Black News Channel — which shut down functions on Friday, just two yrs soon after producing a splashy debut — has submitted for Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy in Florida.
In its Monday submitting, the Tallahassee-dependent network stated $10 million-$50 million in liabilities, and approximated among 200 and 999 creditors are owed income.
“They filed for personal bankruptcy faster than they paid out their personnel the revenue they’re owed,” a person previous employee informed TheWrap on Tuesday. “I been given a partial payment this early morning for two weeks of do the job. They however owe me for a further 7 days.”
That former staffer was a single of about 230 who have been enable go final Friday when the channel ceased functions the network options to air repeats for the relaxation of this thirty day period.
The channel, known to viewers as BNC, was established by former GOP congressman J.C. Watts and veteran broadcast government Bob Brillante with a mission to give information for and about underserved communities. Just months immediately after the start in February 2020, Brillante was ousted and Princell Hair joined BNC as CEO in the drop of 2020. Hair additional numerous several hours of daily are living programming, at some point released a small-lived streaming channel, and employed hundreds of workers.
The choosing spree came as Shad Khan, the billionaire operator of the Jacksonville Jaguars, injected a noted $50 million bucks into the community and turned the principal investor. Even with the infusion of hard cash, insiders advised TheWrap tiny of it was employed for internet marketing. As a substitute, BNC’s management group appeared to the media to get the word out, which includes the Tallahassee Democrat, which in September 2021 posted a profile of Hair with the headline: “Black News Channel flourishing underneath new President and CEO Princell Hair.”
Twelve months afterwards — in December 2021 — the community commenced laying off dozens of workers.
BNC was also strike with a course-action lawsuit filed by 13 previous and current feminine staff members alleging discrimination and a “sexist” workplace (executives denied the accusations).
A Nielsen scores analysis compiled by TheWrap uncovered of 124 cable news channels in 2021, BNC arrived in 123rd with an average of 4,000 viewers on any given present. Fox Information was No. 1 with an regular 2.361 million primetime viewers just about every night.
Past Thursday, the network’s human means department despatched out an email expressing staff members would not be paid out as scheduled the adhering to working day. “The March 25 payroll deposit will be delayed. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this could result in,” stated the memo from human sources VP, Nicole Collins. “We are actively doing the job to take care of this make a difference speedily, and will suggest you with an update as shortly as possible.”
On March 25, BNC staffers realized the channel experienced achieved the conclude of its journey. As workforce were notified by cellphone that the channel was ceasing operations, Hair sent out a memo to staffers expressing he was “saddened and dissatisfied.”
“During the earlier number of months, we have endured very unpleasant workforce reductions at all amounts of the network as we worked to achieve our monetary objective of a split-even enterprise. This has compelled all of you to do far more with fewer, and your contributions have been outstanding,” Hair stated in the memo obtained by TheWrap. “Unfortunately, because of to complicated industry circumstances and global fiscal pressures, we have been not able to meet our economic objectives, and the timeline afforded to us has operate out.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.