Black News Channel — which shut down functions on Friday, just two years after creating a splashy debut — has submitted for Chapter 11 individual bankruptcy in Florida.
In its Monday submitting, the Tallahassee-primarily based network detailed $10 million-$50 million in liabilities, and believed in between 200 and 999 lenders are owed revenue.
“They submitted for bankruptcy more quickly than they paid their workers the dollars they are owed,” one former personnel informed TheWrap on Tuesday. “I obtained a partial payment this morning for two weeks of work. They still owe me for a different 7 days.”
That previous staffer was a single of around 230 who ended up let go past Friday when the channel ceased operations the community programs to air repeats for the rest of this month.
The channel, recognised to viewers as BNC, was launched by former GOP congressman J.C. Watts and veteran broadcast executive Bob Brillante with a mission to present information for and about underserved communities. Just months after the start in February 2020, Brillante was ousted and Princell Hair joined BNC as CEO in the fall of 2020. Hair added numerous hrs of everyday are living programming, finally introduced a limited-lived streaming channel, and hired hundreds of personnel.
The employing spree came as Shad Khan, the billionaire operator of the Jacksonville Jaguars, injected a noted $50 million pounds into the community and became the principal trader. Despite the infusion of income, insiders instructed TheWrap very little of it was employed for marketing. Rather, BNC’s administration crew seemed to the media to get the term out, such as the Tallahassee Democrat, which in September 2021 released a profile of Hair with the headline: “Black Information Channel thriving beneath new President and CEO Princell Hair.”
Twelve months later — in December 2021 — the community began laying off dozens of staff members.
BNC was also hit with a class-motion lawsuit filed by 13 previous and existing female employees alleging discrimination and a “sexist” workplace (executives denied the accusations).
A Nielsen scores analysis compiled by TheWrap found of 124 cable information channels in 2021, BNC came in 123rd with an normal of 4,000 viewers on any presented present. Fox Information was No. 1 with an regular 2.361 million primetime viewers each evening.
Last Thursday, the network’s human sources division sent out an e mail expressing workforce would not be paid out as scheduled the following day. “The March 25 payroll deposit will be delayed. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may possibly induce,” said the memo from human sources VP, Nicole Collins. “We are actively functioning to take care of this make a difference quickly, and will recommend you with an update as before long as achievable.”
On March 25, BNC staffers learned the channel had arrived at the conclude of its journey. As workers were notified by cell phone that the channel was ceasing functions, Hair despatched out a memo to staffers indicating he was “saddened and upset.”
“During the past couple of months, we have endured quite unpleasant workforce reductions at all levels of the community as we labored to obtain our fiscal aim of a break-even small business. This has compelled all of you to do more with fewer, and your contributions have been remarkable,” Hair stated in the memo acquired by TheWrap. “Unfortunately, because of to tough marketplace ailments and international money pressures, we have been not able to meet our monetary ambitions, and the timeline afforded to us has run out.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.