Black News Channel CEO Says Network Could Move Its Headquarters to Atlanta

Princell Hair, president and CEO of Black News Channel, was a high-level executive with CNN in Atlanta in the mid-2000s. (RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com)

The Black News Channel, which launched last year and is now available in more than 52 million households, is seriously considering moving its headquarters from Tallahassee, Florida, to Atlanta, according to its CEO and president Princell Hair, who joined BNC in July 2020.

In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Tuesday, Hair said the rapidly growing news operation is seeking studio space in Atlanta and hopes to commit to what could end up being the network’s new headquarters within the next 12 months.

“We still think Atlanta is the right place for BNC,” said Hair, who was in Atlanta Tuesday to meet with the City of Atlanta for an unspecified project. “If the business continues to grow as it is, we probably can make that transition in the next couple of years.” He said the move from Tallahassee would be gradual, not immediate.

Already, three of its key on-air talent are based in Atlanta, working out of their homes: New York Times columnist Charles Blow, who has a weekday show at 10 p.m., and the morning team of Sharon Reed and Mike Hill. Reed last worked at CBS46 as an evening anchor while Hill had been working with Fox Sports out of Los Angeles but moved to Atlanta with his new wife Cynthia Bailey of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fame.

Blow, who splits time between Atlanta and Brooklyn, “is a very thoughtful provocative thinker,” Hair said. “I thought he’d make a good anchor show at 10 p.m.”

As for Reed and Hill, “I had followed their careers for a long time. I just thought they’d make a strong combination. She’s engaging and extremely intelligent. He is versatile, having come from sports. They’re both news junkies. They have conversations on air that you don’t hear anywhere else.”

Of the 320 employees hired so far, half are in Tallahassee and about 75 (or one-quarter) of the staff is based out of Atlanta. They now have correspondents in 14 cities.

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SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rodney Ho