GREENVILLE – The state’s first African-American woman television news director hopes to encourage women through her own national television network set to debut in November.
Pam Chatman was the former news director for WABG-TV and has been in broadcast media for more than 20 years, and now she’s set to launch PChatman Network.
“I am humble about all of it … I am grateful enough to know the blessings I have received are not about me,” said Chatman in a phone call with Mississippi Today.
The PChatman Network is in partnership with Virtual Eminence Media Group, LLC, a global broadcast media company that helps those interested in owning their own television network or channels. Virtual Eminence has development agreements with Samsung, Sony, LG, Toshiba, Apple TV, Roku, Sony Playstation and others to distribute the network’s content.
Viewers will have the opportunity to watch her programming on platforms such as Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, Apple TV, Smart TV, Direct–to–Netflix (The Orchard), and more with the potential to reach 200 million homes globally.
Chatman said she hopes for the day when people turn on their televisions and her network is in the regular broadcast lineup.
Chatman said she’s looking for the next Tyler Perry or Shonda Rhimes, and she wants original material straight out of the South for her network.
“We have some great people in the South that have some great stories. We have people here that are great writers and singers, great actors. We have the best music in the world,” she said.
When asked if she would make her own appearance on her network, she exclaimed, “absolutely.”
Dwight Carroll, CEO/Principal Consultant for Virtual Eminence, said he sees big thing for the endeavor: “The PChatman Network, Oh my goodness, where I see it going is to be that network in comparison to Oprah … where we have a leader that’s growing the relationships that can help make dreams come true.”
Carroll said his group was impressed with Chatman’s focus on helping others, being a voice for the people, and her background in television.
He said Chatman’s network encompasses three things: it gives voices, visibility, and value. Being in a male-dominated industry, this is going to be a strong standpoint for women, he said.
Chatman wants her network to symbolize inspiration and use it as a platform that produces good, wholesome products.
“When I went to Hollywood and did “The Talk”, everybody kept saying, ‘Pam, you need to do something of this magnitude from the South’,” said Chatman. “There’s really nothing from the South that speaks volumes about empowerment.”
“For me, my motto for my network is simple. You have the power to empower,” she continued. “And when we start planting that seed into our viewers’ minds, their mindsets will change.”
Chatman also has starred in TruTV’s “Breaking Greenville,” which showed a comedic twist and behind the scenes footage of the two rival television stations in Greenville. Other television appearances include: “The Today Show,” “The Talk,” MSNBC Notebook, according to her press release.
One of the things she said she’s been working on for her networks is a talk show called “Rising Diamonds With P. Chatman.” According to Chatman, the show would travel the southern states – Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Texas – talking to women who have “beaten the odds of life and are now rising diamonds.”
Scott Coopwood, longtime journalist and publisher of Delta Magazine, said he’s excited for her Chatman’s venture: “I have no doubt that all this is going to be a huge success for her.”
“Number one Pam did an outstanding job as news director of WABG-TV,” said Coopwood. “Because of that she was able to promote a lot of businesses, a lot of people, and a lot of issues that wouldn’t have seen the light of day without her visions and talents.”
Coopwood added that she is one the kindest, highly motivated and hardest workers that he knows.
Porsche Chambers, a Delta State University student and Greenville native, attended an event where Chatman spoke about empowering young women. After hearing Chatman speak for the first time, Chambers said she became more motivated than ever.
Chatman is the CEO and founder of P. Chatman Mentoring, Consultant and Training Organization, and Boss Lady PChatman Business Coaching Outreach, which offers encouragement, uplifting and empowerment.
“She was encouraging ladies about their self-worth and letting them know that they are beautiful no matter what. She said we are queens and deserve to be treated as such,” said Chambers.
“When she speaks, the way she walks and the way she carries herself let people know that she owns the place, Chambers said. “She immediately lights up the room.”
“I’m sure she will have support all across the state because she is a known person and will help any and every one,” she added. “I’m excited for her … her drive for success is amazing.”
Lady LaDonna, CEO and celebrity host for BridgePointe Media and Entertainment and the BridgePointe Agency, a management company for mainstream music artists, television and film, public relations, is a business colleague of Chatman.
“She encourages the platform at hand, more specifically the women,” said LaDonna.
“Ms. Chatman herself is a role model to the women at large … We’re actually empowering them to dream bigger, to give them an example they can follow, so they can supersede us … and go on to empower the next generation.”