Black TV News

Is America ready for a 24-hour black cable news network?

Powell, a former CBS News senior producer who worked on BET Nightly News (both owned by Viacom). “There are people who want to know how what’s going on in the world affects them as a black person. How does it affect the lives of the people in their world, in their neighborhood?” adds Powell, who is currently a producer for the cable outlet Voom HDNews, the nation’s only news channel that broadcasts strictly in hi-definition.

Experts contend that essential for BTNC’s success will be the necessary resources to deliver quality programming. One key resource will be on-air talent. While the company has not released any financial data or possible commentators with regard to its launch, for some perspective on costs, Will J. Wright, the general manager of Voom HDNews, estimates that it can cost approximately $7 million to $8 million annually to produce a quality one-hour news show. With regard to key on-air talent, radio personality Michael Baisden said in an interview this week that he is definitely interested in BTNC.

Powell stresses that the network must secure people experienced in putting together news programming. “General business experience is not enough,” she says. She attributes the failure of BET Nightly News, in part, to those in charge lacking the experience necessary to run a news operation.

In an ever competitive and crowded media and entertainment marketplace where the stakes are always riding high on the launch of any new television channel, for the sake of the black community and the sake of BTNC, we must all hope that the network has what it takes to keep us watching.

George Alexander’s column on the business of entertainment appears weekly at He is the author of “Why We Make Movies” (Random House, $15.95), and ” Queens: Portraits of Black Women and their Fabulous Hair” (Random House, $29.95).

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  • Rev. George Brooks

    A Black Television News channel that is owned and controlled by whites and Jews is NOT needed, and will NOT be accepted by many of us in the black communities across the nation. In fact, though far too late, my organization, family members and followers are planning to protest BET, Centric, and all other non-black media that are running ANYTHING that is focused on the black community, but not totally owned and controlled by black people. We will be picketing this particular station, specifically, and out in front of the residences of Debra Lee and other owners. But, unlike, other black groups that have attempting this, ours will not be a one-day protest, but will continue until changes are made. And we will be calling for a boycott of these channels also, as well as this Black Television News Channel by J.C. Watts. Which, too, is going to be controlled news for blacks. For no Jews or whites have any business having ANY degree of ownership or control of what black people see, say or do. And we intend to bring it to an end. — Rev. George Brooks of Murfreesboro, TN. (615) 494-9056. And we will see you all in Washington in the Spring, 2010.

  • Love this course!!!!  Succession planning was always key in corporate…thank you for reminding me that it applies to the small business owner as well!

  • Ransford

    Awesome information!  When I use to work for a management consultant firm, I learned than policies & procedures are key. You are so right in your accesment of continuing your business legacy as well as keepinf your financials in order.

  • Donna

    Thanks for the tips Lynnette,  not at the exiting stage, but will plan now for later.

    • Infinitehi4

      Lynnette this is an area few of us consider when setting up our businesses.  After listening to the video now I view a Succession Plan as important as my Estate Planning documents.  Valuable info and it keeps getting better and better.

  • Tanesha

    Succession planning is so important when looking to carry on the mission and vision of a company, and the maintaining of its brand! This is key information. Although the owner leaves a business, It should not drastically change the goals of vision of the company. Thank you so much for this valuable information!


  • Sandra Butler


  • Cathy Sims

    Thanks for the information!!! It has enable me to look and plan for my company’s business future. Now, I know that Poetic Chat can go on even when I have considered my retirement.  

  • Tettcommunitydevelopment

    I plan to work on my succession plan this week.  I’m still in the start up stage and I see now that it’s never to early to have this exit plan in place.

  • hummmm

  • natalie johnson

    I really like the idea of being open to “seeing” your competition as a potential for establishing legacy within your own company – CLEVER!

    • Rhonda Ulmer

      Me too Natalie! Something to think about . . . 

  • Bobby

    Make sure to provide your eventual successor a “clean glass of water”.

  • Rhonda Ulmer

    Thank you Ms. Lynnette for the wonderful advice! I know exiting our business is not something we want to imagine, however it’s something we need to plan for to ensure our business lives on. 

  • Cleaning up the financials! I have the reciepts but definately am getting started on the books.

  • Devonne

    I will start working on an exit strategy now, though I’m still in the start-up phase, the videos on exit strategy made me think about something that I had not thought about until now.

  • Janarthanan Dakshnamoorthy

    It is interesting to know that you have to consider your vendors when creating an exit strategy.