Black News Channel has ceased operations two years after its initial launch, network president Princell Hair announced in an internal memo to staffers Friday.
BNC, which launched in February 2020 right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, will no longer deliver live programming as it plans to file for bankruptcy, according to Hair. The network will air previously recorded segments at least through the end of the month, said network officials.
“Unfortunately, due to challenging market conditions and global financial pressures, we have been unable to meet our financial goals, and the timeline afforded to us has run out,” Hair said in the memo. Hair also said the network was forced to endure “painful workforce reductions at all levels of the network” in an effort to achieve the goal of a “break-even” business.
“Please know that I am very thankful for all of your hard work and deep commitment to our mission. We have differentiated ourselves, and your achievements over these last two years should be an immense source of pride that you will carry throughout the rest of your careers," Hair said.
The network, co-founded by J.C. Watts, Jr., positioned itself as the only 24-hour news service targeted to African-American viewers when it launched with more than 50 million viewers in February 2020. BNC’s accessibility had grown to reach more than 250 million touchpoints, with carriage deals with such distributors as DirecTV, Comcast, Spectrum, Dish Network and Verizon Fios, according to the network.