Soul of the South Network
|Type||Regional Broadcast Network|
|Branding||This is Home|
First air date
|May 27, 2013|
|Availability||Over the air|
|Headquarters||Little Rock, AR|
|Parent||SSN Media Group, LP|
Soul of the South Television Network (SSN) is an African-American-focused regional broadcast network owned by SSN Media Group, LP. SSN will primarily broadcast in the Southern USA and secondarily in other high African-American populated cities in the north.
SSN uses the C.A.S.H. system, Central Automated Satellite Headend, and a computer server “cloud based system” originally constructed by the defunct Equity Broadcasting to send its feed to its affiliated stations. SNN sought affiliations from full power television stations, Class A TV, low power TV stations, digital subchannels and cable outlets.
Soul of the South Network was founded in 2011 by Edwin Avent, Carl McCaskill and Larry Morton. SSN purchased assets from the bankrupted Equity Media Holdings including the studio and production facilities of KKYK-TV and the C.A.S.H. system. SSN was planning to broadcast five hours of news per day with assistance from Independent News Network with four regional bureaus. SSN was also seeking to purchase TV stations. Expected original programming was a hip hop music show, family reunion featured program and Drum Majors, concerning music at mostly black colleges, and Radioface, an unscripted comedy and Southern Soul Stories, a documentary series about southern African-American icons and southern events.
By April 2012, Soul of the South was working to get additional affiliates to reach 50 markets for a two wave launch.
Originally planned to launch in the first quarter of 2012 and moved to fall 2012, SSN instead launched on May 27, 2013 with an announced 30 market launch. However, according to RabbitEars.info, SSN only has 11 broadcast affiliates covering 14% of the nation.
In April 2015, the network began dropping affiliates due to financial distress and began winding down operations. The network's social media channels had largely gone defunct in late 2015. By this time, the network aired infomercials, reruns of D.C. Breakdown, and Independent Network News newscasts during the day.
In 2018, Soul of the South was purchased by a group of investors led by Doug McHenry. In that same year, the network gained cable coverage on Comcast and Frontier's cable lineups. In April 2019, McHenry announced Soul of the South would rebrand as Slang TV by the end of the year and strive to be the number one network for African-American movies. At the same time, HC2 Station Group, Inc. inked an affiliation deal with Soul of the South/Slang TV to bring the network to 29 new markets covering 44% of African-American Homes.
A listing of affiliates, as of April 2019.
|City of license||Station call letters||Channel location||FCC Licensee||Replacement|
|Atlantic City, NJ||WMCN-TV||44.2||WRNN Philly, LLC.||Tuff TV|
|Austin, TX||KVAT-LD||17||Mako Communications||MiCasa Network|
|Baton Rouge, LA||WLFT-CD||30.4||Touch Family Broadcasting||Antenna TV|
|Beaumont, TX||KUMY-LD||22||Minority Broadcasting Company||Mexicanal|
|Columbus, OH||WCSN-LD||32.7||Columbus Television, LLC.||Youtoo America|
|Dayton, OH||WRCX-LP||40.1||Ross Communications Ltd.||AMG TV & Jewelry Television|
|Dover, DE||WMDE||36.1||Western Pacific Broadcast LLC.||Infomercials|
|WHNE-LD||14.1||Tait Broadcasting||Station ID, later LATV|
|Fort Walton, FL||WPAN||40.1||Franklin & Hoynacki Communications, LLC.||Vibrant TV Network|
|Jackson, TN||WYJJ-LD||27.1||DTV America Corporation||Antenna TV|
(MyNetworkTV still secondary)
|Jacksonville, FL||WTLV-TV||12.2||Multimedia Holdings Company
|Lafayette||KXKW KLWB||32.1/50.3||Wilderness Communications/Delta Media Corporation||32.1 ThisTV, **This TV was moved to 32.2 when Soul of the South Launched on KXKW but was put back in its original place when SSN was dropped in 2014. 32.2 KXKW is currently Antenna TV.|
|Live Oak, Fl||WFXU||57.1||Budd Broadcasting||Retro TV|
|KATA-CD||50.1||Mako Communications||Shop LC|
|Milwaukee, WI||WMKE-CD||21.1||KM LPTV of Milwaukee, LLC.||Rev'n|
|Nashville, TN||WJDE-LD||31.2||Word Broadcasting Network||The Country Network|
|Santa Isabel, PR||W18DQ-D||18.1||TV Red de Puerto Rico, Inc.||Antenna TV|
|Missouri City, TX
|New York, NY||WDVB-CD||23.2||LocusPoint WDVB Licensee, LLC.||American Sports Network|
|Philadelphia, PA||WZPA-LD||33.1||Mako Communications||Silent|
|Washington, D.C.||WWTD-LD||49.1||DC Broadcasting, Inc.||MBC|
West Palm Beach
|West Monroe, LA||KMCT-TV||39.4||First Assembly of God of West Monroe||Silent|
|Wildwood (Atlantic City), NJ||WMGM-TV||40.1||LocusPoint Networks||Sonlife Broadcasting Network|
Soul of the South
|Soul of the South|
|Founded||Little Rock, AR (2011)|
Number of locations
|Divisions||Southern Soul Broadcasting|
|Subsidiaries||SSN Networks, Inc.|
SSN Funding, LP, also known as SSN Media Group, SOS Media Holdings, and doing business as Soul of the South, is a limited partnership that owns SSN Networks, Southern Soul Broadcasting and Gateway Media Technologies. The institutional investors include Arkansas Development Finance Authority, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and Arkansas Capital Corporation.
