Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Black News Channel?
BNC is a 24/7 news channel. BNC’s purpose is to be a news organization that gives voice to the varied experiences, issues, points-of-view and priorities that matter to African Americans. To not just tell a story; but tell the entire story while addressing the issues of the day in a way that is fresh, bright, and complete. Our goal is to offer real, responsive, reliable and relevant news coverage to our audience.
What is the network’s mission?
As an innovative and life-changing network, BNC’s mission is to provide intelligent programming that is informative, educational, inspiring and empowering to its African American audience.
Why did BNC choose to serve the African American viewing audience?
According to the 2019 Nielsen report “It’s In The Bag: Black Consumers’ Path to Purchase”, African Americans spend more time with television than the total population, are avid consumers across multiple media channels, and are major users of social media. And with little overlap between the television shows that African Americans watch compared to the general population, African Americans are a discreet viewing audience gravitating more toward content that reflects their images, stories, and opinions.
Thus, BNC’s strategy to present its culturally specific news and programming across multiple distribution platforms including linear, OTT, VOD, smart TV’s, smartphones, and other “internet on the go” opportunities is perfectly aligned with the viewing habits of a community that is first to embrace new technology. And with African Americans also representing $1.3 trillion in consumer buying power, BNC provides advertisers a more focused opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with this community
What does BNC’s logo represent?
BNC’s logo is designed to represent the strong influence that African Americans have on directing the broader American culture. The smaller sphere, representing African Americans, leads the larger sphere, the broader American and global culture, while illuminating it with hues ranging from yellow gold to urgent red. BNC believes that black culture drives the whole of American culture, and American culture drives global culture. BNC’s logo shows how the network intends to illuminate black culture by authentically representing African Americans and telling the full story of news and events that matter in African American communities.
In addition to traditional newscast blocks in its programming schedule, BNC plans to air originally produced educational programs in the form of documentaries and docuseries. Are these programs really news?
BNC’s goal is not just to tell stories from a different point-of-view than other news outlets. BNC’s originally produced educational programs will tell comprehensive stories of news and events, both past and present, that impact our African American communities in ways that have never before been told to a worldwide audience. BNC’s originally-produced programs will cover a wide range of topics from high-profile personalities to those who operate day-to-day below the radar but still have a significant impact on their communities; from historical cornerstone events in black culture to health and wellness issues specific to African Americans; and much more. In addition to our daily newscasts, these originally-produced educational programs are how BNC will serve as a news organization that tells not just more of the story, but also provides more diverse perspectives that allow us to better understand the issues, ourselves, and each other.
Will Black News Channel work with black civic and community organizations like the Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, National Urban League, HBCUs, and others?
BNC has partnered, and will continue to partner, with many African American civic, educational, and community organizations for the purpose of gathering news and information that is relevant to our viewing audience. These partnerships would serve to inform BNC’s audience about events, stories, and people of interest to the African American communities; however, BNC does not enter into content partnerships for the purpose of promoting an ideology, political position, or indoctrination campaign. BNC will serve as a non-ideological platform for black policymakers to reach their constituents.
When did the Black News Channel launch?
BNC launched on February 10, 2020.
Will people be able to watch BNC on the Internet?
BNC will host a news Web site, and visitors to the site will be able to view and read about news stories that aired on the network. In addition to BNC’s news Web site, the network is currently negotiating with OTT vendors, wireless telephone providers, and smart tv manufacturers to offer its programming on a variety of digital platforms. BNC will announce its availability on each OTT/digital platform as agreements are reached.
How do I watch BNC?
Currently, BNC is available on Spectrum, Xfinity, and the Roku Channel. News updates and other content can be found on our website at www.blacknewschannel.com. Additional distribution partners will be announced soon, and we encourage viewers to follow us on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more updates.
On which channel will BNC air in my local area?
BNC recommends that viewers check with their local service provider on channel and other viewing options. We also encourage viewers where BNC is not available to contact their local service provider to request that they carry the Black News Channel.
Who will be your prime-time anchors and on-air talent?
BNC will have two primary anchor teams who will host the network’s morning and evening newscasts, along with mid-morning and evening programs based in Washington, D.C. covering newsmakers and feature stories from around the nation. In addition to our primary anchor teams, we have high-profile expert contributors who will add commentary and information to each newscast. More information about BNC and its programs can be found at www.blacknewschannel.com. Below are the names and brief introduction to our main news shows, anchor teams and links to promotional videos.
EVENING NEWSCAST – Click Here
- Prior to BNC, he was an anchor for the primetime weekday newscasts of a broadcast affiliate covering the Washington, DC metro area, including northern Virginia, Maryland, south central Pennsylvania, and West Virginia since 2018.
