New Newspaper Focuses on Business Opportunities for Blacks


In a venture that is part journalism and part promotion of business opportunities, an engineer and a minister have teamed up to publish a newspaper targeting African Americans in the San Fernando Valley.

“It’s been needed for a long time,” said the Rev. Zedar E. Broadous, president of the San Fernando Valley Branch of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People.

Broadous and his partner, Gregory Kimble, an engineer who owns a Glendale laminating business, published the first 10,000-issue run of the San Fernando Valley African American Chronicle News on Dec. 29. The second issue came out Friday.


The free, bimonthly tabloid, which has been delivered mainly to black churches and businesses, features positive, community-based news stories, including opinion columns and health and education stories. But the Chronicle News stretches the boundaries of mainstream newspapers by seeking to strengthen ties among black business owners in the Valley.

Creating jobs and stimulating economic opportunities for African Americans in the Valley is just as important as covering stories of interest to black readers, said Broadous, who owns a printing business.

“We’re looking to write about new companies, services and agencies that African Americans can take advantage of,” Kimble said. “We also want to pass along any information about business opportunities.”

The lead story in the first, eight-page issue featured a clothing store that opened in Pacoima in early December. Another front-page article reported on a Christmas toy giveaway supported by black motorcycle clubs. And a feature column--downloaded from an online computer service--urged readers to think about the top stories of interest to African Americans in 1995.

“What was the top story for you last year?” the article asked. “Was it the story of one African American who walked out of a courtroom a free man, or the story of a million men who marched on Washington, D.C.?”

The second issue featured a list of Valley-area activities to kick off African American History Month in February, and a story about Barbara Perkins, founder of the San Fernando Valley Section of the National Council of Negro Women. Perkins was recently appointed to the Washington-based organization’s national board.


The Chronicle News joins several other African American newspapers that are distributed in the Valley, including the Inglewood-based Los Angeles Bay News Observer and the L.A. Watts Times.

“I extend my welcome to them,” said Joseph L. Coley, editor in chief and owner of the News Observer.

Broadous and Kimble function as a two-man shop in Glendale. They invested about $10,000 in equipment and materials for the first two issues and also did most of the writing, editing, photography and design, with some help from a few friends. And they solicited their first ads.

Broadous hopes that paid advertising will help the paper make money, enabling it to hire reporters, correspondents and editors. The two said they are committed to publishing the paper for some time but did not specify how long they would be able to sustain it.

“We’re not necessarily going to be profit-driven, but we are looking to profit in the sense of stirring up jobs,” Broadous said, as he bent over a lighted layout table, using a knife to cut and paste an advertisement that appeared in the second issue.

For Broadous, publication of the Chronicle News fulfills a personal goal to establish an African American-owned newspaper in the Valley. Broadous said he helped a friend, Ovide Goode, start the weekly Valley Sentinel in the 1970s, but the paper folded after several years because of the lack of advertising.


When Broadous met Kimble three years ago, the two began talking about starting a paper to provide information about job and business opportunities for African Americans. Kimble offered free office space at his company, West Coast Laminating Inc.

Kimble also works as a public relations consultant for Pacific Pipeline Inc., a company that plans to build a crude-oil pipeline through part of the northeast San Fernando Valley. Some community members have decried the pipeline, calling it an example of “environmental racism” because it would run through some of the poorer parts of the city. Kimble said he is committed to reporting both sides of the story in his new role as a newspaper editor.

Broadous, as president of the Valley branch of the NAACP, frequently finds himself at odds with political leaders and realizes he’ll be faced with making tough editorial decisions from time to time.

“From a political point of view, if a politician does something good for us, even if we don’t agree with them politically, do we give it up for them [thank them]?” Broadous asked. “I think we have to.”