Arkansas Business’ Sean Beherec continues to mine the public record for evidence that the state’s investment in the Soul of the South, a TV network targeting a black audience in its original conception, seems unlikely to bring a return.
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission is asking payment on a $250,000 note that’s part of a $1.75 million state investment. The company, based in Little Rock, is said to be evaluating its future.
Various state and other agencies, including a lender and a venture capital groups\, were said at the outset to have contributed $10 million to the enterprise. Participants in the early going included Richard Mays, a Little Rock lawyer and supporter of Gov. Mike Beebe, whose administration took the plunge. Mays resigned from the board subsequently.
The operation was built on the shell of a TV enterprise that had foundered in Little Rock previously. My brief reference here inspired a meeting with several of the group’s key members and also brought me in contact with an original player who’d fallen out with some of the others.
I wouldn’t venture an opinion on the soundness of the original idea or the good intentions of all the original participants. But things aren’t going well.