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ReddingNewsReview.com enters 13th year

By Staff

ATLANTA, March 26, 2014, 2 p.m. - ReddingNewsReview.com becomes the first successful black news-focused subscription Web site, third oldest active black news portal on the Web and significantly increased its international profile as it enters 13 years on the Internet, said Redding News Review Editor & Publisher Robert "Rob" Redding Jr.

     "We have had 12 months of growth in key target areas," Redding said. "We have successfully taken the third oldest black news aggregation Web site to subscription only on Oct. 19, a move that doubled revenue and keeps up with  mainstream news Web sites - like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal - that  have already moved to a pay model. Since then, we have reached 60 percent of our projected new subscriber rate - adding users from Paris to the Pacific. Finally, we had a major No. 1 exclusive with international recording star Stromae, who talked about racism in Belgium."

    ReddingNewsReview.com continues to be a player over the last 12 years, despite being under attack by better financed and support sites like AOL-owned Black Voices, NBC-owned the Grio or The Washington Post-owned The Root, Redding said. Much of the Web site's growth and recognition was a direct result of his Brussels-based six-day-a-week award-winning talk radio program Redding News Review. The show actually gained affiliates after the Brussels office opened and is now in Cleveland, Myrtle Beach, Illinois, Kentucky, Northern California and via the Web site.

    Still, the program does not just bring ReddingNewsReview.com "a ton" of readers, but the Web site reciprocates by providing valuable content for the program, Redding said.

    ReddingNewsReview.com was started to be a news distribution center as a part of Redding's daily three-hour radio show, which has spent most of the year being the only national American talk radio program based overseas in the EU capital of Brussels in Belgium. Redding is shuttering the Brussels operations this month.

Critically acclaimed    

    While in Brussels, the site garnered international attention when it conducted an interview with Belgium recording artist Stromae. The MTV artist of the year talked frankly about race. The story has had more than 60,000 views in less than four months and was the No. 1 story on Radio Télévision Belge Francophone or RTBF's web site.

    The RTBF coverage further builds on the site's three consecutive "Black Web Awards". 

     The Web site, which has been called "an Internet clearinghouse for African-American news," by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was the first to report former Mayor and Ambassador Andrew Young's comments that President Barack Obama was not ready to be become the first black to hold the office.    

     The Web site was also credited by the newspaper trade publication Editor & Publisher for breaking news of the harassment of Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts by a white supremacist group. The coverage resulted in a FBI investigation.    

     In December 2004, the Web site's breaking news coverage prompted Brian Williams, NBC News anchor and managing editor, to apologize for saying there are "bigger problems" than newsroom diversity. It also spurred the news anchor's boss, NBC News President Neal Shapiro, to vow to redouble the company's minority hiring efforts.

    Redding News Review has also been recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists for its Hurricane Katrina coverage. The Web site ran a widely read exclusive pointing out the Drudge Report's questionable use of a photo and headline. The Drudge Report's photo likened black people to being "Trapped like animals." The exclusive report resulted in the photo being taken down and being run on the front page of NABJ’s Web site for more than two weeks.   

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    The beginning  

    The Web site's parent company Redding Communications, Inc. (RCI) has catapulted Redding News Review to new, independent heights when compared to its humble start in a tiny 3-by-10-foot closet in Atlanta.   

    Redding started the Web site approximately 90 days after his Atlanta-based radio program aired in December of 2001.   

    "Blacks are the target audience of Redding News Review, because the concerns of our people are rarely addressed by the mainstream media,” Redding said.

    "I don't think I can underscore enough the importance of bringing news to the forefront, which is what I believe this site does," he said. "And at the same time I think we give people ample opportunity to comment on issues through our message board without being censored by some editor."

    Today, Redding manages the site's growing staff while working in several private offices across the globe, which are becoming more cluttered with articles of recognition from the mainstream media he targets. He recently won an Associated Press award for Internet news and a coveted ADDY award.

    "You have to have a sharp eye for news and have excellent news judgment," he said. "I think the national recognition that we have received in this short amount of time proves we have what it takes to compete with the big kids on the block."   

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