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Redding News Review celebrates seven years

By Staff

March 26, 2009, 12 a.m.  After seven years, Redding News Review Editor & Publisher Robert "Rob" Redding Jr. said the site will continue to focus on its radio presence and add to its growing staff.

    “People from coast-to-coast are still learning about through our radio program, Redding News Review,” Redding said.

    Redding News Review is a three-hour radio news and commentary program that airs from 7  to 10 p.m. ET on Sundays. The radio show is heard in all 50 states on XM 169 The Power and nationwide on the Genesis Communications Network. GCN is currently airing the show in Austin, Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. The show can also be heard in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

    “A year ago this time, we had just one station,” Redding said. “We are now exceeding our projected growth and I believe that will continue to rise in popularity as a result of that growth.”

    Redding started as a part of his daily three-hour radio show heard on Viacom-owned WAOK-AM in Atlanta on March 25, 2005. 

    He said the Web site's staff is now at seven people and growing.

  Award winning staff

    The site's award winning staff includes, International Editor Bruno Gaston; Entertainment Editor Kemi Omololu Olunloyo; Business Editor Wade Simmons; Sports Editor LaMar Gafford; Sports Commentator Theo Mason; Chief Financial Officer Nadra Redding; and Attorney Roy Miller.

     Simmons, Gafford and Mason all joined the Web site this year.

    Olunloyo runs the largest blog network in North America; Simmons runs his own energy consulting firm; Gafford is the current editor for sports for the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s student-run newspaper; and Mason is an experienced radio personality with a passion for sports.

Critically acclaimed    

    Redding News Review's staff won its second consecutive "Black Web Award" in the "Best News Distributor Site" category last year. It won its first "Black Web Award" in the "Best News Directory Site" category in 2007.

     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 Editor & Publisher for breaking news of the harassment of Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts by a white supremacist group. The group is now being investigated by the FBI and local authorities.    

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    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.

    Overall, its scoops have been acknowledged or linked to by NPR, Fox News, BET, MSNBC, Roll Call, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Times, The National Newspaper Association and many other major news Web sites.     

    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 on March 25, 2002.   

    Redding, who has worked for various newspapers across the country, started the Web site approximately 90 days after his Atlanta-based radio program aired in December of 2001.

    "It is a virtual newspaper portal of sorts," he said five years ago, as he worked in his makeshift Atlanta office littered with crates full of books and news clippings. He used the office at the time to wage war with the news titans of the mainstream.

    "When I started [Redding] News Review on March 25, 2002, I did it because I felt like people needed an apparatus to tackle issues that were important to them," he said.

    "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 initially set out to target.

    "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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EXCLUSIVE: Andrew Young explains why he is not supporting Obama

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