SSN Funding purchased the former Equity Plaza building from One Bank & Trust in December 2013 for the Soul of the South businesses. In May 2014, the building ownership moved from SSN Funding to Rock City Media LLC. Rock City Media was "a funding vehicle to support Soul of the South’s tax-credit financial package". By April 2006, the FBI started looking into the flow of government money into the Soul of the South venture.
Southern Soul Broadcasting
Southern Soul Broadcasting is the station operating unit operating stations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Tallahassee, Montgomery, Jackson, MS, Raleigh, NC, and its Little Rock full power flagship station.
In February, 2015, KM LPTV, which operates stations in Chicago and Milwaukee, filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract and not making required payments.
Gateway Media Technologies
Media Gateway, formerly Gateway Media Technologies and SSN Gateway Media Technologies, is a TV outsourcing company owned by Matthew Davidge. The company provides TV control panel and news casts.
Gateway had 60 television stations, three TV networks and two radio network as clients as of June 2017. Two of the three TV networks are Youtoo America (formerly America One) and Soul of the South Network.
Jeffrey Lyle was chief technology officer for Soul of the South and co-owner of SSN Media Gateway, LLC with Dr. Sev Hrywnak of Chicago, an entrepreneurial podiatrist; Edwin Avent and two Little Rock businessman long-associated with the property, Larry Morton and Greg Fess. By June 2015, SSN Media Gateway, LLC had acquired Independent News Network. At that time INN had hired Anne Imanuel, the wife of Mike Preston, the new director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, as an anchor. The Commission had a past due loan from the Soul of the South company group.
With financial difficulties, SSN Funding partners' ownership interest in SSN Gateway Media Technologies was purchased by Matthew Davidge, owner of client station WRDE, as of February 6, 2016. He also purchased from Rock City Media the former Equity Plaza, where Gateway Media Technologies was based to continue operation there, while taking over the mortgage. Gateway had 12 television stations, three TV networks and a radio network as clients as of June 2016. By June 2017, Gateway increased the number of TV station clients from 12 to 60 and added another radio network.
- Block, Alex Ben. (10/31/2011) New Network Targeting African Americans to Launch Next Year. Hollywood Reporter.
- Albiniak, Paige. (April 28, 2012) For TV, black is the new green. Variety.
- Associated Press. (November 24, 2011) Soul of the South’ TV. South Florida Times. Beatty Media LLC.
- Malone, Mike. (April 18, 2013) Soul of the South Sets Launch Date. Broadcasting & Cable.
- Stations for Network - Soul of the South. RabbitEars.info. Accessed on October 4, 2013.
- "FXFL To Be Carried on ESPN3" (Press release). New York: FXFL. PR Newswire. October 1, 2014. Archived from the original on October 21, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014 – via NBC Right Now.
- Beherc, Sean (April 6, 2015). "Soul of the South Mulls 'Winding Down'". Arkansas Business. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
- "Soul of the South Network Set to Launch Memorial Day Weekend After Securing Nearly $10 Million Investor Infusion" (Press release). SNN Funding, LP. Marketwired. April 18, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- Waldon, George (June 27, 2016). "Media Gateway Emerges From Soul of the South". Arkansas Business. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
- "FBI Peers Into Soul of the South Finances". Little Rock Sun Times. 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
- Beherc, Sean (February 18, 2015). "Soul of the South Sued for Alleged Breach of Contract". Arkansas Business. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- Massey, Kyle (June 26, 2017). "Coming to You Live from 1 Shackleford Drive". Arkansas Business. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- "Matthew Davidge Buys Television and Media Facility at 1 Shackleford Drive, West Little Rock: Media Gateway to Expand, New TV Show "Frixxer" Will Be Based There" (Press release). LITTLE ROCK, Ark.: Media Gateway. PRNewswire. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- "Soul of the South Network Targeting African-Americans Launches May 27". Hollywood Reporter. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
- "AEDC Director's Wife Hired as Anchor for SSN Media". Arkansas Business. Arkansas Business Publishing Group. July 27, 2015. Archived from the original on July 4, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016.