Tallahassee, Florida—January 15, 2020–Black News Channel (BNC), the nation’s only African American news network, announced today its choice for the morning news team. Co-anchors Lauren McCoy and Rarione Maniece, along with Chief Meteorologist Kevan Smith, will greet BNC viewers first thing in the morning with a live newscast that airs from 6am until 9am.
Lauren McCoy knew she wanted to be a journalist from the age of five when she would watch the New Orleans WWL-TV Eyewitness News with her mom. She began her career in Baton Rouge as a production assistant at the NBC and Fox affiliates in 2013. From there, she was promoted to reporter, then to weekend anchor, and ended her time in Baton Rouge as the evening co-anchor for Fox 44 News. Lauren has spent her career covering stories that impact diverse communities. During her time as a journalist, Lauren has covered many prominent stories, such as the death of Civil Rights Activist Sadie Roberts-Joseph, the shooting of Alton Sterling, the deadly ambush on Baton Rouge law enforcement, and the Great Flood of 2016. She is a proud alumna of LSU where she earned a B.A. in mass communications with a concentration in broadcast journalism and a minor in film and media arts. Lauren was born in North Carolina, but she is proud to call the Pelican State her home.
Rarione Maniece is a native of New Orleans. Before joining the Black News Channel, she was an anchor and producer for CBS19 News in Charlottesville, Virgina. She obtained a Master of Science in multimedia journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University; and Rarione is also a graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virgina, where she earned her undergraduate degree in communications with a minor in information technology systems. Rarione is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. She’s had the opportunity to cover topics such as the General Assembly, a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House, and an emergency hearing on Ebola on Capitol Hill. Her passion for journalism was greatly influenced by her experiences as a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, during Hurricane Katrina.
Kevan Smith was born and raised in Dallas, and he graduated from Texas Tech University with a focus on atmospheric sciences, history, and broadcast journalism. From an early age, Kevan was always fascinated with weather. Whether he was watching Troy Dungan talking about the Fort Worth May 1995 hailstorm or Ron Roberts forecasting a Lubbock dust storm, weather across Texas was always changing. Kevan began his career in 1998 in Lubbock at KAMC/KLBK, worked at KTVN in Reno, Nevada, moved to WeatherVision in Jackson, Mississippi. and landed a chief meteorologist position at WXVT in Greenville, Mississippi. Before joining BNC, Kevan served as the morning meteorologist in Baton Rouge at WVLA/WGMB. Kevan hopes to bring an understanding of the complex nature of weather to Black News Channel viewers every day. Kevan’s favorite saying and life mantra is, “Keep Looking Up!”
“Our morning news team is ready to help Black News Channel viewers start their day with the kind of stories and information that will help them feel inspired and empowered,” says Gary Wordlaw, BNC’s vice president of news and programming.
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.