by Luke Jones
Posted 1/15/2014 10:28 am
Updated 8 months ago
Soul of the South, a national television network headquartered in Little Rock, says it will expand its Little Rock facility.
According to a news release, the network has purchased from One Bank & Trust the 30,000-SF building it was leasing at 1 Shackleford Drive.
It secured a $1.5 million mortgage for the building from Arkansas Capital Corp. and will use its newfound ownership to build new office space, install a news studio and create "dozens" of new jobs. The network also aims to increase the number of television markets it's in from 30 to 50 by the end of the year.
Originally launched in May with the help of some $10 million in investments from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Arkansas Capital Corp., Soul of the South is receiving more incentives in the form of $500,000 from the Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund. That money will go toward renovating and improving the Shackleford headquarters.
The building is a former headquarters of Equity Broadcasting Co., a defunct company that was helmed by Larry Morton. Morton is now Soul of the South's CEO.
"We have a unique opportunity to establish our broadcast footprint across the south," Morton said in the release. "The South is the fastest growing region of the country and we want to be the television network that speaks to and for the region."
Chairman and former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Richard Mays said he was "grateful" for the support from Arkansas Capital Corp.
"We believe an Arkansas-based television network speaking about the virtues of Southern life is a compelling business proposition," he said in the release.
The network offers local and national news along with a selection of Southern-themed programing emphasizing the lifestyle and culture of African-American Southerners. It airs throughout the Southern U.S. and some Northern and Midwestern cities. In Little Rock, it can be found on KMYA-TV.
Below, Mays appears in a promo for the network.