Founder/Chairman/CEO Byron Allen, Carolyn Folks, and Chief Operating Officer, Terence Hill.

Byron Allen — Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group

In addition to the original 3 board members (Byron Allen, Carolyn Folks, and Terence Hill), Allen Media Group‘s 6 newly-added board of directors are:

  • Janice Arouh
  • Mark DeVitre
  • Eric Gould
  • Sydnie Karras
  • Chris Malone
  • Andy Temple

“For the past 30 years, I’ve been working with a small board of 3 directors, but now that Allen Media Group is much bigger as we’ve become highly acquisitive, I am excited to announce the addition of these 6 new board members,” said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. “I am extremely proud of this board because it is diverse, and the people who make it up are simply the best because they know our business and the media space innately, which allows us to move quickly and efficiently in this rapidly changing landscape.”

About Allen Media Group 
Chairman and CEO Byron Allen founded Allen Media Group in 1993. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it has offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Charleston, SC. Allen Media Group owns/operates 27 ABCNBCCBSFOX network affiliate broadcast television stations in 21 U.S. markets and twelve 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 300 million subscribers: THE WEATHER CHANNELTHE WEATHER CHANNEL EN ESPAÑOLPETS.TVCOMEDY.TVRECIPE.TVCARS.TVES.TVMYDESTINATION.TVJUSTICECENTRAL.TVTHEGRIO TELEVISION NETWORKTHIS TV, and PATTRNAllen Media Group also owns the streaming platforms HBCU GOSPORTS.TVTHEGRIOTHE WEATHER CHANNEL EN ESPAÑOLTHE WEATHER CHANNEL STREAMING APP and LOCAL NOW–the free-streaming AVOD service powered by THE WEATHER CHANNEL and content partners, which delivers real-time, hyper-local news, weather, traffic, sports, and lifestyle information. Allen Media Group also produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 73 television programs, making it one of the largest independent producers/distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations. With a library of over 5,000 hours of owned content across multiple genres, Allen Media Group provides video content to broadcast television stations, cable television networks, mobile devices, and multimedia digital. Our mission is to provide excellent content to our viewers, global platforms, and Fortune 500 advertising partners.

Allen Media Group Motion Pictures (AMGMP) is a full-service, theatrical motion picture distribution company specializing in wide release commercial content. AMGMP released 2017’s highest-grossing independent movie, the shark thriller 47 METERS DOWN, which grossed over $44.3 million. In 2018, AMGMP also released the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Western HOSTILES, the historic mystery-thriller CHAPPAQUIDDICK, and the sequel to 47 METERS DOWN, 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED. The digital distribution unit of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group, Freestyle Digital Media, is a premiere multi-platform distributor with direct partnerships across all major cable, satellite, digital, and streaming platforms. Capitalizing on a robust infrastructure, proven track record, and a veteran sales team, Freestyle Digital Media is a true home for independent films. Recent releases include THE ROAD DOG starring comedian Doug Stanhope, SURVIVE starring HBO’s GAME OF THRONES star Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins, the music documentary profiling blues guitar legends Jimmie Vaughan & Stevie Ray Vaughan, BROTHERS IN BLUES, and DEAR ZOE starring Sadie Sink from the hit Netflix series STRANGER THINGS, Jessica Capshaw and Theo Rossi. Other Freestyle Digital Media titles include BEST SUMMER EVER the teen musical featuring a fully integrated cast and crew of people with and without disabilities, produced by Jamie Lee Curtis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson, THE WEDDING YEAR starring Sarah Hyland and Anna Camp, THE LAST PHOTOGRAPH starring Danny Houston, UNTOGETHER starring Jamie Dornan, Jemima Kirke, Ben Mendelsohn, Alice Eve and Billy Crystal, the action-comedy BETTER START RUNNING starring Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons and Maria Bello, THE BACHELORS starring Academy Award-winner J.K. Simmons, Julie Delpy and Odeya Rush and the award-winning documentary HONDROS produced by Jamie Lee Curtis and Jake Gyllenhaal.