- Before moving to the Maryland market, he worked as a primetime weekday news anchor in Baton Rouge, LA for three years.
- He is a veteran award-winning newscaster who began his career in the 1970s.
- He has worked in major markets such as Connecticut, Atlanta, Detroit, and Washington, DC.
- She is an Emmy Award winning television journalist.
- Prior to BNC, she has worked as a freelance anchor and reporter for CBS News in New York, EXTRA Entertainment show, and BET.
- She has served as an evening anchor for stations in Canada and Orlando, Florida during her career.
- She is adept at covering high-profile people and major events, including elections, award shows, celebrity interviews, and townhall meetings.
MORNING NEWSCAST – Click Here
- Prior to BNC, she was a morning anchor and producer on Good Morning Charlottesville since 2017.
- She obtained a Master of Science in multimedia journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University.
- She earned her undergraduate degree in communications and a minor in information technology systems from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.
- She has covered topics such as the Virginia General Assembly, Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally, 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, LA, during Hurricane Katrina.
- Prior to BNC, she was an anchor for the evening newscasts for a FOX affiliate in Baton Rouge, LA since 2017.
- Before joining the primetime evening newscast, she anchored the weekend newscasts and reported live for breaking news when needed.
- The daughter of a career military family, she has traveled throughout much of the United States, teaching her how to communicate well with many different people from all walks of life.
- She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications/Broadcast Journalism from Louisiana State University.
- She has strong verbal, written and visual communications skills.
The Kelly Wright Show – Click Here
- He is a Emmy Award-winning TV news journalist reporting major news events across the globe for more than thirty years, including during the war in Iraq.
- Wright served as cohost for Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, and America’s News Headquarters Weekend.
- Wright worked at several successful local television stations and served as co-anchor of News at Ten at WAVY TV and WVBT-TV in Norfolk, Virginia, WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina, and WWOR in New York City where he reported on high profile figures like John F. Kennedy, Jr. and mafia boss, John Gotti.
DC TODAY LIVE – Click Here
- Prior to BNC, he received more than 20 Emmy Awards and hundreds of other awards for his investigative reporting in Washington, DC.
- He has served as a primetime news anchor for nearly 40 years.
- He is a filmmaker, author, public speaker, crisis communicator, broadcaster, and narrator.
- His motto is, “No story is too big to tell, or too small to make special.”
- Prior to BNC, she hosted two diverse programs geared toward an urban audience of two million viewers in the nation’s capital since 2014.
- She is a highly published journalist with more than 12 years of experience.
- She authored, anchored, reported and produced multimedia content for The Washington Post, USA Today, PBS, CBS, ABC and NBC.
- She created, wrote, researched cold cases, and conducted interviews for a special multimedia project, Vanished, about African Americans who have gone missing.
- She earned her master’s degree in Corporate & Organizational Communications/Social Media Strategy from Northeastern University in Boston.
METEOROLOGIST – Click Here
- Prior to BNC, he was the morning meteorologist and news anchor for an NBC and FOX affiliate in Baton Rouge, LA.
- He has more than 20 years of experience as a meteorologist for broadcast news, including serving as the Chief Meteorologist.
- He earned three bachelor’s degrees from Texas Tech University in the fields of atmospheric sciences, broadcast journalism, and history.
- He won awards for Best Weathercast three years in a row.
SPORTS – Click Here
- He is an Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster
- Began his on-air career at WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
- He worked at WPMI, the NBC affiliate in Mobile, Alabama, where he won Associated Press Best Sports Anchor honors for the year 2000.
- He worked for the worldwide leader in sports, ESPN, for four years
- He worked as sports anchor/reporter at WSB-TV, the number one station in Atlanta
BNC’s executive team has been working on this project for more than a decade. What took so long?
A culturally specific network solely dedicated to African American news is completely unique and original. BNC conducted several years of research regarding viewer demands and audience viewing habits. The network’s management produced 18-months of live, on-air programming trials to test program concepts, broadcast engineering technology, and viewer demand.
How will BNC succeed where other minority networks have failed?
BNC is the first black news network to secure linear cable tv and satellite distribution in advance of its launch. BNC has also been well received by advertisers who hope to capitalize on the dynamic and growing $1.3 trillion African American economy. BNC is dedicated to providing original, fact-based news and educational programming that is culturally specific and authentic to our viewing audience.
Who makes up BNC’s executive team?
