Multimedia news websites are incredibly popular and provide plenty of unique options for people interested in expressing themselves online. One very popular website, Mediatakeout, has provided a platform for African Americans and African American celebrities for almost two decades. It is still one of the most heavily used sites of its type and provides a unique voice for those in this community.
If you're interested in using this website or knowing more about its history, we collected 20 fun and exciting facts that you might not know. This information is fascinating and provides a deeper context for its operation. Some of these facts are hard to find online, which makes them more interesting to explore. Let's dive right in to learn more about Mediatakeout and its place online.
1. It Was Founded By a Corporate Lawyer
Fred Mwangaguhunga was trained as a corporate lawyer and graduated from City University in New York. After gaining two degrees from Columbia, he decided quickly that practicing the law was not suited to his personality. After struggling for a while, he noticed a unique gap in gossip sites.
In 2006, most gossip sites focused mostly on white celebrities and only mentioned African-American celebrities in passing, if at all. Realizing that this was an untapped market, Mwangaguhunga jumped on the market and started Mediatakeout to take advantage of this unique field.
2. He Wrote Most of the Content for a Long Time
When Mwangaguhunga started Mediatakeout, he decided on an informal tone that he believed would appeal the most to his readers. For many years, he wrote each of the stories himself, creating a fairly informal approach that read more like a blog than a news story.
Even now, Mwangaguhunga owns the site and helps it operate on a daily basis. While he doesn't write nearly as much as he did in the past, he still contributes from time to time. Mwangaguhunga has stated that if he ever shut the site down, he would not return to law and would find another financial outlet.
3. Fred Mwangaghuna's Family Was Upset By His Decision
Fred Mwangaguhunga's family and friends were initially shocked when he quit working as a lawyer and eventually started a series of businesses. He had longed to be an entrepreneur for many years and started a clothing store and an online laundry with his wife before beginning Mediatakeout.
His family was even more shocked when he quit these businesses to focus heavily on his dreams of creating an African American media empire. Many people in the industry believed that there simply wasn't a big enough market for what he was doing, but his persistence proved them wrong.
4. Its Layout Influenced News Sites
When it started gaining popularity, Mediatakeout was eventually mirrored by several serious new sites. The lesson that they took from this site was to front-load the newest information on the top of the page. Other sites had put the most important stories at the top, with links to new stories spread throughout.
Visiting “legitimate” news sites now shows that they follow this format, putting the latest and most interesting stories at the top. This gives Mediatakeout and other sites a compelling style that causes readers to scroll through each story and catch up with its developments as they occur.
5. Stories Typically Come From Hollywood Insiders
Like many gossip sites, Mediatakeout lives and dies on its sources and connections. These sources typically include people somehow connected to the celebrities being discussed. For example, many of its biggest stories were broken by family members reporting on their family's life.
However, friends, employees, and even romantic partners have broken stories for Mediatakeout. For example, in a recent story about Yung Miami and Diddy breaking up, the story claims that “a person close to Diddy” reported that the two split up.
6. Mediatakeout Doesn't Share Its Sources
Mediatakeout has long had a standing policy of not sharing its sources when writing stories. There are a few reasons for that. First, their information comes from anonymous insiders, and sharing their names would put their reputations and career at risk. It would also cause many sources to stop providing information.
Naturally, this policy has been controversial, and many have accused Mediatakeout of simply making up stories. Mwangaguhunga stands by his stories and their legitimacy, though we'll find out later that there may be some truth to the claims that at least some stories lack credibility.
7. Reports Claim It's the Most Visited Urban Website
Sources often claim that Mediatakeout is the most visited “urban” site in the world, with over 30 million people visiting it regularly. It consistently ranks in the top 10,000 sites by Alexa, which gives it a very broad spread in many markets.
That gives Mwangaguhunga and his site a unique place in the market. While other websites focused on urban topics, like African American celebrities, do exist, Mediatakeout remains the most popular, despite concerns about its stories and their accuracy.
8. Their Income Comes From Advertising
Mediatakeout has never had a paywall, and according to Mwangaguhunga, it never will. Instead, this site gets its income from advertisers, which include various urban-centered companies and products. This lets Mediatakeout provide free information that its consumers enjoy.
This advertising includes various social media platforms, including Facebook. Mediatakeout also heavily advertises on these sites to make money. For example, Ad Costly reports that this site spends around $0.47 per pay-per-click ad annually on Facebook.
9. They Innovated Sensationalist Headlines
Mediatakeout is probably as known for its wild headlines as it is for its content. Mwangaguhunga decided early that sensationalist headlines would help his stories stand out. It's the old click-bait technique in full flower. Headlines often feature almost all you need to know about the story.
For example, they recently published the headline “Jessica Simpson Says She's Still Sober After Concerning Video.” This headline catches the eye and makes viewers interested in learning more about this video and Simpson's sobriety. The story itself is barely 200 words and features multiple quotes from Simpson.
10. Mediatakeout Has Done Real Journalistic Work
Mediatakeout may be considered a gossip site by the news world, but it has broken real stories long before many “legitimate” sites did. In this way, they are a lot like TMZ, which is often mocked for being gossip-heavy but has broken real stories multiple times.
