Following the announcement that TV One was pulling the plug on “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, radio jock Tom Joyner called for a boycott of the network.
Joyner declared on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” “I’m calling for a boycott! I’m not trying to dress it up” (audio). “It always comes down to money. All of television is suffering now, but to heal the many issues by sacrificing your community is not the answer.”
TV One called its action a “suspension” and said “TV One is working to restructure NewsOne Now in 2018 under a new format that will better serve its audience and advertisers.”
Joyner’s show is part of Urban One, which is also the parent company of TV One. He said he might be suspended for telling his audience to boycott, but so be it, as noted by Richard Prince’s of Journal-isms. Joyner also gave out the telephone number of TV One so listeners could register their protests.
Roland Martin tweeted Wednesday night, “Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year.
Friday’s TV One statement said, “The network invested in the production of NewsOne Now for the past four years. In an effort to save the program, adjustments were made to the format this quarter. Despite the network’s commitment and investment, NewsOne Now did not gain traction with advertisers and viewers. . . .”
CEO Alfred Liggins also said in the release, “As a Black-owned multi-media company, Urban One (parent company of TV One) engages Black America daily, not just on television, but radio and also online via NewsOne.com and on 77 digital platforms. We know there is a void in mainstream media and we plan to continue to be an outlet for Black news. Roland Martin will be a part of that plan.”
The National Association of Black Journalists urged TV One to reconsider. “In a year where journalists have faced daily assaults and attempts to discredit their work with the onslaught of claims of ‘fake news,’ NABJ is concerned by TV One’s decision to halt its signature news program, one of the most credible news sources, especially for black and disenfranchised communities,” it said in a statement.
Martin tweeted Thursday, “Tough morning. Had to tell our NBC News Channel crew that @tvonetv #NewsOneNow is ending. Lot of my white staffers were moved to tears. Why am I saying that? They expressed how much they learned about Black America working with us for 4 years. This show changed lives, folks.”