Tallahassee, Florida—October 21, 2019–Black News Channel (BNC), the nation’s only African American news network, announced today who will fill the shoes of its primetime news anchor team. BNC’s primetime evening news team are the Emmy Award-winning journalists Fred Hickman, Laverne McGee, and Anthony Amey.
Fred Hickman comes to BNC with more than four decades of experience in broadcasting and television endeavors. He began his career working in radio while in high school in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. After graduating from college, he began working in television at WICS in central Illinois. Two years later, Hickman got the call to help launch the fledgling network known as CNN. He has been part of launches and relaunches of networks and television stations ever since, including the award-winning CNN Sports Tonight program that Hickman co-anchored with Nick Charles for two decades. Other launches included critically acclaimed shows such as NBA on TNT, Sunday Night Football on TNT, and the YES Network, flagship station of the New York Yankees and, later, the New Jersey Nets. Hickman also hosted ESPN Sports centers and NBA Kia Shoot Around before seamlessly transitioning into a primetime news anchor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While there, Hickman co-moderated two political debates of statewide and national importance. He also reported on the Alton Sterling shooting and the firestorm of subsequent racial tension that included the ambush-style shooting and killing of several Baton Rouge police officers. Hickman joins BNC from the Washington, D.C. market where he was able to both anchor primetime newscasts and mentor up-and-coming broadcast journalists. Hickman has earned countless awards, including two Emmys and two Cable Ace awards, among others.
Laverne McGee is also an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has been an anchor, reporter, and host for several well-known media outlets, both in the United States and Canada. These include CBS News, EXTRA, MY 9 (New York City/New Jersey), CTV News (Canadian Television Network), CHCH TV Canada, FOX 35 Orlando, and Radio Disney. She has covered major news stories from hurricanes to celebrity red carpets. Working both full-time and freelance in broadcast news has allowed McGee to interview high-profile people from Rudy Giuliani to Beyoncé and everyone in between. She has met several US presidents, as well as the Queen of England, and McGee has covered most major award shows, including the Grammys, Emmys, and Tony awards. McGee began her career in Toronto hosting a news and lifestyle show. Later, while working in New York City, she earned a small role in rapper Jay Z and Damon Dash’s cult film “Death of a Dynasty” playing herself as a reporter. McGee’s versatility with both news and entertainment allows her to handle hard-hitting investigative reporting, as well as to get celebrity scoops. She is passionate about news, entertainment and fashion, and all things social media, which led McGee to create a lifestyle blog. Although she is a YouTube and Instagram junkie, McGee is also an avid writer; and she has hosted several webinars. A humanitarian at heart, McGee was awarded a State of New York Proclamation for community service.
Anthony Amey is an Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster with more than two decades of experience. He is a native of Washington, DC and began his broadcasting journey as a 17-year-old work study student at WTTG-TV in his hometown. Winning the Emma Bowen Foundation scholarship offered Amey the chance to be part of a work study program and learn every nuance of the local television business during the summer before his senior year of high school. After graduating from college, Amey put his skills and knowledge to work as he began his on-air career at WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Next, Amey worked at WPMI, the NBC affiliate in Mobile, Alabama, where he won Associated Press Best Sports Anchor honors for the year 2000. The next stop on Amey’s career journey was Sacramento, California, where he worked for more than two years. He was fortunate enough to cover one of the epic NBA playoff series of the last century, the Sacramento Kings verses the Los Angeles Lakers epic seven-game Western Conference Finals, as well as all seven games of the 2002 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and then-Anaheim Angels. At the age of 27, Amey returned to the East Coast to work for the worldwide leader in sports, ESPN, for four years. Amey spent nine years as a sports anchor/reporter at WSB-TV, the number one station in Atlanta, where he was part of an Emmy Award-winning Monday night football pregame show in 2010.
“We are thrilled with the level of professionalism and experience represented by our primetime news team,” says Gary Wordlaw, vice president of news and programming for BNC. “With this team, we really feel like we have hit a homerun.”
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.