Tallahassee, Florida—May 29, 2019–Black News Channel (BNC), the nation’s only African American news network, welcomes the addition of key executives who will play an important role in fulfilling the network’s mission of being the nation’s only provider of 24/7 cable news programming dedicated to covering the unique perspective of African American communities. Mr. Tommy Ross, director of communications, Ms. Maureen Brown, director of finance and human resources, and Mr. Joe Gutierrez, senior executive producer have joined BNC’s executive team.
Tommy Ross, BNC director of communications, has more than 40 years of legislative, political, public affairs, corporate, and management experience. Through his work, Ross has influenced local, state, and federal public policy while developing a reputation as a master political and corporate communications strategist. He retired from Southern California Edison as corporate vice president of public affairs. Ross’ duties included overseeing the Sacramento Public Affairs Office and managing a team of lobbyists, analysts, administrative staff, and consultants to represent the company’s interest in the State Legislature and Executive Branch. He also founded and was Chairman/CEO of the Research and Policy Institute of California (RPIC) and served on the Board of Directors of an international solar power plant developer. Ross also served on the Board of Advisors of KQ Communications, a full-service public relations firm with offices in Memphis and Atlanta. He has also ventured into the world of entertainment and is an award-winning film producer. His films have been featured at film festivals in Atlanta, San Diego, Houston, and in online international film short competitions. His films have also appeared on Netflix, On Demand, BET/CENTRIC, Red Box DVD Kiosks, Amazon Prime Video, and at Walmart stores nationwide. Ross received a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Claremont Men’s College.
Prior to joining BNC’s executive team as the director of finance & human resources, Maureen Brown served as the president of Top Notch Presentations (TNP), a private consulting firm she founded that works with businesses and individuals to prepare financial analysis and modeling to move a company’s strategic vision forward. Before forming TNP, Brown served as the chief operating officer of the WNBA Atlanta Dream. In this role, Brown oversaw the Dream’s Finance & Administration department and was responsible for financial reporting, accounting, strategic analysis, human resources and IT. She also assisted with the preparation and delivery of sponsorship sales pitches. Before joining the Dream, Brown served as the director of financial planning and analysis for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Her responsibilities included creating a new department with the capacity to deliver timely, accurate, clear, and complete financial information to all Jacksonville Jaguars departments, senior management and ownership. Preceding her time with the Jaguars, Brown had a long tenure of services at the WNBA and NBA League offices in a variety of roles, including WNBA chief financial officer; NBA financial analyst; and NBA consultant. Brown also played an integral role in advising potential league investors throughout the process of launching expansion franchises and preparing the NBA’s bi-annual financial report to league owners. Brown received a Bachelor’s degree in economics and philosophy from Columbia University.
Joseph Gutierrez, BNC senior executive producer, brings with him 15 years of experience in broadcast media. Gutierrez previously served as assistant news director for WVLA-TV and WGMB-TV in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was instrumental in helping rebrand the station’s image. Gutierrez produced extensive news coverage following the officer-involved shooting death of Alton Sterling in 2016, the protests that followed, the ambush of several law enforcement officers, and the great flood that devastated the region in August of that year. In his new role at Black News Channel, Gutierrez will oversee and implement daily coverage of all news content on the network. His passion for news and editorial vision is evident in his work over the span of his career. Gutierrez attended both Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana and Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma.
“We are building an incredible team at Black News Channel, starting at the top,” says network Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr. “We have identified some of the best group of energized employees who believe in our network’s mission and understand how to achieve it. Our team of experienced and skilled professionals are emotionally invested in our company goals, and they want to contribute.”
Black News Channel is an independent network that is minority owned and operated, and it will be the nation’s only provider of 24/7 cable news programming dedicated to covering the unique perspective of African American communities. BNC is the endeavor of the network’s visionaries and co-founders, Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr. and CEO Bob Brillante. BNC will provide access to information and educational programming to meet the specific needs of this growing and dynamic community that is a major consumer of subscription television services. BNC will provide an authentic, new voice that represents African Americans in mainstream media and fosters political, economic, and social discourse; the network will be one voice representing the many voices of African Americans. BNC’s programming will illuminate truth about the unique challenges facing urban communities and help close the “image gap” that exists today between the negative black stereotypes perpetuated by mainstream media news and our enterprising African American communities.