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African American Chamber of Commerce, AACCWR - 20th Anniversary, 1996-2016
"The right combination of savvy and support."


Robert L. Johnson Robert L. Johnson

2002 Juneteenth Celebration Business-to-Business Luncheon & Expo Keynote Speaker - Robert L. Johnson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Black Entertainment Television

Robert L. Johnson is the founder and chief executive officer of Black Entertainment Television (BET), a subsidiary of Viacom and the leading African American-operated media and entertainment company in the United States. With the mission of establishing BET as the most-valued consumer brand within the Black marketplace, BET has enjoyed extraordinary financial and strategic success since its inception in 1980.

From 1976 to 1979, Johnson served as vice president of Government Relations for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), a trade association representing more than 1,500 cable television companies. Prior to joining the NCTA, Johnson was press secretary for the Honorable Walter E. Fauntroy, Congressional Delegate from the District of Columbia. Johnson previously held positions at the Washington Urban League and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Johnson serves on the following boards: US Airways; Hilton Hotels Corporation; General Mills; United Negro College Fund; National Cable Television Association; and the American Film Institute. Johnson is also a member of the Board of Governors for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH; and the Brookings Institute.

Major awards received by Johnson include: 1997 Broadcasting & Cable Magazine's Hall of Fame Award; CTAM's Grand Tam Award; Cablevision Magazine's 20/20 Vision Award which lists him as one of the twenty most influential people in the cable industry; an NAACP Image Award; National Women's Political Caucus' Good Guys Award; a Distinguished Alumni Award from Princeton University; and the President's Award from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

Johnson is a graduate of the University of Illinois and holds a master's in International Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Johnson resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Sheila, and their two children.

The core BET Network has pioneered an entire genre in television, with its 24-hour programming that targets African-American consumers that now reaches more than71.4 million U.S. homes and more than 95% of all Black cable households. That same groundbreaking strategy has evolved into leading-edge digital cable technology via the following BET channels under the BET Digital Networks umbrella:

· BET Jazz: The Jazz Channel™: the primary destination for jazz enthusiasts with a mixture of in-studio performances, festivals, concerts and celebrity interviews. Many of the shows feature original programming as well as historic footage unavailable on any other television network.

· BET Hip-Hop: Non-stop urban lyrics and street beats make this channel the ultimate source for hip-hop flavor. Included on the menu are today's popular artists along with "old school" rap stars who gave this art form its genesis; and

· BET Gospel: This channel showcases the best in gospel performers and ministries providing spiritual fulfillment. Programming includes contemporary and legendary gospel artists through concert performances, music videos and interviews. BET Gospel also features inspirational speakers and motivational programming.

In 1998, Johnson established BET Pictures and BET Arabesque Films to produce and market African American-themed film releases, documentaries and made for TV movies. BET has also leveraged its brand identity into new businesses outside the cable industry with direct ownership of BET Arabesque Books, the only line of original African-American romance novels written by African-American authors.

Other BET ventures include BET Interactive, whose Internet portal was voted "Best African American Community Site 2001" by Yahoo! Internet Life magazine. BET Interactive provides a combination of online content and community tailored to the unique interests, preferences and issues of African Americans aged 18-49. BET Interactive is owned in partnership by BET, Microsoft, Liberty Digital Media, News Corporation and USA Networks.

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Robert L. Johnson Web Address:

Black Entertainment Television

Business to Business Luncheon

2002 Juneteenth Celebration Business-to-Business Luncheon & Expo Keynote Speaker


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