JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - First it was auto parts. Then came the professional sports franchises. Now Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan is diversifying his business portfolio by investing in a 24/7 cable news network.
On Wednesday, the billionaire announced his partnership with Black News Channel, a minority owned and operated news network that aims to provide an "authentic, new voice that represents African Americans in mainstream media and fosters political, economic, and social discourse."
The nascent news network was founded by Chairman J.C. Watts, Jr., a former congressman from Oklahoma, and CEO Bob Brilliante, an industry veteran with 40 years' experience in the field.
"I believe there is an undeniable calling for everything the Black News Channel will deliver to African American television audiences, who have historically been underserved in an era where networks have otherwise successfully targeted news to specific demographic groups and interests," Khan said.
"My decision to invest was an easy one, because we get to answer that calling," he added.
The network has already reached affiliate distribution agreements with existing cable behemoths, including Charter Communications and Comcast. It is scheduled to launch on Nov. 15 at 6 a.m. to an estimated 33 million households in major markets, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
"Mr. Khan is a very successful and influential businessman, and we are honored to have him as a partner in the network," Watts said. "We applaud his passion and commitment to serve our nation's African American communities, and we look forward to doing great things with his participation."
Khan, who ranks No. 61 on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans with an estimated net worth of $7.8 billion, is the owner of a number of businesses, including auto parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate, the Fulham Football Club and the Jaguars. He also has a stake in All Elite Wrestling, an upstart professional wrestling promotion founded by his son, Tony.
Editor's note: The headline in a previous version of this story incorrectly identified the television network.
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