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My Next Chapter

You all have heard the saying, “when I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.”  Well, I’m tired of having my opinion given to me, tired of being told what I think.

You see, in my 13 years in media, I’ve never had an African-American boss, but I have had a number of my bosses look me in the eye and tell me what black people think.  Tell me what black people like and don’t like.  Tell me what black people do and don’t do.  These were well-intentioned, even smart news managers and executives that believed they knew what they were talking about, and because of the positions they held, they wield incredible power in shaping public perception by deciding what stories are covered and how.

These experiences highlighted for me what many people feel in this country:  that they are being defined by others, that they are being misrepresented on television, that no one is looking out for them, and that there’s a perspective missing.

We now have a game-changing, difference-making opportunity to tip the scales in another direction with “Don’t Sleep.”  There is nothing like it on television, but I would argue that there needs to be.  A large segment of the population feels there’s nowhere on television they can turn when they get home at night to see and hear people bringing attention and perspective to topics that matter to them.  “Don’t Sleep” will not be just another late-night show, not just another news show, not just another debate show, and not just another entertainment show.  The goal is to infuse “Don’t Sleep” with each of those elements while always striking the right tone of smarts and wit to take on the seriousness and the silliness of the world around us.

I have been blessed in my career to work at some of the most respected news organizations alongside some of the most impressive people and seasoned journalists in the country.  My decision to step away for now from the traditional news formats that I’ve known my entire career was a difficult one.  And, it was the right decision.  “Don’t Sleep” is a unique opportunity that I also consider a responsibility, and I couldn’t pass up this chance to use my personality, my personal background, and my professional experience to give people a voice and nightly presence on national TV, so we no longer have others defining us and telling us what we think.  Now, we can tell the world ourselves.

Thank you for your love and support over the years.  I would not be here without you.  I hope I can continue to call on you.

Comments

Kelcie
Reply

Wow. I’m very excited for this. I hope to do the same in my professional career for black women and women in general with a television platform to bring attention to the truth in entertainment, social, and cultural realms. In the meantime, I’ll be getting my ABJ degree.

I hate to be the grammar police, but there’s a typo in the second sentence of the 5th paragraph in the spelling of ‘known’ and ‘difficult’.

Can’t wait for “Don’t Sleep”!

Bryan
Reply

I can’t wait!!

Marcella Marshall
Reply

I’m really looking forward to your new position TJ. It’s time we did have people speak who we can connect with in some situations. What I would like to see is a segment on black men and how they feel about relationships, women and what it is that REALLY excites them in life. I want a man’s view point.

Yolanda
Reply

In addition to his new show on BET, I would love to see T.J. as the new co-host on ABC’s Live With Kelly show. He would be perfect!!!

Alexavier
Reply

At last! Someone with the insight to solve the prmeobl!

Mikhel
Reply

How can we help build your show to be the only reliable, candid, and credible source of information and news for black people on television? Tell us what more we can do, other than to watch it consistently, and we will support you!

Rita
Reply

Congratulations on the new opportunity; I followed you on CNN. I’m excited and can’t wait to be graced not only with your handsome face and baritone voice, but also your intelligent and honest perspective on the issues; politically and socially.

Margaret
Reply

Congrats on the new show and I will be watching.

Nichet Smith
Reply

Congratulations for taking a stand for your vision… that is true leadership in action.. Let’s GO!

Vic Mackie
Reply

New show sounds like a winner. Pity my cable provider doesn’t carry BET. Guess Comcast is run by omniscient white folk!

Michelle Mitchell
Reply

TJ, I am looking forward to seeing your new show. I have been following your career way back when you were a weekend anchor on KTHV in Little Rock (Little Rock Girl). Good luck to you. Also, if you were an actor, I would like to see you play Christian Gray in the Fifty Shades movie.

Kevin Hill
Reply

More power to you TJ!! One of the reasons i stopped watching CNN was their view points and opinions on the news. I found it to be harsh and critical and not a reflection of reality. I also feel your pain with the profiling. I too had to go through that humiliation last year. And nobody wants to hear it. Good luck to you!!

Rossa Evans
Reply

As I read the article “My Next Chapter” I began to rejoice. I thank God for you! I commend you! I support you! When a man doesn’t fear taking a stand for what he believes in, it makes him a man!

Alex pratt
Reply

It’s sounds like your going to be yourself. And I’m can’t wait. No desk, No neck ties, just open neck, to wear your white t-shirt is visible. Have fun with your show.

BROOKE HARRIS
Reply

I NEED MY SHIRT TJ. HOW ELSE AM I SUPPOSE TO GET IT IF YOU DONT SEND IT TO ME? IS THERE A WEBSITE WHERE I CAN BUY? I LOVE YOU. LOL. YOU SAID YOU WOULD SEND. PLEASE SEND IT. PLEASE. P.O. BOX 376 MORRIS IL 60450

Eugenia Franklin
Reply

I have enjoyed you emensely over the years on CNN every Saturday morning and do I miss you! But it’s all GOOD, because I watch MSNBC now. Good luck in your next endeavor and I know you will be a success.
Eugenia Franklin

Candice
Reply

Can’t wait to see your show! You rep Arkansas very well!! Proud of you!!

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