Black News Channel in ‘The Red Zone’ ready for launch
Waldo McMillian from Charter Communications, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY), BNC Chairman JC Watts (Photo: Cheryl Brownlee)
As the historic launch on January 6, 2020, of the Black News Channel (BNC) approaches, officials can count members of Congress among those eagerly anticipating the new platform.
Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.), the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, the chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, joined a gathering of BNC officials, anchors, and other guests at a reception on December 3 in Washington, D.C., to toast the launch of the network.
“This has been long in the making,” said BNC’s Vice President of Community Affairs and former Tallahassee, Florida Mayor John Marks.
“When you see what we’ve done and what we’re going to do, it will knock your socks off,” Marks stated.
Bass called the fledgling channel a necessity for African Americans and others who seek a different perspective than what’s available through other news outlets.
“Right now, we have a lot of opinion in the news,” Bass stated.
“There are 54 members of the Congressional Black Caucus who want to be a part of this because you don’t see us, and you don’t hear about us [through mainstream news],” she said.
With a partnership with the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Black-owned newspapers and media companies, the BNC expects to fast become the top destination for all who want to consume African American news in print, on television and mobile devices.
An independent network that’s minority-owned and operated, BNC will be the nation’s only provider of 24/7 cable news programming dedicated to covering the unique perspective of African American communities.
The channel is the endeavor of the network’s visionaries and co-founders, Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr. and CEO Bob Brillante.
“I remember going to West Africa with a bipartisan delegation that included Democrat William Jefferson,” said Watts, the former Republican congressman out of Oklahoma.
“We saw the little huts and where they kept African people at the door of no return to never see Africa again. But we also saw clinics, doctors, the building of hospitals, lawyers, and others.
“And [Jefferson] went home and told his 90-year-old granddad that we saw doctors and lawyers and the building of hospitals. And, his 90-year-old granddad said, ‘I knew there was more.’
“That is the mission of the Black News Channel. There’s more to the African American community than what we see,” Watts stated.
During the December 3 reception, Watts participated in a fireside chat with Clarke and Waldo McMillan, the vice president of Legislative Affairs at Charter Communications.