Up & Coming
Trevor Woods is the founder and EVP of The African American Channel.
By Niele Anderson
Sentinel Religion Editor
The African American Channel is an aspiring online TV and movie network. It considers itself the destination for independent-minded African-Americans and progressive viewers globally who are seeking entertaining, compelling, educational, imaginative and independent programming.
Trevor Woods, a Chicago native, who migrated to Los Angeles 25 years ago with Hollywood dreams, established the brand. Over the past 25 years, Woods has worked at Blockbusters as a manager, "In its hay day in the mid 90's" he chuckles, "I worked for CBS and always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I gained that from working over at the EarthLink network in Pasadena some years back. That began my journey to the Internet and web."
The African American Channel offers its audiences a diverse, empowering and engaging selection of films, documentaries, and original programs that communicate positive social and economic values as well as cultural diversity represented in America and throughout the world. The Internet site offers entertainment, information and services that are relevant to viewers, users and partners.
The brand licenses, acquires, produces, markets and distributes filmed entertainment and other content. The African American Channel offers a wide range of entertainment and historical-oriented programming that both entertains and informs. Focusing on and specializing in documentaries and bio pics on African Americans and minorities as well as African American History, American History and Black History globally.
The Channel's goal is to deliver high-quality original programs, documentaries, serials/episodics, webisodes, user-created video clips, and movie experiences to broadband customers nationwide and globally who want to watch content based on the African American experience from the comfort of their homes, laptops and on their mobile devices._
The vision came to founder Trevor Woods in December 2006. He then had a soft launch spring 2007, which he states "had upwards of 300,000 visitors from around the globe within the first 30 to 60 days". The site officially launched in Spring of 2009.
"The best way to penetrate the market and most cost effective and efficient would be to get on the web," Woods states. "There are many companies that try the cable route initially, but the first market of choice these days and I saw this years ago would be the web."
Woods has been approached by investors but has turned them down because they have wanted up to 75% of his company and he stated, "That's just not doable".
When asked what was his biggest lessons learned he stated "having the right people around you and don't be so quick to partner with just anyone because they know someone and last but not least never lose sight of who you are and keep God first."
Within the next five years Woods sees the Internet channel having at least 3 original shows produced and visible to the public and producing original films. He states, "I'm still excited as when I first came up with it.
He wants also to use the channel to give back to the community by giving the inner city communities the opportunity to be trained behind the scenes.