In 2016, Allen Media Group purchased The Grio, a highly rated digital video-centric news community platform devoted to providing African Americans with compelling stories and perspectives currently underrepresented in existing national news outlets. The Grio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles and opinion pieces on topics that include breaking news, politics, health, business and entertainment. Originally launched in 2009, the platform was then purchased by NBC News in 2010. The digital platform remains focused on curating exciting digital content and currently has more than 100 million annual visitors.

For more information, visit:

SOURCE Allen Media Group


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Enhancing Your Safety on Public Wi-Fi: The Power of a VPN

“Protect your data on public Wi-Fi with a VPN. Encrypt, mask your IP, and secure your connection. Stay safe with ExpressVPN or Surfshark.”



Public Wi-Fi has become an essential service available in coffee shops, bars, trains, and planes worldwide. However, it’s important to note that many of these networks are completely unsecured, leaving room for hackers to intercept your data, monitor your online activities, and potentially steal your private information. If you frequently connect to these hotspots, taking the time to learn about VPNs and their benefits can prove invaluable. This article aims to guide you in staying safe on public Wi-Fi.

Understanding the Risks of Public Wi-Fi

The greatest risk of connecting to public Wi-Fi lies in the possibility of falling victim to man-in-the-middle attacks. These attacks occur when an attacker intercepts the communication between your device and the Wi-Fi network, potentially gaining access to sensitive data such as your online banking details, passwords, and personal information.

Furthermore, public Wi-Fi networks can serve as breeding grounds for rogue networks. These malicious networks mimic legitimate ones and are set up by attackers to deceive unsuspecting users. Connecting to rogue networks unknowingly exposes your data to cybercriminals.

How Can a VPN Safeguard You on Public Wi-Fi?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) shields you from these threats by routing your internet traffic through its own secure servers using powerful encryption. Here’s how it works:

  • • Encryption: A VPN encrypts your data, rendering it unreadable to potential interceptors. Utilizing industry-standard AES-128 or 256 encryption, VPNs ensure that your data remains virtually uncrackable.
  • • Anonymity: By masking your IP address, a VPN makes it harder for others to trace your online activities back to you.
  • • Secure Connection: When you connect to a VPN server, your data travels through a secure tunnel, preventing hackers from accessing your information even if the public Wi-Fi network is compromised.

Choosing the Right VPN for Public Wi-Fi

When selecting a VPN for public Wi-Fi, consider your online activities and the duration of your usage. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • • Data Limits and Speeds: Free VPNs often impose data limits and throttle speeds, which may suffice for occasional use but prove inadequate for regular or extended sessions.
  • • Device Compatibility: Ensure that the VPN has apps available for all your devices. Premium VPNs generally support a range of platforms, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
  • • Streaming Capability: If you want to watch videos during your breaks, opt for a VPN that can access popular streaming sites.
  • • Reliability and Support: Look for VPN providers that offer 24/7 support and have a solid reputation for reliability.

Our top-rated VPN is ExpressVPN, renowned for its military-grade encryption, fast connection speeds, and exceptional customer support. With its versatility and compatibility across virtually all devices, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test it risk-free.

For those on a budget, Surfshark makes an excellent alternative. It provides robust security features at a lower cost, making it an ideal choice for regular public Wi-Fi users seeking reliable protection without breaking the bank.

While public Wi-Fi offers convenience, it also carries substantial risks. Using a VPN is a simple yet effective method to safeguard your data from prying eyes. Whether you choose a premium service like ExpressVPN or a budget-friendly option such as Surfshark, investing in a reliable VPN is a small price to pay for the peace of mind it brings.

