How much is Byron Allen worth?
|Net Worth:||$350 Million|
|Date of Birth:||April 22, 1961 (age 61)|
|Country:||United States of America|
|Height:||5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)|
About Byron Allen
Did you know that Byron Allen and his company (Entertainment Studios) owns The Weather Channel? I didn’t. Until recently I didn’t even know that an individual essentially owned The Weather Channel, much less a self-made entrepreneur whose company owns 15 different TV stations (including the aforementioned Weather Channel) and has produced semi-major Hollywood movies like 47 Metres Down and Friend Request? OK maybe they’re not the best movies in the world but how many major Hollywood productions are the rest of us ever going to produce?
Byron Allen Folks was born on April 22nd, 1961, in Detroit, Michigan, but spent most of his childhood in Los Angeles where his mother, Carolyn Folks, worked as a publicist for NBC. Allen would often go to work with his mother during this time, and in doing so caught the entertainment bug and decided that he too wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. While accompanying his mother to work, he would pop in to watch numerous shows, including one that stood out among the others: The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
He fell in love with the entertainment show host/comedic element of Caron’s show, and began putting together material for his own stand-up comedy act.
When Allen was 14, he began performing his improv acts in Los Angeles, and soon afterwards – in 1975 – he used his experience to land a job as one of the comedy writers for TV star (specifically Good Times) Jimmie Walker’s comedy act.
Allen was one of a number of writers on Walker’s team who were aspiring stand-up comedians, a couple of which went on to become far more famous and successful than Walker himself (you may have heard of them, a couple of guys named Jay Leno and David Letterman).
When Allen was 18, he became the youngest comic ever to perform a set on The Tonight Show. This appearance led to an increase in visibility for the young Allen and allowed him to get a job on the show Real People, a forerunner of modern reality TV shows.
Eventually, after Real People ran its course (aka the show’s producers found someone else they wanted as the host), Allen would go on to follow in the footsteps of his Jimmie Walker writer colleagues and become a talk show host.
While Allen certainly never achieved the same level of global fame that Leno and Letterman did, he has landed a series of successful, syndicated talk shows that have stood the test of time. Two of them, Kickin’ It With Byron Allen and Entertainers with Byron Allen, are on the list of the longest-running TV shows, having been on the air for 22 years apiece.
But the other main reason that Byron Allen became rich famous in the entertainment industry has come in his roles as a producer, specifically his company Entertainment Studios that he founded in 1993. He became known for producing as much content as possible for the cheapest amount possible would be an easy way to make money, especially if a number of those cheaper shows caught on; famously, he bought a disused courtroom set for $1 and used it to produce a series of successful courtroom shows such as The Verdict with Judge Hatchett, and continue to host his own shows like Kickin’ It at the same time.
His combination of determination, shrewd investment strategy (cheap production = higher profit), and his owning of numerous television networks and producing countless shows has (literally) paid dividends for Byron Allen over the years.
Allen’s current estimated net worth is about $350 million, mainly coming on the back of his nearly 30 nationally syndication TV shows that he produces, in addition to his other projects such as movies (and don’t forget about The Weather Channel). In 2019, Allen also was a key player – in conjunction with Sinclair Broadcast Group – in buying Fox Sports Networks as a part of Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox (and let’s face it, when you’re a key partner in a Disney deal, you’ll be making money).
Byron Allen is a true American success story, like so many others I’ve profiled in this series.
He started out scraping by as a comedian, met a few important people along the way, and used old-fashioned determination, grit, and a little help from his friends (especially someone like Carson, who adored working with him) to create one of the biggest TV production networks out there…which is especially noteworthy seeing that he’s worth almost half a billion dollars despite the fact that he isn’t incredibly well-known like his former colleagues Leno and Letterman.
Allen learned early on that if you can make them laugh, make it cheap, and make enough of it, people will watch and you will earn your money.
Maybe Byron Allen isn’t as super-famous as some other talk show hosts or as powerful as some of his fellow producers, but he’s made a great living by creating easy-to-produce, inexpensive shows that appeal to the everyman in society, and with all of the networks he’s carefully acquired under his Entertainment Studios umbrella, it’s hard to imagine him disappearing anytime soon.