Thursday, January 26, 2006

Changes at BET

For someone who is as keenly interested in media companies, the management of those properties, and diversity as I am, this has been an exciting week of change.

As it has been nearly a month since I posted some thought in the blogosphere, I was planning on saying my two cents about the merger of UPN and the WB.

But, when I went to the Viacom site, I learned that Bob Johnson, who helped start Black Entertainment Television stepped down as Chairman of the cable network, which is now owned by Viacom.

I think that speaks volumes about what Johnson thinks about the cable network that he started-- that at one point was a water cooler for black Americans and for young black communications students like me-- once a place to which we could aspire to work.

BET Headquarters was located in NE Washington, DC just a short drive from the Howard University campus, minutes from Slowe Hall, my dorm during the sophomore year (that would have 1989-1990).

Since Viacom took over the network, we've seen the news and information programming dwindle on BET. I can't remember the last time I watched it.

At one time, they were running re-runs of Soul Food, the drama from SHOWTIME. I never sprung for the premium cable channels. So, if it were not for BET, I wouldn't have been able to see this drama that was a spin-off from the movie.

Oh well-- I guess that's the best I can say about the new BET. I suppose it will be fun to see what Bob Johnson and his Charlotte Bobcats can do. I frequently visit Charlotte (a regular stop-off point on my trek between Alabama and Richmond, Va.) and maybe I'll see Bob at a Bobcats game.

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