By Ryan Velez
NewsOne, one of the few Black news voices out there today, has been suspended according to EURWeb, but this statement adds plenty of uncertainty and anger as some are worried about what will happen to the voices and platforms that appeared on the show.
“Providing a platform for Black voices is in the DNA of our entire company,” said TV One CEO Alfred Liggins. “As a Black-owned multi-media company, Urban One (parent company of TV One) engages Black America daily, not just on television, but radio and also online via NewsOne.com and on 77 digital platforms. We know there is a void in mainstream media and we plan to continue to be an outlet for Black news. Roland Martin will be a part of that plan.”
According to the formal statement from TV One, financial issues played a major role. “The network invested in the production of NewsOne Now for the past four years. In an effort to save the program, adjustments were made to the format this quarter. Despite the network’s commitment and investment, NewsOne Now did not gain traction with advertisers and viewers. TV One is working to restructure NewsOne Now in 2018 under a new format that will better serve its audience and advertisers,” the network wrote.
The National Association of Black Journalists urged TV One to reconsider. “In a year where journalists have faced daily assaults and attempts to discredit their work with the onslaught of claims of ‘fake news,’ NABJ is concerned by TV One’s decision to halt its signature news program, one of the most credible news sources, especially for black and disenfranchised communities,” it said in a statement.
Some were more forceful in their condemnation, like radio host Tom Joyner, who called for a boycott of the network on his show. “I’m calling for a boycott! I’m not trying to dress it up," he said. “It always comes down to money. All of television is suffering now, but to heal the many issues by sacrificing your community is not the answer.” Notably, his show is ran by Urban One, the parent company that also runs TV One, so Joyner may have opened himself up for a potential suspension or sanction of his own by saying this.
Roland Martin tweeted Thursday, “Tough morning. Had to tell our NBC News Channel crew that @tvonetv #NewsOneNow is ending. Lot of my white staffers were moved to tears. Why am I saying that? They expressed how much they learned about Black America working with us for 4 years. This show changed lives, folks.”