MBC takes first step toward 24-hour news

Apr 21, 2003  •  Post A Comment

April 4, the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., marked the birth of what could become the first 24-hour TV news service aimed at African American viewers.
MBC, the 4-year-old Major Broadcasting Cable network, took its first step toward that goal that night earlier this month by launching a one-hour evening newscast. Gordon Graham, a veteran of CNN Headline News, and Val Bracy, former weekend anchor at WGNO-TV, New Orleans, co-anchor the 7 p.m. (ET) telecast, which is repeated at 11 p.m.
MBC intends to expand its news and information programming, ultimately launching a second network by 2004 that will be all news.
“We believe that our news channel will provide a highly targeted niche vehicle that cable operators can use to drive business, and that African American consumers will respond to,” said Travis Mitchell, MBC executive VP.
The service is being developed in a creative partnership with Florida’s News Channel, a Tallahassee-based regional news service. The MBC news program originates from an Atlanta studio using virtual sets and news-gathering equipment provided by FNC.
Over the next few months, MBC plans to broaden the scope of its news operation, opening a Washington bureau, adding a New York studio and hiring stringers and technical crews. MBC has an agreement with ABC NewsOne for domestic coverage and intends to build a national base of correspondents.
About two dozen private investors, whom Mr. Mitchell declined to name, back the proposed MBC news service.