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C2 AUGUST 10-16, 2011


than half-way through these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. You can tell be- cause the barrage of back- to-school commercials, which started in July, has intensified. Like holiday advertising, they seem to begin earlier every year (the Pearson-McNeil household is already pre- pared)! Besides the back- to-school ads, the escalat- ing plugs for the new fall line-ups have me excited about TV again. What are you watching this sum- mer? Working for Nielsen,

Watching anything good this summer? Commentary

Well, we’re a little more

which most of you think of as the “TV Ratings” Com- pany, it should come as no surprise that I can actually share with you who’s watching what (I can also share information on con- sumer purchases, online, and mobile habits and trends, but for today, we’re going to stick with TV viewing). Traditionally, summer is designated for fun, sun, a spike in outdoor

activities and vaca- tioning, so broad- casters typically see a dip in ratings dur- ing this time period. Nonetheless, accord- ing to the latest Nielsen Cross-Plat- form report Ameri- cans overall were watching television an average of 22 minutes more per month per person than last year. Yes, even though today we have more innovative choices on which to view video con- tent—computers, tablets or even mobile phones—old school television sets are still the leader in providing that viewing pleasure for all demographics. The report confirms that

Blacks still watch televi- sion (approximately 213 hours per month) more than any other ethnic group on both traditional television and our mobile phones. We average about 57 more hours of viewing per month than Cau- casians, and almost four

Cheryl Pearson McNeil So I know you’re

hours more than Hispan- ics, who follow Blacks in viewing habits. Asian- Americans watch the least amount of traditional tele- vision, but make up for it by leading the time spent watching video on the In- ternet. African-Americans also

watch less time-shifted television (think DVR) than the rest of the popula- tion. Television viewing service providers—satel- lite, broadcast-only and wired cable—are spread pretty evenly across the board among Blacks, Whites and Asians. His- panics, however, are more likely to get satellite or be broadcast-only.

Black folks lose again and again CONTINUED FROM C1

there is no way to get the well-off to pay anything close to their fair share of the fiscal burden. The top one percent own 33 percent of the wealth and receive about 15 percent of the in- come in the country. These shares have risen over the past 30 years. They are being asked to bear none of the burden of closing the fis- cal gap.” The report goes on to say,

“…the plan imposes the full cost of deficit reduction on low- and middle-income households, gives the wealthy a free pass, and bodes poorly for future ne- gotiations, which, like it or not, will require tax in- creases or draconian cuts in entitlements.” All right, Black folks, you

got stroked again. The deal went down and you didn’t get jack from it. In fact, you will have to bear much of the financial burden for the deal. So now, what’s it gonna be? Will you con- tinue to buy into the sym- bolism of politics and its ef- fect on your emotions? Or will you finally take appro-

priate action to empower yourselves economically and free yourselves from the yoke of economic op- pression and exploitation? Will you continue to be

more concerned with catch- ing the latest episode of the Basketball Wives, as they call one another the b- word over and over, or will you at least make an at- tempt to be informed on economic solutions to our problems? Will you rest in the

refuge of now being able to see a Black man in the 6 o’clock slot on television, making butt prints in your easy chair, or will you get busy making footprints on the path that leads to eco- nomic freedom? Will you continue to sub-

scribe to mantra, “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” (Why must it be said three times?), ask- ing the guv-ment to create them, you know, the same way it created jobs with the stimulus package, or will you start making your own jobs by growing Black businesses? The folks in Washington are hardly concerned about

our moanin’ and groanin’, our whinin’ and cryin’, and our yellin’ and screamin’. They couldn’t care less, and they have shown us time and time again. Why do we keep asking them to do what we know they won’t or can’t do? Why can’t we see we’ve been played again? Are we really that stupid? Do we need to be hit upside the head with a sledgehammer in order to take care of business for ourselves? On Aug. 27 there will yet

another march in Washing- ton, and on the 28th they will dedicate the made-in- China Martin Luther King monument (Another exam- ple of our dysfunction when it comes to economic em- powerment; can’t with that Chinese granite and a Chi- nese sculptor; wow! what a find!). The songs will be sung again, the speeches will be given again, the tears will flow again, the chants will be yelled again, and the prayers will be prayed again. A few Black folks will be exalted, and the peons will look on from a roped-off distance “feeling good” once again. And after it’s all over, Black folks will lose—again. That is, if we fail to stop all the rhetoric and emotionalism, and take appropriate action to end our losing streak in the eco- nomic empowerment game. (James E. Clingman, an ad-

junct professor at the University of Cincinnati’s African American Studies department, is former ed- itor of the Cincinnati Herald newspaper and founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Com- merce. He hosts the cable televi- sion program, ‘’Blackonomics,’’ and has written several books, in- cluding his latest, Black Empow- erment with an Attitude—You got a problem with that? To book Clingman for a speaking engage- ment or purchase his books, call 513-489-4132 or go to his Web- site,

wondering: in all that television view- ing, are African- Americans watching the same programs as the rest of Amer- ica? Yes and no. Ac- cording to the rat- ings for the week of July 25, “America’s

