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BET’s Sheila Johnson Recommends Public Affairs and Social Issues Shows For Students

Sheila-Johnson*Instead of the occasional comedy or drama, BET co-founder and entrepreneur Sheila Johnson recommended public affairs and social issue shows as the ones to faithfully tune into.

Johnson made the challenge to Hampton University students when she spoke during the school’s annual Conference on the Black Family.

“Advertisers go where the most eyeballs are,” Johnson said while comparing content on black media networks to content on Hispanic-owned networks. “‘You see sitcoms and soap operas but they also have news, hard-hitting news, on the issues that matter”

“As a co-founder of BET, I know why this isn’t happening. Advertisers don’t buy our programming unless it’s music videos or comedy,” she continued. “That’s the only way we can pay our bills. We’re really caught between a rock and a hard place.”

Evidence of Johnson’s concerns can be found in the list of top programs for blacks and Hispanics. For the week of March 10-16, 2014 the top 10 broadcast television programs for African-Americans were “Scandal,” “Resurrection,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Person of Interest,” “American Idol (Wednesday),” “The Voice,” “Blue Bloods,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Criminal Minds” and “Chicago PD.”

For Hispanics that week, Univision shows occupied the top five spots with the telenovela “Que Vida Me Robo,” dominating on Tuesday, Wednesday, Monday, Thursday and Friday. The telenovela “Que Pobres Tan Ricos” followed on Wednesday, Friday and Thursday while the reality show “Nuestra Belleza” ruled on Sunday. The list was rounded out with the Monday edition of “Que Pobres Tan Ricos.”

As for all viewers, the top 10 shows were: “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Voice”(Tuesday); “The Voice,” “Blue Bloods,” “60 Minutes,” “NCIS,” “Bachelor: After Final Rose,” “Criminal Minds,” “Resurrection” and “CSI.”

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