He says “News One Now” airing weekdays at 9 a.m. ET marks a first, “This is the first time a Black network has launched a morning show.”
Martin calls it a “three spring operation,” explaining “it’s a three hour a day syndicated radio show (on Radio One) – the final hour will be on radio and television. Plus, you’re also going to have streaming it (on Radio One) as well.”
The former CNN political analyst is excited that viewers are getting news from an African American perspective saying, “We get to focus on our issues our concerns through our perspective. We’re not taking a back seat. This is not a situation where you might see one African American every now and then.”
He plans to highlight stories like the high African American unemployment numbers, often underreported by mainstream media.
Sitting down with Martin will be everyone from politicians to celebrities and those in between.
When it comes to politics, Martin promises to be savvy in his coverage of the issue, “The fundamental issue that I have when you begin to talk about these other shows – you begin to talk about these cable news shows – when you see debates take place what often happens, which is very frustrating to me, is that it’s often a red blue Democrat Republican liberal conservative conversation as opposed to what’s the issue.”
So when it comes to the issues he says he won’t do stereotyping of groups citing examples, “What I don’t want to do is fall into this deal of republicans are bad democrats are good. Because the reality is there’s some stuff democrats do that I don’t like and there’s some stuff republicans do that I don’t like and things both do that I do like.”
To further make that point Martin, also the managing editor of the show, revealed that a major civil rights leader told him they got more support from republican governors on sentencing reform than democratic governors.
He believes News One Now is important because he says, “I speak truth to power. I’m not interested in the usual games.”
Martin, former host of TV One’s long-running and award winning weekly news program, Washington Watch with Roland Martin, had a celebrated and controversial stint at CNN. He’s candid about his departure from the cable news network when his contract expired in April of this year.
“I had six great years at CNN. But, at the end of the day the opportunities that I wanted to participate in were not being afforded. Lots of promises were made but folks were not pulling the trigger.”
He had expectations he says, of having his own show at CNN, “I made it clear that I wanted my own weekend show. In 2009 they (CNN executives) said we’re not launching a weekend show. I went okay fine. So, what did I do? I got a weekend show on TV One.”
Look for some of the guests on his show as it rolls out for the first time this week to include NBA legend Charles Barkley, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, and GOP Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.
Martin, still a contributor to the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” was the 2013 National Association of Black Journalists’ Journalist of the Year.
Launched in January 2004, TV One serves more than 58.4 million households.
Reach Tené at [email protected]
Follow on Twitter @TcTene