Monday, January 24, 2022

Bah Humbug! Black News Channel Announces ‘Brutal’ Layoffs a Week Before Christmas

JC Watts - Black News Channel
JC Watts -founder of Black News Channel

*Maybe it’s not ALL over, but it’s certainly not looking good for the Black News Channel. It’s on life support.

Based in Tallahassee, Florida, BNC, the fledgling Black targets news network announced it was laying off an unspecified number of its 300 employees, 75 of whom are based in Atlanta.

As we announce this, we can’t help but think of Scrooge since this is happening days before Christmas.

The bottom line is the network has struggled to draw viewers, which is an understatement. The Wrap tracked the Nielsen ratings of 124 basic-cable channels with Fox News on top. BNC came in 123rd with an average of 4,000 viewers at any given time.

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: INFLATION and its Impact on Black life EXPLAINED | Video

BNC - Mike Hill Sharon Reed Pricell Hair
This image released by BNC shows Mike Hill, left, and Sharon Reed posing with Black News Channel president & CEO Princell Hair. The Black News Channel, nearly invisible upon its launch last year, is revamping to take on a new look starting Monday. It is adding a four-hour morning show with Hill and Reed and will be emphasizing commentary and analytical news coverage moving forward.

According to a memo, CEO Princell Hair broke the news Friday to employees:

“I am reaching out to you today with some very unfortunate news about a reduction in our workforce. As you know, throughout the course of this year, we have been expanding at a rapid rate. At the same time, the U.S. economy is facing some tough challenges, several of which are heavily impacting the media industry and the revenue streams that fuel our emerging enterprise.

“I am incredibly proud of this team and all that we have built and accomplished,” he added. “Your work has been outstanding, but we have reached a point where a considerable adjustment is needed in order to protect the health of our business and keep BNC moving forward. … This is a very difficult day, and a reminder that stages of our journey will be arduous and painful.”

Hair noted that “we also recognize and are saddened that this change is coming at this time of year.”

Charles Blow Yodit Tewolde Princell Hair Marc Lamonty Hill
Charles Blow Yodit Tewolde Princell Hair Marc Lamonty Hill

Insiders told Urban Hollywood 411 the BNC cuts were “brutal” and included all levels of staff from producers to the vice president of network production. We’re told “dozens” of employees around the nation received phone calls Friday saying their services were no longer needed. The layoffs are effective immediately, with medical insurance ending Dec. 31.

One insider warned the cuts may not be over

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