Black News Channel files for bankruptcy protection

The logo of cable news startup Black News Channel. (Logo courtesy of Black News Channel/Graphic by The Desk)

The Black News Channel says it owes tens of millions of dollars to hundreds of creditors, according to a bankruptcy filing filed in Florida court this week.

The now-defunct news channel revealed it owed between $10 million and $50 million, with between 200 and 1,000 creditors owed money after the startup was abruptly shut down this month.

The cable channel launched in February 2020 as an alternative to CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. The channel focused on providing news and political commentary on topics of interest to the black community.

An analysis of cable news ratings showed that the Black News channel struggled to attract significant audiences outside of major news situations. This month, the network offered live coverage of the Senate confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court earlier this month.

After running out of money this month, the Black News channel suspended broadcast operations and laid off around 230 workers. Many of those employees are still waiting to receive their full pay, according to two former employees who spoke with Office this week.

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