By taking this precaution, you can safely browse, work, and enjoy your online activities on public Wi-Fi networks without worrying about cyber threats. Stay informed, stay secure, and make the most of the digital world with the protection of a VPN. Remember that your safety matters, and a VPN can be your strongest ally in the world of public Wi-Fi.

virtual private network (VPN) is a mechanism for creating a secure connection between a computing device and a computer network, or between two networks, using an insecure communication medium such as the public Internet.[1]

A VPN can extend access to a private network (one that disallows or restricts public access) to users who do not have direct access to it, such as an office network allowing secure access from off-site over the Internet.[2]

The benefits of a VPN include security, reduced costs for dedicated communication lines, and greater flexibility for remote workers.[3]

A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of tunneling protocols over existing networks. This process involves encapsulating and encrypting the data to ensure secure transmission between two or more devices. A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a private wide area network (WAN). These benefits include enhanced security, privacy, and the ability to bypass geographical restrictions, making it an essential tool for both individuals and businesses seeking to protect sensitive information and access restricted content while maintaining anonymity online. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_private_network



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Debunking the Myths: California’s New Minimum Wage Law and Its Real Impact on Fast-Food Jobs



cook standing in food truck and giving burger
Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

Recently, a narrative has emerged in the media, suggesting that California’s new minimum wage law is devastating the fast-food industry, leading to massive job losses. However, this claim, largely propagated by the California Business and Industrial Alliance (CABIA) and certain conservative media outlets, fails to stand up to scrutiny. In fact, the data tells a very different story.

The Controversial Claim

CABIA placed a full-page ad in USA Today, asserting that nearly 10,000 fast-food jobs had been lost since Governor Gavin Newsom signed the minimum wage increase into law in September. The ad claimed that various fast-food chains were either cutting jobs or raising prices in response to the wage hike, which raised the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $20 from $16 starting April 1. Business lobbyist Tom Manzo pointed to these figures as evidence of the law’s negative impact.

The Reality Check

The truth, however, diverges significantly from these claims. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Federal Reserve, fast-food employment in California actually increased from September through January. Furthermore, employment continued to rise after January, reaching nearly 7,000 more jobs in April 2024 compared to April 2023.

Misleading Statistics and Misrepresentation

The source of the 10,000 job loss figure can be traced back to an article in the Wall Street Journal, which reported a 1.3% decline in fast-food employment between September and January. However, this figure was derived from non-seasonally adjusted data, which is problematic for tracking jobs in industries like fast-food that experience seasonal employment fluctuations. Seasonally adjusted data provides a more accurate picture and, when examined, does not support the claim of massive job losses.

The Broader Economic Context

It’s crucial to consider the broader economic landscape of the fast-food industry. While labor costs are certainly a significant expense, they are not the sole challenge facing these businesses. Inflation in food costs, for instance, has been a more pressing issue in recent years. For example, Chipotle Mexican Grill reported an increase in costs for food, beverages, and packaging from $2.6 billion in 2022 to $2.9 billion in 2023. Despite higher labor costs, Chipotle and other chains like El Pollo Loco have managed to maintain or even reduce their labor costs as a percentage of revenue.

The Rubio’s Coastal Grill Case

One notable case often cited in discussions about the minimum wage law is Rubio’s Coastal Grill, which closed 48 of its California locations. While rising operational costs were a factor, the primary driver behind these closures was the chain’s significant debt burden. Acquired by the private equity firm Mill Road Capital in 2010, Rubio’s faced mounting debt that led to its bankruptcy filing in 2020 and again in 2023. This high debt load, a common feature of private-equity takeovers, complicated the company’s path to profitability far more than the minimum wage increases.

The Real Impact

The claim that the new minimum wage law is costing jobs in the fast-food sector is not supported by the available data. Employment in California’s fast-food industry has actually grown, and the broader economic context suggests that other factors, such as food cost inflation and debt burdens from private equity ownership, play a more significant role in the financial health of these businesses.

In conclusion, while the fast-food industry does face challenges, the narrative that California’s minimum wage law is leading to massive job losses is a misleading one. It is important to rely on accurate, seasonally adjusted data and consider the full economic picture when evaluating the impact of such legislation.

Check out the article about the topic of California’s Minimum Wage law and the false narratives that have sprung up regarding it that was posted in the LA Times.


