The truth behind Real Times Media's "$5million" contract - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

The truth behind Real Times Media's "$5million" contract extension

Posted: Updated:
'Michigan Chronicle' owned by Real Times Media 'Michigan Chronicle' owned by Real Times Media
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

A big question of why here - why would EM manager Kevyn Orr put $5 million toward a company that has taken out loans totaling more than $15 million? The answer, when you break it down - it's not really $5 million.

That company is Real Times Media. It's the parent company of the Michigan Chronicle and several other media properties, and according to its publisher Hiram Jackson, the company received a set of contracts for $4.1 million, and one for $900,000. (Seemingly, $5 million.)

According to Detroit councilman James Tate, the set of contracts was brought to city council members on September 3rd, strictly for their information, but already approved by Orr (while the council was on recess).

The first contract says Real Times Media was awarded a $4.1 million advertising contract for legal notices, but councilman Tate says $3.6 million of that was already set aside for that purpose. So really, it was approximately $500,000.

That half a million, Jackson says, is spread out over 6.5 years, noting that the company's yearly revenue for legal notices is less than $100,000. For example, this year's revenue has been about $50,000. Orr's approval was for a one-year extension (to last through July of 2014) of that contract that was established back in 1996 (then renewed each year thereafter).

The second contract is a $900,000 contract with Paradise Valley Real Estate Holdings to renovate an abandoned building in Detroit, in which the chronicle will use as office space. That money is coming from a federal grant strictly for renovations - not from the city.

"We're rebuilding a building that has been vacant for 15 years. I'm trying to invest in the city," says Jackson.

In the end, unable to reach Kevyn Orr's team Friday, Jackson says Orr likely sees this contract extension as: 1. a run-down Detroit building is being renovated, and 2. those legal notices need to be published anyway, according to law.

As far as the debt goes, Real Times Media spokesman Bob Berg says the two loans used to expand business totaled about 15.5 million dollars - with about 3 million paid back. The rest was converted to equity (the city's pension fund owning about 30%). "I have never missed a payment on those loans and have never been in default," said Jackson. "All money borrowed has been paid back."

James Tate says it wasn't a startling decision on Kevyn Orr's part - it was a contract extension.

Hiram Jackson and his spokesman Bob Berg say there is absolutely no link between the company's loans and money given to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

"The Civic Fund had nothing to do with the loans for this company," said Jackson. "I have no ties to the Kilpatrick administration."

Berg also added that the second loan was given after Kilpatrick resigned.

Meanwhile, Jackson says he's hopeful for the future of the Chronicle, and its presence in the community.

"The Michigan Chronicle has been the voice of the community since 1936. We're really excited about moving downtown and being a part of the Detroit renaissance," said Jackson. "We're going to have a great future."

VIDEO: Fox 2's Erika Erickson's live report

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:49:26 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • Neighbors tie pink ribbons to remember murdered Armada teen

    Neighbors tie pink ribbons to remember murdered Armada teen

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:48:30 GMT
    The community in Armada Township is pulling together to support the family of murdered 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The community in Armada Township is pulling together to support the family of murdered 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:38:56 GMT
    As of 4 p.m., approximately 126,000 DTE Energy customers are out of power due to the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. DTE has restored power to 60,000 of the customers impacted by the storm.
    As of 4 p.m., approximately 126,000 DTE Energy customers are out of power due to the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. DTE has restored power to 60,000 of the customers impacted by the storm.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices