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Source: Target Market News

Florida A&M University, one of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, has signed on to a partnership with the Black Television News Channel (BTNC) making the university home to the nation’s only Black-owned cable news network.

The network will be operated and managed at the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications building by co-founding partners: former U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts; Robert “Bob” Brillante, a 30-year cable TV veteran and founder of Florida’s News Channel; Frank Watson, a 30-year broadcast industry veteran; former U.S. House of Representatives Budget Director Steve Pruitt and Evan Leo, a Washington D.C. telecommunications and regulatory attorney.

The signing of the agreement is the culmination of years of planning by Watts and his partners. The 11-year contractual partnership was agreed to by FAMU’s Board of Trustees earlier this month. Through the partnership, BTNC will return up to $500,000 annually to FAMU for the first three years of the network’s operation and $1 million for each of the seven years remaining in the contract. The first year of the partnership will be dedicated to renovating, upgrading and installing equipment in the SJGC building, with a total price tag of $10 million. The channel is expected to begin operations in 2015.

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