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Salvation Army Research Finds Food Bank Usage on the Rise as Food Security Challenges Persist



TORONTO /CNW/ – New research from The Salvation Army Canada finds that many Canadians continue to struggle to meet their basic needs with food affordability, inflation and housing security challenges persisting as top issues.

As one of the largest non-governmental direct providers of social services in Canada, The Salvation Army produces the biannual Canadian Poverty and Socioeconomic Analysis to better understand the attitudes, behaviours and experiences of Canadians on issues such as the availability of housing and food, general affordability and related health outcomes.

Salvation Army
New research from The Salvation Army Canada finds that many Canadians continue to struggle to meet their basic needs. (CNW Group/The Salvation Army)

Due to overwhelming feedback from policymakers, news media and other stakeholders, The Salvation Army will now produce the Canadian Poverty and Socioeconomic Analysis twice a year, in the spring and fall. This will allow The Salvation Army to quantify the demand for ongoing social services provided and help the organization to better serve those in need.

The most recent research shows Canadians rank health care, inflation and food affordability as their top concerns. These findings are in line with The Salvation Army’s internal data, which reveal households that were inactive in reaching out for help are now active, and the number of new households seeking assistance, such as food, clothing, furniture and emergency housing, is on the rise.

The report finds that 26 percent of Canadians polled continue to be extremely concerned about having enough income to cover their basic needs, and that concerns around food security are on the rise. While seven percent of respondents said they recently accessed a food bank, food hamper or community meal program (up from six percent in October 2023), the percentage of first-time users is up sharply, to 61 percent compared to 43 Percent in October 2023.

“The increase in first-time users of food banks is an alarming indicator of the conditions that many Canadians are facing,” said Lt-Colonel John Murray, territorial secretary for communications, The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. “We often find that when people show up at a food bank it can be the tip of the iceberg for additional issues they may be facing. The Salvation Army is committed to a holistic approach in supporting people through partnerships that help create a positive impact on individuals and families.”

The number of respondents who said they had skipped or reduced the size of at least one meal increased to 26 percent, up from 21 percent previously (October 2023). More Canadians also said they’d bought less nutritious food to save money and had reduced their grocery bill to pay for other necessities.

On financial issues, 72 percent of respondents described challenges managing limited financial resources in the past year, including cutting back on non-essential needs (59 percent), changing habits to save money (52 percent) and using savings or going into debt to afford basic needs (36 percent).

“Despite easing inflation numbers, life is still difficult for many Canadians,” said Murray. “Food insecurity is just one symptom facing people today. At The Salvation Army, our vision is to reduce barriers and address the root causes of poverty, working together with people to achieve their goals in overcoming them.”

Last year, more than three million visits were made to The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda for assistance, including 2.1 million visits for food, clothing or practical help, 438,000 visits for Christmas food hampers and toys, and 3.2 million community meals.

Survey Methodology:

This report contains findings from research conducted by Edelman Data & Intelligence on behalf of The Salvation Army to uncover Canadians’ attitudes and experiences with poverty and related socioeconomic issues.

The study was conducted March 11-14, 2024, among a nationally representative sample of 1,515 Canadians who are members of the online Angus Reid Forum, balanced and weighted on age, gender and region. Note: Canadians living in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut were not included in the survey.

For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. And, where a margin of error is not available, the research department provides a comparable one so that the audience can have some context to the value of the poll.

About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become one of the largest direct providers of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada and in more than 130 countries around the world. Its community and social service activities include: hunger relief for individuals and families through food banks and feeding programs; shelter for people experiencing homelessness and support for those needing housing; rehabilitation for those struggling with substance-use recovery; long-term care and palliative care; Christmas assistance, such as food hampers and toys; after-school programs, camps and school nutrition programs for children and youth; and life-skills classes, such as budgeting, cooking for a family, and anger management. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of people in your community. 

News releases, articles and updated information can be found at https://salvationarmy.ca/
A list of regional media representatives can be found at: https://salvationarmy.ca/news-and-media/media-contacts/

SOURCE The Salvation Army


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