For example, Mediatakeout learned through several sources that Michael Jordan was getting a divorce and reported on it first. While other sites followed up on this story many years later, it was one of Mediatakeout's biggest early successes and helped make them even more successful.
11. Facebook Helped Mediatakeout Significantly
When Mwangaguhunga started Mediatakeout, he looked to companies like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to build readership, create a strong brand, and engage with a readership. This lesson forced him to avoid monetizing for a long time before he eventually started selling ad space.
Furthermore, his expansion onto the Facebook platform has helped the website by increasing its traffic. Mediatakeout has a very active Facebook page and shares information here regularly, with millions of followers reading its information either here or clicking on stories to learn more.
12. Original Programming Briefly Expanded Its Market
In 2011, Mediatakeout announced that they would be expanding into television and radio with original programming. The idea was to provide African-American actors with better chances for roles. They made a show called “First Date” and shot a season in 2013 that's still available on Amazon.
So far, their plans for continual shows running every day haven't come to fruition. Instead, Mwangaguhunga has decided to focus heavily on the content that brought him success. Expanding in this way simply wasn't as profitable as he had initially hoped.
13. Kim Kardashian Has Sued Them for Libel
While Mediatakeout has many fans throughout the African-American community, not everybody has enjoyed their work. For example, Kim Kardashian sued them in 2016 after the site published several stories claiming that her robbery in Paris was nothing but a publicity stunt.
The site initially stuck to its guns but eventually settled the lawsuit and published a statement admitting that its stories were false and removed them from the website. Fred Mwangaguhunga apologized profusely for this situation and has tried to vet stories more carefully.
14. Other Sites Use Them as a Source Regularly
While serious news sites may scoff at Mediatakeout and TMZ, that doesn't stop them from using their stories as sources when they want to make headlines. A perfect example of this is in the infamous Kim Kardashian story mentioned above. Huffington Post used Mediatakeout's story as a source in one of their stories.
In that publication, Sharika Shoal claimed that the robbery was a “publicity stunt gone wrong,” which caused Kardashian to sue them for libel as well. These lawsuits prove the point that vetting sources is critical and that all information should be double- and triple-checked before publication.
15. Mediatakeout Went Political for the 2016 Election
During the 2016 presidential election, Mediatakeout surprised many by switching to a heavily political stance, with stories reporting on police brutality and President Trump's campaign. This surprising switch garnered them more respect and their stories were quoted as far away as Nigeria.
This switch earned Mediatakeout a lot of negative attention from white supremacists who flagged every post that they made on Facebook and eventually got their page removed. Since then, Mediatakeout has reinstated its Facebook page and still reports heavily on crime-based stories.
16. Bossip and Mediatakeout are Not Related
Bossip is another gossip and entertainment website that focuses heavily on African-American sites that started around the same time as Mediatakeout in 2006. While their similar timings are interesting, the two sites are not related and seem not to have been influenced by each other.
There's no evidence that either site knew the other existed when they started. Like Mediatakeout, Bossip uses humorous headlines to attract attention but often has a more serious tone than Mediatakeout and a slightly better reputation.
17. They Once Had an App
Mediatakeout once had an application that users could download to check on stories regularly. Whether this app is available anymore is up for debate. A quick search on Google Play and other stores reveals that the app is not listed anymore.
However, there is a download on APK Pure that highlights the Mediatakeout app. However, this site also prompts the reader to download their app, so it might be best to avoid it. It's likely Mediatakeout just focused more on making their site mobile-friendly for easier use on phone internet browsers.
18. Some Stories Affected Political Movements
Mediatakeout has occasionally broken stories that ended up having long political ramifications. They were one of the first to break the story of Instagram scammer Hushpuppi, a scammer who eventually got 11 years in prison for money laundering and fraud.
However, Mediatakeout and other sites reported that Hushpuppi was going to try to affect the Nigerian government and focused on telling the US about how Nigeria helped him commit his scam. A very high-ranking police officer in Nigeria was just one of the many people he snitched on after his arrest.
19. Ariana Grande Has Fought Pregnancy Rumors for Years From Mediatakeout
Ariana Grande is one of the most popular urban entertainers and has often been central to many Mediatakeout stories. For example, they reported in 2018 that she and Pete Davidson (her fiance at the time) were expecting a baby any time soon.
This was another story with no truth to it, and in 2022, pregnancy rumors are hounding Grande again. While Grande took no legal action against Mediatakeout for its stories, the site quietly stopped reporting on it after she came out on Twitter to clear the air about her alleged pregnancy.
20. They Broke a Fake O.J. Simpson Story
O.J. Simpson is infamous for the murder case and civil suit centered around his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. He has been a common source of parody on social media accounts, and in 2019, Mediatakeout breathlessly announced that he had tweeted “I killed her” on his Twitter account.
However, it was a fake account, one of the many created by internet trolls over the years. Since then, O.J. Simpson has tried to get a verification for his Twitter account for years but has been denied. He even asked current Twitter owner Elon Musk if he could get one for his account.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker