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MediaTakeOut's Fred Mwangaguhunga Chats Site's New TV Division, Says It's The Future

Fred Mwangaguhunga’s journey from Wall Street to the web is the perfect all American success story. In 2006 he founded MediaTakeOut.com, which has since become one of the most popular online destinations for Black celebrity gossip and news.

These days, Mwangaguhunga is looking to start another revolution in the name of internet TV. First Date the first of a host of original programming set to air on MTO premieres today. VIBE caught up with the busy entrepreneur to find out what else he has in store and why TV on the web is the future.

First Date will launch the beginning of your web TV career. Talk about the show and what’s in store for your upcoming programming.

First Date is going to be the first of several originally produced programs that we're going to be launching on MediaTakeOut. What we're looking to do by the middle of next year is to offer a new program everyday on MediaTakeOut, so it'll be seven new shows a week. First Date is going to be launching a week from Tuesday [Editor’s note: Tuesday Nov 1] and every Tuesday there'll be a new episode. If you go on Wednesday you'll be able to see the old episode but every Tuesday there'll be a brand new episode. First Date is a really funny dating show where you have one guy choosing between three women, or one woman choosing between three guys, and take them on a series of dates and they try and make a love connection. A lot of times there's humor involved, there’s sexiness involved and of course there's the MediaTakeOut snark involved.

There was a dating show back in the 90s where people would be on a date and little blurbs with witty comments about the date would pop up—

Yeah, we'll definitely going to be using that kind of stuff, of course our ratchetness is going to show up.

Elaborate on some of the original programming that will be on MediaTakeOut.

We’re starting off with reality but we're going to be moving on to scripted stuff as well. We got a documentary that we're working on right now. So there's going to be a lot of different stuff. We're going to be doing hard news stuff as we get closer to the election, but we're looking to produce and have a full broad spectrum of programming and it'll appeal to all the MediaTakeOut readers. We partnered with people over at Fisher Klingenstein. And the people at Fisher Klingenstein—before they started—worked for a company called City Lights, which produced between 70 and 80 shows that made it on to television. They produced Chopped, which was on the Food Network and they produced 70 other programs out there. So we have real TV people that are helping us produce real TV shows. The quality of the shows we are going to be good enough to be on MTV, or VH1 or BET, this isn't just some guy using a computer camera, this is real programming we're looking to produce that’s going to have real actors that we know. It's really just a new concept of truly taking the kind of programming that'll be on TV and moving it on to the web. We've made a significant investment in and our partners have made a significant investment in it to make this real.

And if it does get big enough, do you ever see it coming to actual network TV?

I'm not sure. Part of the issue, and part of the reason why we decided to go on this route is because we look at every study that shows people under 25 and people under 30 are watching most of their television quote on quote programming online, so because of that, I'm not sure if that's the kind of person that we're looking for. The person that likes to go on YouTube and look at videos, that's the person we're looking to get. That's the person that we're targeting and does it make sense to actually have brought it to TV? It might not, we're not closing any of the doors, but I think right now, you always hear people talk about TV is going to move onto the internet. We're looking to be one of the pioneers to actually make that a reality.

What do you think is missing in general in terms of Black programming?

I think there has to be hard news that is really done and meant for Black folks and I think when you listen to a lot of the traditional Black news there's a lot of talking points that people have, that's not really talking about issues Black people are really interested in, so what we're going to be doing is having producing by and meant for Black folks. This is not for advertisers and not to eventually get on MSNBC, we’re really ignoring all of that and just trying to produce content that people will actually want to see. That’s the concept that MediaTakeOut has and that's the concept of everything that we're going to be doing. And I think that it's going to be refreshing for a lot of people to see what that looks like. It might look different than a lot of what's out there. But I also suspect that it's going to resonate with the people a lot more.

When you look at MediaTakeOut’s numbers, it's obvious that it's not just Black people who are going to the site so what do you think it is about the brand that has such a wide appeal even though it's considered “urban?”

I think the authentic Black culture is there. It's the celebrity, the slang, the way of talking, the humor, I think it's attractive, not just to Black folks but to everyone. When you look at the media, why is Black media so prolific? When you look at music, why is Black music so prolific? I think that there is an inherited attractiveness to Black culture in America and across the world and I think that's part of what the success of MediaTakeOut is.

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50 Cent offers his condolences to a deceased member of the 'Power' crew.
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Rest In 'Power': Crew Member For 50 Cent's Show Killed On Set

50 Cent offered his condolences to the loved ones of Pedro Jimenez, a crew member who was killed on the set of his hit STARZ show, Power, earlier this morning. (Monday, Dec. 10).

"I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning," wrote the media mogul in an Instagram post, which accompanied a black screen. "My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family."

According to TMZ, "Pedro Jimenez was setting up parking cones for a location shoot in Brooklyn around 4:20 AM when he was struck by a 2006 Ford Explorer. Police responded and Pedro was transported to a Brooklyn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

Jimenez was just 63 years old, and had reportedly worked on the series since its debut in 2014. Reports state that investigators have spoken with the 64-year-old driver of the vehicle that struck Mr. Jimenez, who is also a crew member on the show. No arrests have been made.

 

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I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning. My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family.

A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Dec 10, 2018 at 9:29am PST

READ MORE: 50 Cent Reportedly Has A ‘Power’ Prequel In The Works

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'Queen Sono' Will Be The First African Original Series To Stream On Netflix

Netflix caught some flack over the weekend after it was reported the streaming behemoth shelled out a smooth $100 million to keep the 90s sitcom Friends. However, staying committed to original content IOL Entertainment reports Netflix will take on it first African series.

Titled Queen Sono, actress Pearl Thusi (pictured above at the 2019 Global Citizens festival) will star in the dramedy which finds Thusi portraying a spy motivated to help the lives of her South Africans, while dealing with highs and lows of a personal relationship.

Netflix's Vice President of International Originals Kelly Luegenbiehl who's in charge of content in Europe and Africa expressed excitement over Queen Sono.

"We love the team behind the show, [and] we're passionate about coming in and doing something that feels fresh and different. It's really exciting for us," she said. "Their point of view and creating a strong female character was really something that also really drew us to it.

Erik Barmack, also with Netflix, said Queen Sono is just the first of many to depict life in Africa.

"Over time our roots will get deeper in Africa and South Africa, and we're moving pretty quickly to that now, and plan to invest more in local content," he said.

READ MORE: Africa's Rising Youth Population Might Face A Job Crisis

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Cardi B Talks Stripping, Nicki Minaj, And Fame On 'CBS Sunday Morning'

Nothing was off limits during Cardi B's recent interview on CBS Sunday Morning. During the special, which aired on Sunday, Dec. 9, Cardi got candid with interviewer Maurice DuBois about her humble beginnings in the strip club, her beef with Nicki Minaj, and how she's been handling mega-stardom.

In case you missed it, check out a list we compiled of the Grammy-nominee's statements below, and watch the interview in the video above.

She called her beef with Nicki Minaj "unnecessary"

Cardi and Nicki Minaj have been at war for most of the year. The beef may have started following their collaboration on Migos' "Motorsport." Over the course of the year, it escalated to a physical altercation during a New York Fashion Week event, as well as many public jabs over social media. While both rappers previously agreed to turn their attention elsewhere, Cardi reflected on how the entire situation was "bad for business."

"A lot of people like to say all publicity is good publicity. To me it's not. That takes away [from] people paying attention to your craft," she said of her feud with Minaj.

Working at the strip club gave her power and a passion for performing

As you may know, Cardi B was previously a stripper before she gained mega-stardom. While she has shared mixed reviews about her past in various interviews, she told CBS that she thought stripping had a positive impact on her life.

"A lot of women here, they taught me to be more powerful," she said. "I did gain, like, a passion and love [for] performing. It made me feel pretty... I'm glad for this chapter in my life. A lot of people always want to make fun of me -- 'Oh, you used to be a stripper!' -- I don't ever regret it, because I learned a lot. I feel like it matured me. My biggest ambition was money. That's what these women put in my head: nothing is important but the money."

Her ability to connect with her fans stems from her accessibility 

Cardi undoubtedly understands how to connect with her fans and followers better than many of her counterparts. After all, the rapper built up her network in such a short amount of time. She attributes her likability to being "reachable."

"When I talk, I make a lot of mistakes," she continued. "Like, I might say words, and the words are not even in the dictionary. But people still like it because you can tell that I'm saying it from the heart."

She never imagined that she could make it this far

Before she made it big, Cardi admitted that she didn't expect her music to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. When reflecting on her first hit single "Bodak Yellow," she stated that she had low expectations at first.

"It hit at 85, and I just felt like, alright, I already did enough," she said. "Then when people was telling me, like, there's a possibility of going No. 1, I was like, 'Oh my gosh -- if I go No. 1, this is going to be crazy... and then it did. I just felt like I was on top of the world."

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