Joining the band of mass media giants who have pivoted their attention towards the Black community, iHeartMedia has officially launched BIN: Black Information Network. The audio company’s release of the first-ever 24/7 national and local audio service catered to providing “news coverage with a Black voice and perspective” comes on the heels of a nation demanding a more significant foothold in the circulation of Black stories in the media.
Recently, the realm of media has faced scrutiny in every sector, from print to broadcast. Sen. Tom Cotton’s incendiary remarks towards the Black Lives Matter movement in a New York Times op-ed, the hyperbolized coverage of protest violence, and the breeding grounds of sexual assault and abuse that Black women inhabit in newsrooms have all drawn attention to how Black stories and storytellers systemically languish in media.
iHeartMedia’s BIN is focused on serving the Black community
Reigniting the conversation on the presence of culturally comprehensive reporting, iHeartMedia’s BIN is focused on serving the Black community and also “providing an information window for those outside the community to help foster communication, accountability, and a deeper understanding.”
“BIN: Black Information Network will fill a void by providing continual news and objective information with full focus on the Black community,” said Tony Coles, the recently appointed president of BIN. Coles noted the news source has been in development over the past year but “events of the last few weeks, especially the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd, highlighted the need for this network.”
In an independent study, iHeartMedia found that 86% of their Black listeners believe they will rely on BIN as a trusted news source, and 83% believe that the Black-focused outlet will provide the coverage they don’t receive via radio or television as of late. The study also showed that the broadcasting service would fare well among both the 18-34 year old and 35-54 year old age demographics.
BIN will be a standalone business with the ability to cultivate an executive environment that is reflective of the Black community
According to the company’s press release, BIN will be a standalone business with the ability to cultivate an executive environment that is reflective of the Black community while receiving amplified visibility and credibility with iHeartMedia’s established audience. iHeartMedia’s broadcast assets currently reach 93% of Black Americans — an unparalleled radius that no local or national media outlet attains.
BIN will be nationally accessible via the iHeartRadio app, mobile devices, smart speakers, smart TVs, and other connected platforms and news-only local AM/FM broadcast radio stations. Select content will also be distributed on the company’s podcast network, which reigns as the largest in the world, and a daily BIN podcast that provides both coverage and cultural analysis set to debut shortly on the radio programming.