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TV ONE Offers More News

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The nationally-televised daily morning show “News One Now” has expanded to two hours.

“You get double the trouble,” host Roland Martin gleefully told viewers on Sept. 6. “That means I’ve got two hours to jack folks up!”

Its network, Urban One (formerly Radio One) has played around with the format of “News One Now” before, but now seems set on the two-hour version, from 7 am to 9 am ET. The network announced in April that it also plans to add a live talk show, “Sisters Circle,” that would follow the news show. Billed as “a compelling and humorous talk show on relationships, parenting, fitness, personal finances, the latest trends and the joys and frustrations of everyday life,” it is slated to debut Sept. 18.

“News One Now” began in November 2013 as the third hour of a show whose first two hours were on radio. It was billed as a “groundbreaking interactive daily show” that offered viewers a chance to interact across multiple platforms, including social media. Back then Martin said: “African Americans are some of the most highly engaged cable news consumers, and it’s vital that we meet that thirst with a daily morning show that speaks to our issues, our concerns, from our perspective. ‘News One Now’ is the pre-eminent destination for the pulse of Black America.”

According to Shadow and Act, a monitor of cinema, television and web content related to the African Diaspora, 2016 was “a record-setting year” for the show, which ranked as a Top 3 cable news program among blacks between the ages 25 and 54.

The prominence of “News One Now” is a reminder that it is the only daily national news program – at any time of the day – with a black focus. A consortium led by J. C. Watts, a former member of Congress from Oklahoma, has been promising a national television news network for nearly 10 years. Its latest anticipated launch is sometime in 2018.

“With ‘News One Now’ being the only African American focused morning news show, our viewers look to us to discuss and uncover stories relevant to our community that mainstream media may not deliver,” Terrence Nelson, a TV One producer (and Morgan alum), told MGJR. “Adding an additional hour to ‘News One Now’ affords us an unprecedented opportunity to educate and inform our community with even more in-depth breaking news coverage and bring even more African American voices to relevant issues.”

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