The National Writers Union stands in solidarity with the 200+ former Black News Channel (BNC) workers who were impacted by the company’s abrupt closure. On March 24, 2022, employees learned that the paychecks they were expecting would be delayed. On what should have been payday, March 25, 2022, BNC ceased operations two years after its official launch.
Not only were BNC staffers blindsided by the sudden shutdown and denied their last paycheck, but they are also without severance and unused PTO payouts. Additionally, their insurance ended on March 31, 2022, mere days after they learned that they lost their jobs.
The Black News Channel—headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida—officially debuted in 2020 to much fanfare. Amidst a 2021 re-launch and an on-going legal battle over gender discrimination claims, the company ramped up its offerings to include an enviable line-up of anchors and a wide-ranging slate of programming. All of that was made possible by the hard work of the on-air talent, writers, researchers, camera operators, producers, and everyone else behind the scenes. Billionaire Shad Khan (Jacksonville Jaguars owner) funded the operation as BNC’s majority shareholder.
Former BNC employees were told that they would receive the missing final paycheck on April 8th, but instead, they received an email on April 7th stating that because of the legal proceedings related to BNC’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the April 8th payment would not happen. BNC reiterated that it intends to pay all of the wages earned through March 25th.
The National Writers Union will keep a close eye on this situation and put the full weight of our organizational skills and resources towards getting former BNC employees their just due.
If you are a former Black News Channel employee who was impacted by the March 25th shutdown, please email our Recording Secretary Demetria Wambia at Demetria@nwu.org so that we have your contact information. We will be sending out an invitation to a virtual meeting in the near future for all interested former BNC employees. The purpose of the meeting will be to establish a baseline and to sort out the next steps. #Solidarity #BNCOwes