Got Talent,” was the most watched show with both the general population (11. 5 million) and African- Americans (1.2 million). An example of a glaring differ- ence in viewing taste, how- ever, is “The Bachelorette.” It won the number five slot at 8.1 million viewers for the general population, but didn’t even register a blip on the ratings radar screen for African-Americans (umm, perhaps if we saw people who looked like us on the show, more of us would tune in? I’m just sayin’). Conversely, “So You Think You Can Dance” made the African-Ameri- can top 10 Television View- ing List, but failed to find a spot in the ratings that same week among the gen- eral population viewers. I haven’t watched the show, but would I be safe in sur- mising there’s diversity portrayed on it? Ya’ll know I always go back to our power as consumers. Re- member, both program- mers and marketers take the viewing choices you make—and don’t make—

very seriously. In addition to race and

ethnicity, Americans’ televi- sion/video viewing habits also vary by age and gen- der. Nielsen data shows that women ages 25+ watch more television than men at 16 hours more per month. On the other hand, men are consistently big- ger fans of streaming video online. It makes sense that older Americans (65+), spend more than twice as much time watching televi- sion as teenagers and about 37 percent more than the 35-49 demo- graphic. Here are some other ways video consump- tion breaks down according to age in the report: •25 percent of Americans,

50-64, comprise the largest segment of the traditional television audience. •27 percent of adults, 35-

49, represent the largest chunk of the Internet video audience. •30 percent of mobile

video viewers are mostly 25-34-year-olds. •Younger Americans, 12 -

17 spend a third of their In- ternet time watching video. So, as the summer days

near an end…what are you watching? Trust me, it matters. (Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is se-

nior vice president of public af- fairs and government relations for The Nielsen Co. For more in- formation and studies, please visit

Group assists entrepreneurs CONTINUED FROM C1

base; to increase partner- ships and to increase ca- reer opportunities for the membership. Since his presidency he pointed out that the chapter member- ship is at an all-time high of 291 with the goal to reach 300. When he took over three years ago, he said there were 70 mem- bers and in July of this year the chapter grew by an addition of 84 new members. Cameron said the chapter had a good 2010 and their plan is to continue to build on those successes. Pleased with the groups’

partnerships, he identified the PBSN strategic part- ner as the Heinz Endow- ments and major partners as PNC, Prudential Finan- cial, UPMC, Highmark and State Farm Insurance,

BNY Mellon, McKesson, Glaxo Smith Kline, Macy’s, IUP and the University of Pittsburgh Pitt Business Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. Cameron said the Chap-

ter will continue to gain strength through increas- ing membership, partner- ships, relevant programs and activities that result in intellectual and economic wealth for Blacks. “We believe en-

trepreneurs play an impor- tant role in rebuilding the region,” said Pickett. “The National Black MBA Asso- ciation Pittsburgh Chapter, we hope to serve as an agent to strengthen Afri- can-American businesses. We are moving beyond the atmosphere. With the Pro- fessional Business Services Network we are launching into the future.”

Budget sculpting CONTINUED FROM C1 •Recreation/ Entertain-

ment—5-10 percent •Child Care/School —5-

10 percent •Debts—5-10 percent These are guidelines and

are not the universal stan- dard. They are flexible and can be manipulated to line up with your priorities. The important thing to under- stand as you slice your money pie is that a bigger slice in one category will require a smaller slice in another category. For ex- ample, you can cheat up on the housing category allo- cating 40-percent of your income as long as you re- duce your transportation category down to 5-percent. Here’s how it works. You

want to total the amount of money you bring home in your paycheck each month. We’re only concerned with our take home pay (net in- come) since what we take home in our paycheck is the only thing we can spend. From there you want to look at what you’re currently spending on a particular category. To cal- culate the percentage of a specific budget category, all you have to do is divide the amount budgeted for that category by your net in- come. For example, let’s assume

that your net income is $2,000 per month. Each and every month you bring home about $2,000. Let’s further assume that your house payment is $900 per month, your car payment is $450 per month and your debts (personal loans and credit cards) are $300 per month. By dividing housing payment of $900 into your net income of

