On Feb. 10, 2020, the Black News Channel, a 24/7 television network for African American news, will officially launch. The BNC, which is projected to reach millions of households nationwide, will be headquartered in Tallahassee.
A former CareerSource office building located at 2320 Killearn Center Blvd. will serve as the BNC studio, and the network will have other offices in major cities around the country.
The BNC will be run by Chairman J.C. Watts, who is a former Republican U.S. Congressman, and CEO Bob Brillante, a Tallahassee resident and television manager.
Watts discussed the goals of the BNC in a teleconference broadcast back in October 2019.
“This platform will create a venue for the African American community to have a dialogue to talk about news, education and cultural things,” Watts said.
“We’re not looking to be Republican or Democrat. There will be current affairs, but we are culturally specific to the African American community. MSNBC, Fox News, CNN may have African American faces on their news shows, but they are not necessarily covering the community from a cultural perspective,” he said.
“We’re not looking to be left or right,” he said. “We will be authentic and true to enriched and diverse African American experience.”
Planning and preparation for the BNC have been in progress for more than a decade. A top investor in the project is Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid “Shad” Kahn.
“I believe there is an undeniable calling for everything the Black News Channel will deliver to African-American television audiences, who have historically been underserved,” Kahn said in a press release. “This is a chance for me to make an impact on how African Americans report and consume news and related programming, how their voices are amplified and heard, and how all of us can better connect socially, culturally, economically, and more.”
According to the BNC’s website, the network will feature traditional anchored newscasts, sports programming, and studio shows.
J.C. Watts will host one studio show, “My America,” a weekly talk show on current issues.
Tallahassee-based therapist Jane Marks will also host a weekly studio show, “Getting Ready With Jane: Today’s Teen,” offering advice to young African Americans.
Another show, “Living Social at HBCUs,” will offer coverage of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The BNC will debut at 6 a.m. on Monday, February 10 through major providers like Comcast, Charter, and Dish.