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Black News Channel shuts down


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Black News Channel, the first all-news cable channel targeted to viewers of color, and staffed nearly exclusively by journalists of color suspended its operations yesterday (Mar. 25) after just over two years on the air.

 

BNC reached a high water mark this past week when it's coverage of the Judge Ketanji Brown-Jackson confirmation hearings gave the channel its highest viewership numbers ever. But that was too little, too late to save the operation from the financial issues that crippled it from the start, and especially in the first two months of this year.

 

In January, BNC announced staff reductions. And yesterday's closure announcement was prefaced with the revelation of an internal email informing employees that payroll wouldn't be met this week. To that end, BNC's main moneyman Shad Khan (owner of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars) promised to pay staffers' salaries through the end of the month. But he's apparently done investing more of his billions into the money-losing operation.

 

No mention of the shutdown was made on-air last night on the channel's last live shows. What happens to BNC on-air is unknown at this point, but it's certain to be going away sooner rather than later.

 

Roland Martin, and Scott Jones at FTVLive have chronicling this story in-depth.

Edited by Big Rollo Smokes
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8 hours ago, Wildish said:

IMO the only entity that could fill this niche is BET News.

Exactly! In this day and age where cable is going downhill, they were probably better off launching as a programming block on BET.

 

 

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Yeah...this channel was doomed from the start. With the Khans having a new pet project in ROH, I didn't see them keeping stuff like this around. 

 

It's unfortunate but (black) people around my age aren't watching the news on TV (much less cable TV) so this was doomed from the start. 

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2 hours ago, Yankees4life said:

Yeah...this channel was doomed from the start. With the Khans having a new pet project in ROH, I didn't see them keeping stuff like this around. 

 

It's unfortunate but (black) people around my age aren't watching the news on TV (much less cable TV) so this was doomed from the start. 

Plus there's the fact all these channels have come by with big promises to cover news properly...and eventually they just won't budget for more in-depth programming and depend on pundits, or like BET did, cut it out for more profitable entertainment programming or cheaper movies or worse...sell dead time to telepreachers. Their 'we're going to be FNC for our niche!' botched marketing at the start didn't help at all, and Minneapolis caught them flat-footed.

 

Finally, basing it out of Tallahassee rather than a more logical base like Jacksonville, Atlanta (where most everyone outside TLH was based), or Chicago meant they were going to incur high satellite/IP costs right off the bat; yes, housing might have been lower for staff, but no one was putting Tallahassee on any stop in a press tour for a book or film, and it didn't matter when that big-money studio became just a place to introduce Zoom call pundit heads (again, mainly from homes in Atlanta!).

 

And agreed about the Khans; they have a mess with the Jaguars to deal with and the wrestling at least attracts an audience, so that's where the money and focus seems to be at for them.

Edited by mrschimpf
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16 hours ago, Yankees4life said:

Yeah...this channel was doomed from the start. With the Khans having a new pet project in ROH, I didn't see them keeping stuff like this around. 

 

It's unfortunate but (black) people around my age aren't watching the news on TV (much less cable TV) so this was doomed from the start. 


No it could’ve been successful if it was on a digital multicast like Bounce TV is. Because that enables linear and digital at the same time. They even have some fully non-sub channel owned-and-operated stations in LA, Raleigh. In addition to their secondary digital repeater station In those markets which are sub channels of Univision stations in the markets which are also Univision O&Os.

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