TV One pulled the plug on its award winning and highest-rated morning news show, NewsOne Now. The reason behind the show’s cancellation is reportedly because of budget issues. Many loyal viewers have already expressed their will be a void in African American news coverage as a result.
Veteran journalist, Roland Martin, known for wearing his ascots and his tell-it-like-it-is style of journalism served as the host and managing editor of NewsOne Now. After the final show Thursday, he expressed why he initially agreed to be a part of the show.
“I have never believed that White media was more important than Black media. I never believed that they mattered more than anything else,” said Martin during a farewell speech on Facebook Live.
“I always believed that Black folks deserved quality and A-talent. When you have this philosophy that somehow if you work in Black media you can’t cut it anywhere else. Here is the reality, I can cut it against anybody at CNN, MSNBC, ABC, or CBS, but I chose to do this.”
The former CNN commentator also expressed that the only African American focused new show served as an alternative to mainstream media outlets who often times do not cover issues that matter to African Americans and sometimes are out of touch with how to connect with people of color.
“I believe you deserve a different type of news. I believe you deserve something different. We need to have somebody that has a clear vision, that wakes up Black, that thinks Black. I told my staff you have got to wake up Black. That doesn’t mean your Black skin, your thought, your consciousness has to be Black in terms of how you see the world and you see the news. That is why this show is different. I was intentional in what I was doing,” Martin said.
— Shanae Dale (@shada524) December 21, 2017
This morning is very saddening. @rolandsmartin has exposed us to black leaders of every genre, that I never would have heard of on any other show. Thank you Uncle RoRo. #NewsOneNow #RollinwithRoland #BringTheFunk #ShellyGoToMyiPad
— D. Craig (@blackboy1906) December 21, 2017
— Mya H (@mymy13) December 21, 2017
His TV One show may be over after four years, but Martin will still work with the company in some capacity in 2018. His current contract with the company ends in August of next year. TV One CEO Alfred Liggins released a statement assuring that TV One will remain an outlet for Black news and Roland Martin will continue to be apart of that.
“This is what God called me to do,” said Martin. “This is my destiny, this is what I am designed to do.I will always stand tall for Black people. I will always fight for Black people. I will say this to the haters if you think this is it, you have got another thing coming. I will not allow anyone to silence my voice.”
Critics have speculated that the show may have ended because some consider Martin hard to work with, while others believe the network may want to bring in younger talent to become more competitive in the digital age and connect better with the 25 to 45 year-old-demographic.
“We’ve got staff right now that will tell you I was a mean old cuss. They will tell you, ‘man he is was hard, difficult, challenging. He jumped on folks, didn’t like mistakes.’ Do you know why? You deserve that kind of show (show without mistakes). Yes, I was particularly tough, because that is how tough they were on me when I was coming up,” Martin said.
So far, TV One has not announced if or when another news show will launch. Martin stated he will make his voice heard through social media and live streams.
Let’s hope the network is compelled to launch a new and improved news show for the sake of the culture. In today’s age, we need more eyes and ears than ever willing to keep it real the way Martin did.