CodeBlack Expands Across Media Platforms - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

codeblack-logoIf growing complimentary businesses with different revenue streams is the goal to expand the market reach of CodeBlack Enterprise L.L.C., which already represents many of the top-tier films that run through the African American film festivals, then Jeff Clanagan, CEO, is in the right frame of mind.

CodeBlack Entertainment, the film, production, and distribution subsidiary of CodeBlack Enterprises, has for years produced and distributed videos for BET, TV One, and many independent filmmakers. Now that the company’s digital arm, CodeBlack Interactive, has been up and running since Dec. 3, the company has a better opportunity to put African American entertainment into the hands of a broader audience.

The site, which is broken up into two components, will feature CodeBlackTV, on-demand video from the CB Entertainment proprietary catalog, and the CodeBlackStore that retails more than 4,000 black book titles and 2,000 urban DVDs online, culled from major studios, publishers, and independent suppliers.

“We will be giving a portion (a minimum ranging from 5 cents to 25 cents) of every book and DVD sold to our scholarship foundation,” says Clanagan who hopes to begin selling downloadable digital items both on the film side as well as the book side.

To provide the infrastructure for CodeBlackTV, Clanagan has partnered with a Comcast subsidiary, Theplatform, a video management and publishing company, for broadband, mobile, and TV, explains Quincy Newell, president of CodeBlack Interactive.

In addition to, the company also signed a new joint venture with a leading black publishing company to produce two movies. The first movie released under the new license agreement Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey will be released on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. The other, Why we Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy, directed by Robert Townsend, will be screened at the Sundance Film Festival Jan. 17 in Utah.

In an effort to adapt a 360-degree business model that connects all of their platforms, CodeBlack will begin shooting a made-for-TV movie adaptation of the book Let the Church Say Amen by popular fiction author ReShonda Tate Billingsley. CB Entertainment will then release a gospel soundtrack and stage play later that year in conjunction with Amen, which will be actress Regina King’s feature directorial debut.

“We’re going into the live entertainment business in much the same way that Disney does the High School Musical movies and then takes the show on the road,” Clanagan says.

“We look to find properties that already have a base and a following. It makes it much easier to market the movie, the play, and the soundtrack because people will already be familiar with her other works. If we can tap into her base it gives us a broader audience to market the properties.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.