Former Congressman J.C. Watts Launches TV Venture

JC Watts Launches TV Venture
JC Watts wants to get into broadcasting

Kudos to former Congressman J.C. Watts for his latest business venture, the imminent launch of an all Black cable news network tentatively called Black Television News Channel.

By Victoria Horsford for Black Star News

NEW YORK (RUSHPRNEWS) JULY 11, 2008 – Kudos to former Congressman J.C. Watts for his latest business venture, the imminent launch of an all Black cable news network tentatively called Black Television News Channel. Comcast has agreed to cover the network in several cities: Washington, DC, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago. There were several triggers for the Watts’ decision, not the least of which was the Reverend Wright and Barack Obama story, which the media spun out of control.

Watts says, “I am not so sure that you see anything on CNN or Fox News that specifically targets the African- American community.” He should have added….targets the African-American community with positive stories, which are usually under the mainstream TV or cable TV radar. The latest US census figures reflect that nearly 81 % of Detroit’s population is Black. More Black by city stats: Baltimore is 64% Black, the District Of Columbia is 57% Black , Philadelphia is 46% Black, and Chicago is 37%. I am researching the numbers of Blacks in southern USA.

There’s been a gap in Black news since 2005 when BET canceled its Nightly News. Watts’ intention to de-emphasize Black crime stories and to expand coverage of millions of African Americans, whose good works elude mainstream media. While Watts is reticent about naming his partners, he admits that he and two cable industry vets are bankrolling the Black Television News Channel launch. Cable news is a mega million dollar industry. Cable News Network start-up costs are estimated at about $100M.
I submit some personnel suggestions to Mr. Watts’ for his Black Television News Channel. Adam Clayton Powell III knows about media fundraising/financing and has developed and produced television and radio shows. He also has a documentary film producer credit. New York based Eric Tate has commercial TV news producer and radio producer pedigrees. Anthony Ramsay, former NY1 anchor would be an asset to anyone’s news team.

HONOREE WILLIE RANDOLPH: The African Development Foundation ADF will host its Third Annual Awards Dinner on Sunday, August 24, 2008, at Manhattan’s Marriott Marquis Hotel. The 2008 honorees are former NY Mets manager Willie Randolph; David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox; Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs; Robinson Cano NY Yankees, Stephen Marbury, NY Knicks; Osi Umenyiora, NY Giants; Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, MD spine surgery; Martha Zavala Korman, entrepreneur; Alfreda Turner, Delta Airlines Manager of Commercial Sales Development International; and Ambassador Francis Lorenzo, Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN. To be sure, the honoree roster has a strong sports proclivity.

The brainchild of Ghana-born George Ntim, the African Development Foundation was founded in 2003 as an international 501©(3) to promote goodwill and strengthen relationships between Africa and America through youth-oriented initiatives such as education, sports programs, and health awareness. Ntim, ADF president, is the Director of Guest Relations and Community Services at the Marriott Marquis, is also an adjunct professor and NYU and the NYC Technical College.

For more information about the ADF Awards Dinner, email requests to

CRAIN’S NY TOP 26: The 6/30 Crain’s NY Business Magazine lists the NY area’s Largest Minority-Owned Companies. The Crain’s definition of Minority is Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Asian businesses, which is interesting in that the three groups make up 65% of NYC’s population. Blacks/African American owned 7 out of the 26 businesses. Here’s who made the grade: Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, Puff Daddy’s company (3); Beneath Your Sole, Inc., building maintenance and floor care (4); Inner City Broadcasting, WBLS/WLIB, radio broadcasting (16); Huntington Chevrolet (17); Earl Graves, Ltd. Black Enterprise parent company (19); Cox Nissan, auto dealership 21; and Dancy-Power Automotive Group, auto dealership at 380 Lenox Avenue(24). The list was headed by Latino-owned Goya Foods. If memory serves, Dancy Power is a Mercedes dealer.

HARLEM BOOK FAIR: Summer 2008 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Harlem Book Fair, HBF, July 17 – 20, which is one of New York’s cultural pleasures. The HBF festivities begin on July 17 with a 10thAnniversary Gala reception hosted by and at Abyssinia Baptist Church, an invitational. On July 18, The Phyllis Whitley Book Awards Dinner celebrates 40 YEARS OF BLACK BOOK PUBLISHING. The 2008 Whitley honorees are Haki Madhubuti, Third World Press; Paul Coates, Black Classic Press; Kassahun Checole, Africa World Press; Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson, Just Us Books; and Tony Rose, Amber Books. Ticket are scaled from $100 -$250.

On Saturday, July 19, the Harlem Book Street Fair, open to book lovers of all ages, is the place to be where publishers pavilions, book, food, arts vendors and myriad entertainers line the streets – 135 Street between Fifth Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. Did I mention scores of authors will attend and sign books!!

Panels will convene, at the Schomburg Center for Black Culture, which C-SPAN Book TV will broadcast live. Some of the non-fiction panel topics which C-SPAN will air are “James Baldwin Perspectives and Literary Legacy,” “From the Door of No Return: The Bicentennial of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the U.S.” “Why We Die First: Self Neglect Or The Color Of Our Skin,” and “40 Years of African-American Publishing.” Some panel participants are Howard Dodson, Quincy Troupe. Amiri Baraka, Herb Boyd, Harriet Washington, Cara Daniels, S. Pearl Sharp, David Eltis, Sylviane Diouf, and Thomas Norman DeWolf.
Untelevised fiction panels will be held at the Countee Cullen. Some of the topics are “Gay and Lesbian Fiction,” “You Can’t Box Me In: The (R ) Evolution of Spoken Word Poetry,” and “Sins of the Father: How Father’s Impact Daughters Relationships.”

Another fiction panel will convene at the Thurgood Marshall School, where topics include “Cyprian Ekwensi: Jagoa Nana and Onitsha Market Literature,” a discussion of the African street novel; “From Heroes and Heroines to Pimps and Ho’s: The Impact of the African American Romance Novel on Street Fiction and Noir in Harlem;” and “Noir In Harlem.” Chuci Uwazurike, Ernest Emenyonu, and Olotosin Mustapha are among panelist roster. On Sunday, July 20, the HBF ends with an invitational Author’s Brunch.


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