Black Television News Channel at FAMU Seeks Waiver from FCC


Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D. traveled to the Capitol last week to help seek a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the new Black Television News Channel, which will be housed in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC).

The FCC regulates interstate and international communication by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. President Mangum met with Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) to discuss the channel and the need for a waiver. Other members of the FAMU leadership, including Ann Wead Kimbrough, dean of the FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, also met with Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL), FCC Commissioners and their staffs.

The university’s collaboration with Black Television News Channel is integral to the sustained success of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication’s (SJGC) stellar record in providing relevant, state-of-the-art training to rising multimedia journalists and visual communicators,” said Kimbrough.
“The BTNC initiative with FAMU will help to improve sorely needed information and educational programming to a targeted audience.”



Over the last two decades 18 black-owned and operated full-power television networks that have ceased to exist. BTNC aims to fill that void as the only cable television network in the U.S. fully-dedicated to broadcasting news that will be culturally specific to the African American community. The mission of BTNC is to produce programming that is informative, educational, entertaining, inspiring and empowering to the black viewing audience. Construction will soon begin in SJGC’s 100,000-square-foot facility for a 24-hour, multi-platform news network, the Black Television News Channel.  BTNC also will offer hundreds of internships and other training opportunities to students enrolled at FAMU and all collegiate students of color at schools nationwide.

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Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Director of Digital Strategy for the Tom Joyner Foundation, a writer and editor.