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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JUNE 18: (L-R) BNC Correspondent Aiyana Cristal and “Start Your Day” Hosts Sharon Reed and Mike Hill attend the Juneteenth ‘Celebration of Truth’ Community Festival hosted by Black News Channel in Atlanta’s Historic Castleberry Hill neighborhood on June 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Black News Channel)
“This is such a tremendous opportunity for us to put a stake in the ground and say, ‘We do hear you, we do see you,’” says Vickie Burns, “‘and we want to super serve you: your needs, your interests, your curiosity.”
Burns, a veteran leader in local newsrooms in Chicago, Los Angeles, and most recently New York, where she was the news VP at WPIX, is talking about the new job she starts on Monday: SVP and head of content for Black News Channel (BNC), a fast-growing 24-hour network serving African American viewers.
“It really all comes back to storytelling,” says BNC CEO Princell Hair, “and that is telling those stories in your communities that are most relevant and matter to your audience.” Hair, whose resumé bristles with senior roles that include the CBS owned stations, CNN, and Comcast/NBC regional sports networks, took over a year ago and has wasted no time.
Hair has made distribution deals with cable, satellite and OTT providers to increase the potential audience from about 2 million to 52 million viewers, with more to come. In a relaunch in March, BNC, whose principal backer is Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan,