Black News Channel – a start-up news network with majority financial backing from Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan – has shut down.
An internal memo from CEO Princell Hair confirmed that the network ceased operations on Friday and filed for bankruptcy. According to the Los Angeles Times, the network failed to meet the payroll on Friday. Staff members had been told Thursday that paychecks would be delayed, according to the report.
“We were unable to meet our financial goals and the time allotted to us has run out,” Hair wrote in his memo.
Khan bought the Jaguars in 2011. Forbes lists Khan’s net worth at $7.8 billion, a sum that makes him the fourth-richest team owner in the NFL, according to the Florida Times-Union. According to the Times, Khan invested $50 million in Black News Channel in 2019, making him the majority shareholder. After several rounds of layoffs and attempts to find a buyer, Khan refused to invest further in the network, according to the Times.
The network launched in 2020 with a “mission to inject positive change into a media landscape that for far too long had underserved and neglected black and brown people,” according to Hair.
According to Nielsen data obtained by The Times, BNC averaged less than 10,000 viewers while reaching more than 50 million households. It employed 230 employees. According to the report, the benefits will expire next week and there will be no severance payments.