Named after the Motown legend, Smokey D. Fontaine (Chief Content & Creative Officer) oversees the programming and development of the largest online network in the world dedicated to serving African-American and other diverse audiences which includes five unique national sites (TheUrbanDaily.com, HelloBeautiful.com, NewsOne.com, Elev8.com, GIANTlife.com), fifty-six local radio station websites across 13 markets, and four social networks (BlackPlanet.com, BlackPlanetNext.com, BlackPlanetRadio.com, MiGente.com). His mandate—to engage and empower the full and diverse range of urban communities—is at once an editorial, technology and brand-building achievement that has cross-platform (online, radio, TV, print) executions and unparalleled scale (82% of the US African-American population).
Interactive One, the standalone digital division of Radio One & TV One, reaches > 10MM African-Americans online each month and has grown its audience >250% the past two years.
Formerly, Fontaine was the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of GIANT, the magazine of celebrity, style and culture. Since taking the helm of the newly re-launched publication in August of 2006, Fontaine cemented his status as one of the hottest editors in the magazine world with back-to-back covers of Beyonce, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Prince.
Prior to that, Fontaine was most notably the Senior Producer of Entertainment for Volume.com, the $35 million Internet portal sponsored by HBO; the US Editor of Trace magazine where he secured the fashion and music magazine’s US distribution and advertising deals and wrote nine cover stories; and the Music Editor of The Source where he oversaw the growth of the world’s largest music magazine on the newsstand and was nominated for a National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2000.
america, an “urban luxury” publication he dreamed up while visiting his childhood home in London, England, enabled Fontaine to run his own company and continue his high-end cross-platform work with clients that included Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, Target and Lexus. His 42-page portfolio with Sean “Diddy” Combs and Penelope Cruz by photographer Peter Lindbergh for Estee Lauder is considered an advertorial benchmark.
In 2002, Mr. Fontaine released his first two books. The first, What’s Your HI-FI Q? (Simon & Schuster/Fireside) with partner Scott Poulson-Bryant, is an entertaining trivia book wrapped around three decades of black popular music; the second, EARL: The Autobiography of DMX (Harper Collins Entertainment), is a 350+ page life history of hip-hop’s most tortured superstar hailed by Publisher’s Weekly as an “unsparing, painfully honest account…[akin to] Manchild In The Promised Land.”
Mr. Fontaine’s first published piece was a retrospective essay about his relationship with James Baldwin for the Diary of the Civil Rights Movement in 1989 and he has since twice received the prestigious “Spotlight Article of the Month” award from the London Guardian newspaper. In 2010, Fast Company named Fontaine one of Teach For America’s “Most Influential Alumni” and in 2012 he was honored with a Telly Award for “Most Inspiring” for his writing / hosting of AT&T’s “Rethink Possible” video series.
Mr. Fontaine is also a featured music correspondent for the BBC and Channel 4 networks in England, and is a repeat guest on CNN, The Today Show, FOX News, VH-1, MSNBC, Roland Martin’s Washington Watch, and the Rev. Al Sharpton’s “Keeping It Real” syndicated radio broadcast.
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