December 23, 2021

BNC Black News Channel Weather Anchor Brittany Lockley Leaves the Network Ahead of Deep Staff Cuts and Office Closure

After two years at BNC, meteorologist Brittany Lockley announced recently she was leaving the Black News Channel for a new job at a local station. She is reportedly headed to a station in Orlando. Shortly after her departure BNC announced it was cutting the jobs from its staff of about 300 employees.

UPDATE: Brittany Lockley has landed in her hometown of Orlando on FOX 35. 

Original Post Continues Below...

“I am reaching out to you today with some very unfortunate news about a reduction in our workforce,” said President and CEO Princell Hair in an internal memo obtained by TheWrap. “As you know, throughout the course of this year, we have been expanding at a rapid rate. At the same time, the U.S. economy is facing some tough challenges, several of which are heavily impacting the media industry and the revenue streams that fuel our emerging enterprise. I am incredibly proud of this team and all that we have built and accomplished. Your work has been outstanding, but we have reached a point where a considerable adjustment is needed in order to protect the health of our business and keep BNC moving forward.”

CEO Princell Hair was brought aboard a year and instituted some significant changes in how the channel is accessed by viewers and how its presented to viewers. The network’s main anchors are Sharon Reed, Mike Hill, Laverne McGee, Del Walters, Marc Lamont Hill, Kelly Wright and Charles Blow. However the fresh look has not taken hold with viewers. When BNC launched initially, the only way to watch was to subscribe to the channel. (That was not a good idea.)

BNC is ranked 124 out of 125 cable channels according the website The Wrap. BNC tied with Comedy.tv for second-to-last place with an average of 4,000 viewers throughout the year, beating only BeIN Sports. In comparison, the highest-rated cable channel is Fox News, which averaged 2.36 million primetime viewers each evening in 2021. (However some of BNC's YouTube posts having gotten close to  1M views.)

This week BNC closed their offices in Tallahassee, Florida due to the recent outbreak of COVID. Earlier this year it was reported that they were looking to move their operations to Atlanta. Perhaps this is a step in that direction. Former Oklahoma congressmen J.C. Watt helped launched the channel almost two years ago. Shad Khan, who owns the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, has invested a reported $50 million in the channel and holds a majority stake in the company.

For years we've heard that African American viewers wanted a cable channel devoted to news about the Black community. Or the complaint is/was, "Why doesn't BET do news?" That's not what they do. Ed Gordon left the building years ago.

There are ways to fix this channel. BNC needs to do a better job of promoting itself. They need to have a presence in a studio in a central location (if not in Atlanta, then New York.) Due to the pandemic, it seems all of the hosts are working in remote locations. Some are. The delay during interviews between guests and host is also quite annoying.

BNC needs to not try to be the Black version of CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News. They need to carve out their own identity in the cable news space.

BNC should maybe look to sell to Oprah. Remember a few years back when it looked like the OWN network was going down the tube... well Oprah Winfrey did her magic and turned it around. She could help BNC.

Or perhaps BNC needs to be a little more like TYT.

Take a look at some of the stuff that BNC has done... that's gone viral.


  1. My thing on the whole thing with the layoffs from BNC. This might be the end of the line for the network. It could have been a beautiful thing. Oh well.

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