BNC’s co-founder J.C. Watts, Jr., a former congressman from Oklahoma, celebrated athlete, entrepreneur, author, and business leader, is the network’s chairman and interim CEO. Frank Watson is BNC’s vice president and general manager. Watson is a former CBS executive who managed two CBS flagship stations—WCTV in Tallahassee and WINK TV in South Florida. Gary Wordlaw is BNC’s vice president of news and programming. Wordlaw, who began his career in broadcast news more than 50 years ago, is responsible for developing and producing original news programming. As a veteran station executive, Wordlaw has worked for many of the nation’s largest local television markets like Washington, DC and Baltimore. Jim Zerwekh serves as BNC’s chief operating officer. Zerwekh is a prominent senior media executive with strong leadership and communications skills. He has an excellent track record of managing and optimizing large scale operations for broadcast stations and cable television networks.
Other BNC executive team members include former Tallahassee mayor John Marks, III, vice president of government and community relations. Marks, who is the longest serving mayor in the history of the City of Tallahassee, is a lawyer by trade; and, he served eight years on the Florida Public Services Commission, two of those years as its chairman. Tommy Ross, director of communications, has more than 40 years of legislative, political, public affairs, corporate, and management experience, and he is also an award-winning film producer. Michael Anapolsky is vice president of advertising sales, and he has worked for the past 28 years in various sales and programming leadership positions in both the cable television and broadcast industries. Kenny Elcock, director of engineering and operations, is designing a network for BNC that pushes beyond the comfortable limits of today’s technology to create a new way of delivering news content that customizes BNC’s programming and services in such a way as to offer an enriched viewer experience and meet growing audience demand for more interactivity. Prior to joining BNC as the director of finance and human resources, Maureen Brown served as the president of a private consulting firm she founded that worked with businesses and individuals to prepare financial analysis and modeling in order to move a company’s vision forward. Before that, Brown served as the chief operating officer of the WNBA Atlanta Dream.
Why is BNC’s network operation center located in Tallahassee, Florida, rather than in New York City or Washington, DC?
BNC’s physical location for the network’s automated newsroom, network operations center, teleport and 4K Ultra HD studio facilities is Tallahassee, Florida. BNC will also have news bureaus located in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, Washington, DC, and Chicago. BNC will continue to expand its news bureau locations to include other major urban markets throughout the country. In addition, BNC plans to establish bureau locations on the campuses of select Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) that have schools of journalism and the infrastructure to support our bureau needs. Locating bureaus on HBCU campuses affords BNC direct access to train the next generation of young aspiring black journalists enables and BNC to have access to a diverse and rich pool of on-air contributing analysts, including HBCU alumni and faculty—who are artists, authors and experts in education, economics, health & well-being, and more.
Will BNC’s programming have a particular political bent, orientation, or perspective?
No. BNC’s programming is not politically or ideologically driven. Rather, BNC’s programming is culturally specific, relevant and representative of the rich and diverse perspectives of our African American viewers.
Other than hard news, what types of programming will BNC feature?
In addition to hard news, BNC will feature studio talk shows, original docu-series, regular updates on campus activities and sports at HBCUs, breaking news, original concert series, personality profiles, health and wellness programming, mid- and long-form shows about fashion, beauty, entertainment, and more. BNC’s programming will include content served in a variety of formats covering a wide range of topics that are all relevant, authentic, and culturally specific to our African American audience.
What makes BNC’s news different from existing cable news services, such as CNN, Fox News or MSNBC?
The following four points differentiate BNC from other cable and broadcast news services:
- Existing broadcast and cable news networks select news stories and events that appeal to the broadest audience possible. BNC will provide coverage of events and activities of specific interest and cultural significance to African Americans.
- BNC’s mission is to offer programming that will “inform, educate, inspire and empower the African American community.”
- African Americans are very loyal to television programming that features black cast members or black journalists, as well as networks operated by black people.
- BNC’s partnership with Historical Black Colleges & Universities and the development of its state-of-the-art news headquarters provides opportunities to train aspiring journalists in advanced newsgathering and production technologies.
What does Black News Channel hope to accomplish?
- Give voice to an underserved community.
- Build bridges to connect the many diverse cultures in our nation.
- Facilitate a more informed national conversation about challenges facing our urban communities.
- Engage black viewers in our nation’s social, economic and political discussions and debates.
- Create a platform for black newsmakers and policymakers to reach their constituents.
- Showcase African American achievers creating positive role models for black youth.
- Produce educational programming that is culturally relevant and specific to black viewers.
- Inspire black viewers with uplifting and spiritual messages produced daily.
- Preserve a proud black American heritage; and
- Recruit and train aspiring black journalists.
How does one apply for a job at Black News Channel?
Anyone may contact BNC toll-free at (844) 262-3968 to reach the Human Resources department and inquire about available job openings. Or, send your resume and cover letter to HumanResources@BlackNewsChannel.com. We are always posting new job openings on Indeed.com and our Web site, www.BlackNewsChannel.com. So, check often.