DETROIT –Real Times Media (RTM), the multimedia parent company of The New Tri-State Defender, has hired digital media expert Barry Cooper – the founder of the original BlackVoices.com – to "strategically transition its traditional print properties into a more robust digital platform."
Focused on urban news and entertainment, RTM includes the nation's largest African American-owned newspaper and digital media operation. The multimedia company is focused on transitioning traditional Black Press properties into digital contenders for urban news, lifestyle information and entertainment.
"Barry's extensive experience with, and comprehensive understanding of, digital media is a tremendous addition to Real Times Media and one I'm sure will become a valuable resource to our clients," said Hiram E. Jackson, chief executive officer, Real Times Media. "It is truly exciting to have one of the founders of the digital black press as a part of our team as we flesh out a digital first strategy which will ensure a strong, vibrant future for our newspaper brands and a successful platform upon which we'll launch new online brands."
In an announcement on Monday, RTM said Cooper, a digital strategist who got his start as a journalist, possesses a deep understanding of traditional media. He has worked as a reporter, columnist, editor or newsroom manager for the largest newspaper chains in the country, including The New York Times Co., Knight-Ridder, Gannett, Tribune Co., and Landmark Communications. Cooper also has a Pulitzer Prize nomination to his credit.
In 1998, as an employee of Tribune Co., Cooper convinced Tribune to invest $5 million to launch Black Voices, an online destination for African American-geared news and information. Cooper grew the company to 45 employees, with offices in L.A., Chicago and New York. In 2004, Black Voices was sold to AOL and still ranks number one in its category as the leading social media destination targeting African Americans.
The hiring of Cooper is the first of several strategic moves for RTM in transitioning its iconic newspaper brands into large-scale digital contenders for urban news, lifestyle information and entertainment.
"The Real Times Media team is doing some things that I think will revolutionize the Black Press as we know it," said Cooper. "From its digital evolution to the 360 degree integration approach it is serving clients, Real Times Media is creating a platform simply not found in black media today. I'm ecstatic to be partnering with the company in these early stages and am confident that together we are going to create something amazing."
Founded in 2006, the Real Times Media family of companies features Who's Who Publishing Company, a platform for celebrating African American achievement; the nation's largest African-American owned and operated news organization, including the Atlanta Daily World (www.ADWNews.com), Chicago Defender (www.ChicagoDefender.com), Michigan Chronicle (www.MichiganChronicle.com), FrontPage Detroit (www.FrontPageDetroit.com), the New Tri-State Defender (www.TSDMemphis.com), and the New Pittsburgh Courier (www.NewPittsburghCourier.com); and RTM Digital Studios, an archival image licensing arm, which houses more than 2 million photos, articles and other artifacts documenting the past 100 years of the African-American experience.