FAMU, BTNC To Hold Signing Ceremony

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News Release: FAMU


  • Florida A&M University (FAMU) Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.

  • City of Tallahassee Mayor John Marks

  • School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC) Dean Ann W. Kimbrough, DBA

  • Former U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts, Black Television News Channel (BTNC), co-founder

  • Florida’s News Channel founder and cable industry veteran Robert Brillante, BTNC co-founder

  • Local, state and federal elected officials

  • FAMU administrators, faculty and students

Official signing ceremony for agreement between FAMU and BTNC that will position FAMU SJGC to be the home of a 24-hour, multi-platform news network.

Friday, March 21, 2014 at 10 a.m.

FAMU SJGC Dean’s Conference Room, located at 510 Orr Dive, Suite 4003

The signing ceremony will officially launch an 11-year partnership between FAMU SJGC and BTNC, which will include a $10 million renovation to house a state-of-the-art, multi-platform, 24-hour broadcast facility in the SJGC building.

The partnership will provide hands-on learning opportunities for students, faculty access to the latest broadcast news technology, internships and job placement opportunities. In addition, the news network is poised to create $33.6 million in economic stimulus annually and will initially create at least 117 new jobs and 226 jobs in total, a combined employee compensation and proprietary income of nearly $10.5 million. The partnership will also provide up to $8.5 million to the university over the course of the agreement.

A reception and building tours by SJGC students will follow the signing ceremony.

Florida A&M is slated to be the site of a new 24-hour news channel.

It'll be called the Black Television News Channel, with coverage aimed toward the African American community.

FAMU board of trustee members authorized interim president Larry Robinson to work out an agreement with the channel.

The studios will be brand new, with Sony planning to provide as much as $10 million in new equipment.

"For our students, we will especially have internships, mentorships, opportunities for them to learn on the latest equipment that will be supplied by the network," said Ann Kimbrough, the dean of the FAMU Journalism school.

Thursday, trustee members must make a final vote on whether they'll open their doors to the network.

The agreement will provide FAMU with $500,000 per year for each of the first three years.

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