Watts' 24-hour black news channel forms partnership with Florida A&M
(March 1, 2013) The chairman of J.C. Watts Companies hopes to
merge the Black Television News Channel (BTNC) with Florida A&M's School
of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC), bringing a 24-hour news
channel to the university.
The BTNC program consists of a news channel geared towards the
African-American demographic. Its programming targets a high-growth and
loyal consumer who is bombarded with news about sports, crime and
The program's mission is to provide intelligent programming that is
informative, educational, inspiring and empowering for its
African-American audience, according to the company's business plan.
Watts said his colleagues have had their eyes on the SJGC for many
"The people involved in the network know of the university and the human
resources, as well as the students at the School of Journalism here,
would be very beneficial to a news channel," he said.
Watts said 80 percent, or $4 million, has already been funded for the
The goal of the collaboration between the BTNC program and FAMU would be
to benefit students' educational experience, as well as to contribute to
the delivery of important news to the African-American community.
FAMU officials think the program will provide learning, internship and
employment opportunities to students.
Ann Kimbrough, dean of the SJGC, is excited about the changes the
university could undergo as a result of this partnership.
"There are many exciting features to this proposed partnership,"
Kimbrough said. "School of Journalism & Graphic Communication students
and faculty will have fresh opportunities to participate in
newsgathering and related worldwide distribution of news content."
This partnership is also expected to highlight the achievements and
duties of the faculty at the university and attract high-quality
students. Journalism programs at other HBCUs will also benefit from the
BTNC partnership by having the resources provided by the channel to
enhance their programs.
Perhaps the biggest contribution the BTNC program would bring to the
university is its revenue generating ability.
Tallahassee would also benefit by producing $33.6 million of goods and
services across the local economy, according to the Florida State
University Center for Economic Forecasting & Analysis.
Students are also anticipating the possible collaboration. Kendrah
Mincey, a senior broadcast journalism student from Miami, thinks the
program will bring many opportunities to FAMU.
"I hope the Black Television News Channel does come to FAMU, mainly
because it will provide a real-world experience for students in the
journalism program," Mincey said.
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