Monique Chenault, President of News, Specials & Documentary at REVOLT, is a force to not be reckoned with. Her resume is extensive with titles like Emmy-nominated Executive Producer, Journalist and Showrunner appearing often. As of 2021, she can now add President at Revolt to her 20+ years of achievements.
Revolt recently winning a NAMIC Vision Award for their special with Former First Lady Michelle Obama that aired back in December 2022. Women from all industries and generations gathered around our forever First Lady to lead an open discussion on overcoming insecurities, parenting, mental health, relationships and more.
Kelly Rowland, H.E.R., Angela Yee, Tina Knowles-Lawson and Winnie Harlow circled Obama as she opened up about the challenges of being America’s first black couple in the White House. After ending 2022 on a high note, Monique is excited about the future of Revolt.
“It’s our biggest award. It really is great to be acknowledged for that program because it was a crowning achievement for the studio. We opened the studio at the beginning of the year and then we shot [the special] in December. It was such a great way to end the year after so much tireless work” said Monique.
Getting to work with an Obama in your newly built Downtown Atlanta studio isn’t a light flex. Monique took full advantage of her attendance, gushing over the regal poise of the Former First Lady.
“Everybody was just sitting at the edge of their seats. She’s so wise but in such a down-to-earth kind of way. She really talks to you eye to eye. She will be my best friend in my mind forever.”
After working with Obama’s team for months while she toured all over the country to promote her book The Light We Carry, the studio was finally able to lock in a time for her to stop by. The interview was only supposed to be about 30 minutes, per her team’s request. To everyone’s surprise, she stuck around for almost 2 hours.
“She loved [the studio]. She talked for over 90 minutes. We knew that she was loving it. She loves talking to young people.”
There’s definitely been a shift in how news is consumed. Everything is digital and social based now. In turn, companies must adjust how they distribute to and engage with young people.
As the President of News at Revolt Studios, Monique has officially taken on the responsibility of leading what she called ‘the black news revolution.’ It’s a well-known fact that people of color and the news media haven’t had the best history. But Revolt is aiming to change that.
By allowing black people to tell black stories on a black network, black viewers can now have a trusted source for learning about what’s really happening in our communities.
“The way that we lead is through perspective and P.O.V. The work we do is more in-depth. It’s more investigative. We take out time. We don’t do a daily newscast or anything like that. Our brand was already setup in to play a multimedia kind of way because our demographic is so young. [Revolt] was ahead of the curve and we didn’t need to catch up.”
Revolt is the home to films, shows, documentaries and shorts and podcasts meant to “disrupt” the status quo like Drink Champs with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, Caresha Please hosted by City Girl’s own Yung Miami, and Black Girl Stuff with Brii Renee, Tori Brixx, Britt Hall and correspondent Kennedy Rue to name a few.
When Black Girl Stuff first came on the scene it was intentionally described as Revolt’s newest disruptive female-drive talk show.
“When I say disruptive I mean something that cuts through the noise. Disruptive is really authentic. It’s unapologetic,” Monique notes. “I think this is probably one of the first times in American history where we are having a true black female renaissance and it is a really exciting time. I haven’t seen anything like it in my lifetime.”
We’re seeing more black women in media now more than ever. With the rapid rise of technology, young people have unlimited access to information. What we consume is just as important and how often we consume it. But how does that look now that Artificial Intelligence is in the picture?
“We trash all emerging trends. A lot of our credibility is in Hip-Hop culture, we’ve been paying close attention to [A.I.]. From a news perspective, you just have to make sure that you don’t get duped. Because news is built on speed and accuracy, you really have to put more of a focus on accuracy now.”
“Creatively speaking, there will always be the good and the bad. I think there’s a way to use A.I. as a really great tool. There will be advantages and you have to guard yourself against the disadvantages.”
Revolt isn’t America’s fastest growing black-owned media company for nothing.
“We’re never the first people there but we’re always the last ones out,” the Revolt president proclaims.