Black News Channel — a startup news network with majority financial backing from Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan — has shut down.
An internal memo from CEO Princell Hair confirmed that the network ceased operations on Friday and filed for bankruptcy. According to the Los Angeles Times, the network failed to meet payroll on Friday. Staffers were previously told on Thursday that paychecks would be delayed, per the report.
"We have been unable to meet our financial goals, and the timeline afforded to us has run out," Hair wrote in his memo.
Khan purchased the Jaguars in 2011. Forbes lists Khan's net worth at $7.8 billion, a sum that makes him the fourth wealthiest team owner in the NFL, according to the Florida Times-Union. According to the Times, Khan invested $50 million into Black News Channel in 2019, making him the majority shareholder. After multiple rounds of layoffs and attempts to find a buyer, Khan declined to invest further into the network, according to the Times.
The network launched in 2020 with a "mission to inject positive change into a news landscape that, for far too long, had underserved and overlooked Black and Brown people," according to Hair.
Per Nielsen data obtained by the Times, BNC averaged fewer than 10,000 viewers while reaching more than 50 million households. It employed 230 staffers. According to the report, benefits will expire next week, and there will be no severance packages.