One may figure that as long as a Website has a strong, resourceful parent company, it can survive. Well, the recent closure of BlackFamilies.com by Cox Interactive Media Group proves that theory wrong.
Although BlackFamilies.com was owned by the nation’s fifth largest cable company, with $879 million in revenue for the three months ended June 2000, the African American family content site closed in August.
In addition to cable networks, Cox owns 24 city Websites, including AccessAtlanta.com, SanDiegoInsider.com, and InsideNewOrleans.com. BlackFamilies.com content is now on those Websites, which have a dense African American audience.
“If BlackFamilies.com had more corporate backing from Cox, it would have survived a little bit longer,” said Melvin Wilson, assistant director at Ruder-Finn, an Internet marketing firm. “That’s shown across the board for most African American content-based sites owned by white companies. Take Blackvoices.com. They’re doing good, but they could do better if Tribune [a majority-owned communications company] said, ‘We are going to include you in everything we do,’” said Wilson, who handles marketing for many Internet companies, including Netnoir.com.
BlackFamilies.com celebrated its one-year anniversary in January. Its creator and former brand manager, John Pembroke (see “It’s a Family Affair,” Techwatch, June 1999), has since left BlackFamilies.com and is now an associate marketing director at the Kellogg Co. in Battlecreek, Michigan.