The Black News Channel, a cable news network geared towards a Black audience, is struggling with ratings, leading to the announcement of layoffs. The Wrap secured the memo that President and CEO Princell Hair sent out to his staff informing them of the news.
“I am reaching out to you today with some very unfortunate news about a reduction in our workforce,” Hair said. “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. 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.”
The network’s leading anchors include Sharon Reed, Mike Hill, Laverne McGee, Del Walters, Marc Lamont Hill, Kelly Wright, and Charles Blow. Furthermore, BNC employs roughly 300 employees, so there’s no clear how many of them will be laid off and whether it will include some of their top talents.
“We kind of felt this was going to happen,” an anonymous staffer said. “Many employees agree the ratings could have been better had the network spent money on promotions. People don’t watch when they don’t know a network exits.”
The Tallahassee-based network offers 24/7 news, sports, and entertainment coverage. BNC was second-to-last place in ratings for 2021, averaging 4,000 viewers throughout the year.
BNC did not immediately reply to a request from TheWrap to comment on the number of laid-off employees.
Alex Wagner Is Replacing Rachel Maddow Tuesday-Friday on MSNBC
Wagner’s show debuts on Aug. 16, and the name has not been announced.
This year marked the transition of Rachel Maddow away from being a daily news host at MSNBC as she works on other projects, which is part of her new contract. As a result, it’s been a revolving door of hosts filling for Maddow’s time away.
However, that’s all about to change as Alex Wagner is succeeding Rachel Maddow as the weekday host of MSNBC’s 9 p.m. hour, four days a week, Tuesday through Friday.
In an interview with the New York Times, MSNBC president Rashida Jones shared the news about Wagner being the new permanent host for the four days that Maddow is away.
“This is not a show where our hair is on fire, and we’re yelling past each other, and we’re creating these manufactured moments of tension. I really want the takeaway from this show to be a better understanding of what’s happening in the world,” Jones said regarding the show’s format under Wagner.
Wagner rejoined MSNBC this past February as a political analyst and guest host in primetime, mostly filling in for Maddow and occasionally for Chris Hayes. Furthermore, Wagner becomes the only Asian American to host a primetime cable news show.
Her show debuts on Aug. 16, and the name has not been announced.
Tony Dokoupil Reportedly Extends Deal With CBS News
Dokoupil spent several years writing for Newsweek, The Daily Beast, and NBC News’ digital side before coming aboard at CBS News
CBS News is keeping its “CBS Mornings” co-anchor Tony Dokoupil as Variety reports that the two parties have reached a contract extension that would keep him alongside Gayle King and Nate Burleson.
With Dokoupil now inked to a new deal, the morning news show wars are on as CBS attempted to close the gap with their rivals NBC, who has the “Today Show,” and ABC with “Good Morning America.”
Usually, “Today” conquers the critical demographic. Meanwhile, “CBS Mornings,” with a new format launched last September, has seen its share boost among female viewers in that age range. Furthermore, the top executive at CBS News considers a unique opportunity in the A.M.
“The re-imagined ‘CBS Mornings’ — which distinguishes itself everyday through its hard-hitting reporting, longer-form storytelling, and exclusive interviews – is hitting its stride,” says Neeraj Khemlani, co-president of CBS’ news-and-stations unit.
“The program is closer to its competitors now more than at any point in the history of the franchise — more than 10 years ago, more than 5 years ago. Gayle, Tony, Nate, and Vlad have incredible chemistry, and under the strong leadership of Shawna Thomas, the entire anchor, reporting, and producing teams have the wind at their backs…and the audience is clearly responding.”
Dokoupil spent several years writing for Newsweek, The Daily Beast, and NBC News’ digital side before coming aboard at CBS News as a correspondent and contributor to “Sunday Morning.”
In his time as “CBS This Morning,” co-host Dokoupil has often been dispatched to big breaking-news scenes, and he emphasizes “talking to regular people where the story is happening and happening to them.”
Christi Paul: I Couldn’t Be Who I Needed for My Family
Sunday marked the final “News Day” broadcast for CNN weekend anchor Christi Paul
Sunday marked the final “News Day” broadcast for CNN weekend anchor Christi Paul, who bid an emotional goodbye to her colleagues and audience.
Paul will be returning to her home state of Ohio to begin in a new position, but before that, the show aired a retrospective of Paul’s time at the cable news channel. Furthermore, she received messages from several coworkers, including her former co-anchor Victor Blackwell and her current one, Boris Sanchez.
She told the viewers that the decision was “part of the Great Resignation,” choosing to step back from the high-profile but highly-demanding weekend anchor role.
“I love these people. I love this place. I am so grateful, and I’m so tired. I’m so exhausted. We’re up between 1:00 and 2:00 every Saturday and Sunday. And I just could not be who I needed to be for my family, is what it really came down to,” Paul said.
Also, the experience of her husband’s battle with Covid-19, which had him go to the ER at one point in 2020 and separated from their parents during the pandemic, made her and her husband rethink their priorities.
“It was really bad for about three-and-a-half weeks, and there were moments I thought I was going to be a single mom,” she added.