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Allen Media grabs Judge Mathis from WBD

"The commitments we have received from corporate America and Hollywood have been rescinded," Mathis said in a video.

"The commitments we have received from corporate America and Hollywood have been rescinded," Mathis said in a video.

Allen Media Group has inked a deal to bring a new syndicated show to market hosted by Greg Mathis after his namesake show “Judge Mathis” was canceled by Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) last week.

WBD’s decision to end Judge Mathis comes after the show spent 24 years on the end, and will conclude at the end of its current season, the company said last week.

In a social media post published shortly after WBD canceled his show, Mathis said he inteded to seek out a new deal with a different studio, one that empowered Black television personalities and content creators.

“I want to be able to empower Black businessmen and Black studios, so they can hire more Black people and put more Black shows on the air,” Mathis said. “The commitments we have received from corporate America and Hollywood have been rescinded, for the most part.”

Allen Media Group — which owns the channel JusticeCentral.TV and which produces more than a half-dozen reality courtroom programs — was quick to scoop up Mathis, signing him to a new deal that will see “Mathis Court” syndicated to local broadcast stations later this year.

“We at Allen Media Group are proud to add ‘Mathis Court with Judge Mathis’ to our amazing portfolio of court shows,” Byron Allen, the founder and CEO of Allen Media Group and subsidiary Entertainment Studios, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Judge Greg Mathis is an outstanding, charismatic and iconic television host, and we are extremely confident that our eighth and newest court series with Judge Mathis will be very successful for years to come as he joins our outstanding roster of talent, including Judge Kevin Ross, Judge Mablean Ephriam, Judge Christina Perez, Judge Karen Mills-Francis, Judge Glenda Hatchett, Judge Lauren Lake and Judge Eboni K. Williams.”

Like Mathis in his video, Allen has long expressed frustration that corporate America has done little to empower Black Americans. While Mathis may have taken his gripes to Instagram, Allen prefers to bring them to a courtroom: He has sued AT&T (then parent company of DirecTV), Comcast, Charter Communications (which sells TV service under the Spectrum brand name) and McDonald’s alleging unfair treatment and racial discrimination with respect to their various business practices.

For the pay TV companies, Allen’s biggest gripe was that they would not make deals to carry his television channels, which also include Comedy.TV, Recipes.TV and the Weather Channel. In most cases, the lawsuits were settled, and the pay TV companies that faced his legal wrath now carry some, if not all, of his networks.

In 2021, Allen filed a $10 billion lawsuit against McDonald’s for allegedly refusing to buy advertisements against his channels, something the fast-food restaurant does on other broadcast and cable networks. Last October, a federal judge gave approval for the discrimination lawsuit to go to trial. McDonald’s has denied any legal wrongdoing.

All the meanwhile, Allen has gobbled up local broadcast stations, launched dozens of syndicated programs and built out a free, ad-supported streaming service called Local Now that competes with the best of them. Faced with the prospect of not having a TV show anymore, Mathis likely found a kindred spirit in Allen, and jumped at the opportunity to join his endeavor.

“For years, I’ve proudly watched Byron Allen build a first-class global media empire. After 24 years on the air, I can’t think of a better company to work with to create my next great chapter,” Mathis said in a statement. “Byron and I are both from Detroit, and it’s exciting to see him build the Motown of court programming by bringing together all of my fellow judges from his eight court shows – who are the best of the best.”

Allen Media didn’t announce which station owners will carry the new judge program. Allen Media and Entertainment Studios have agreements in place with nearly all the major local television station groups in the country, including Nexstar Media Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, TEGNA and Paramount Global (CBS Television Stations).

In areas where the show hasn’t been cleared for syndication, viewers can watch the program on JusticeCentral.TV, which is carried on some cable providers as well as the streaming TV service YouTube TV.

“Mathis Court” is expected to run 60 minutes and will debut on stations in the fall.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).