Townsend Named President of Black Family Channel

Famed actor, comedian, producer, and director Robert Townsend has teamed up with the executive board of the former Major Broadcasting Network, now Black Family Channel to further its launch of innovative programming for black America.

The BFC executive board includes attorney Willie E. Gary, famed boxer Evander Holyfield, Baseball star Cecil Fielder, Broadcasting veteran Alvin James, and entertainer Marlon Jackson of the legendary Jackson 5.

The MBC Network changed its name to the Black Family Channel on October 1, 2004. The change came as a part of the new direction of the Network to redefine television by producing innovative and engaging family programming for black Americans.

In an interview published in Paint Magazine in mid 2004, Gary, the Network’s CEO, said "The name change to the Black Family Channel reflects our growth and expansion to the next level. As the Black Family Channel, we will assist the cable industry to increase acquisition and digital upgrades in African American homes."

As a major goal, the BFC will work to establish partnerships with major corporations and increase alliances with black churches across America. The Network will continue to give its viewers access to black college sports, entertainment, news, movies, information, children’s programming, and ministries.

Townsend, the Network’s president and chief executive officer of production, joined the BFC team just five months ago. As president and CEO of production he is starting a slate of eight new programs geared toward children, teenagers, and families.

In a November press release, Townsend said, "With this Network, we want to give people a sense of quality, integrity programming that speaks to them. We don’t want to be an old school network where people don’t want to tune in, but we want to get back some of those old-fashioned values."

To get his ideas up and running, Townsend held a nation wide talent search tour that took place in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Miami, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Dallas in the summer of 2004. With over 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry, he is credited with discovering such celebrities as comedian Damon Wayans, casting Beyonce, and directing Halle Berry just to name a few. He is best known for his work in television and film, including the hit series "The Parent Hood," and movies like "Meteor Man," and "The Five Heartbeats."

With the BFC, Townsend’s mission is to put new faces on television and produce innovative and engaging programs on the Network for black America. Among the new programming that he has lined up are the series Souled Out, Spoken, Speaker’s Box, The Urban Voice,

Barbershop Critics, the Black College Talent Hour, and a host of shows for BFC Kids TV.

Beginning in 1999 as the Major Broadcasting Network, the Black Family Channel is the only African-American owned and operated cable television network. In just five short years, the network is available in 30 million homes, 700 cities, and 47 states. The Network’s major competitor is BET, Black Entertainment Television, owned by Viacom.


For more information, including program listings and descriptions, visit http://www.mbcnetwork.com.