$2,000 you calculate hous- ing to equal 45 percent of your net income. By divid- ing car payment of $450 into your net income of $2,000, you calculate trans- portation to be 23 percent of your net income. By di- viding your debt payment of $300 per month, you cal- culate debt to be 15 per- cent of your net income. By comparing these percent- ages to budget percentage guidelines, you see that you’re over spending in each in every category. By adding up the percentages in these categories you’ll see that housing, car and debt accounts for 83 per- cent of your net income and you still have to buy food and pay utilities among other things. This leaves very little if any for tithing, savings, entertain- ment and other things you aspire to do with money. Leave it to me to use an

example that paints a grim picture. My example is a close depiction of what’s taking place in most house- holds. They camouflage their reality by using credit to finance the rest of their lifestyle. Like money, credit is finite, at some point you’ll max out your credit in be forced to accept the wisdom in the budget per- centage guidelines. I’d rather heed the advice now and begin to sculpt my budget to align with my priorities, values and goals and get the biggest bang for my buck. (Mortgage and Money Coach

Damon Carr is the owner of ACE Financial. Sign up for Damon’s FREE online e-newsletter at lcredi Damon can be reached at 412- 856-1183.)



Professional networking AUG. 11—Jessica Lee and

Pittsburgh Gateway Corporation will host “Entrepreneurial Thurs- days” from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at Little E’s, 949 Liberty Ave., Down- town. The theme is “Sustainable Pittsburgh.” This is a profes- sional networking event with live jazz/R&B music. There is a $5 fee. Business casual is the attire. No jeans or tennis shoes. For more information, call Sandy Marshall at 412-802-6780 or visit

First step

AUG. 12—The Small Business Development Center of the Uni- versity of Pittsburgh will host its First Step: Mechanics of Starting a Small Business seminar from 7:30-10 a.m. at the university’s Mervis Hall, Roberto Clemente Dr., Oakland. This seminar will help individuals learn about business structures, access helpful resources and under- stand the forms used to estab- lish a business. Registration is required and the cost is $25. For more information, call 412-648- 1542 or e-mail

Business workshop AUG. 13—The Center for

Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University and SCORE Pittsburgh will host a Small Busi- ness Basics Workshop from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at the university’s Mellon Board Room, Woodland Rd., Oakland. This workshop is for women interested in starting their own business or expanding their current business. Experts will discuss business planning, fi- nancing, bookkeeping, marketing and legal issues pertaining to small business. Reservations are required and breakfast will be served. For more information, call 412-365-1253 or e-mail womens-

Energy Inc. AUG. 16—Pittsburgh Business

Times will host Energy Inc. from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown. Attendees will be able to reach hundreds of business owners, business professionals and deci- sion makers across the industries including energy, banking, law, en- vironmental firms and more. For more information, call Kelli Komondor at 412-208-3845 or e- mail

QuickBooks seminar AUG. 16—The University of

Pittsburgh Small Business Devel- opment Center and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence will host a QuickBooks FUNdamentals seminar from 7:30-10:00 a.m. at Mervis Hall, Oakland. Attendees will discover how to accurately and efficiently take control of the finances of their business and will learn how to be more efficient with QuickBooks software. The program will provide instruction on setting up the company file, setting up and editing vendors, processing account payable, pro- cessing invoices, and more. The cost is $40 and registration is re- quired. For more information, call 412-648-1542.

Downtown divas

AUG. 17—The National Asso- ciation of Women Business Owners of Greater Pittsburgh will host its Downtown Divas Live Music and Networking event from 6-9 p.m. at Villa South Side, 1831 E. Carson St., South Side. Every Wednesday, will be able to enjoy perfor- mances from some of the city’s best female vocalist while net- working. Registration is re- quired. For more information, call 412-854-4827 or e-mail

Report seminar AUG. 18—The Small Business

Development Center at Duquesne University will host a Report Sem- inar for QuickBooks from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. at the university’s Rock- well Hall, 600 Forbes Ave., Up- town. This seminar is for individu- als familiar with QuickBooks and who would like to expand their knowledge in generating and cus- tomizing financial reports, forms/templates and more. Regis- tration is required and the cost is $45. For more information, visit

Business essentials AUG. 18—The Duquesne Uni-

versity Small Business Develop- ment Center will host a First Step: Business Start Up Essentials from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at Rockwell Hall, Room 505, 600 Forbes Ave., Up- town. This seminar is designed for new business startups and en- trepreneurs. Attendees will learn about business structure and for- mation, insurance, government procurement and major compo- nents of the business plan. Regis- tration is requested. For more in- formation, call 412-396-6233 or visit www.sbdc.duq,edu.

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