*You can scratch Debra Lee as president of BET Networks as of the beginning of the new year.
Lee says she’s done (in that capacity) and will be transferring oversight of daily operations to Scott Mills, who’s currently an executive vice president and chief administrative officer at parent company Viacom.
However, Lee will retain her positions as BET Networks’ Chairman and CEO, concentrating on the company’s engagement with communities. She will also advise Mills in his new role.
So it’s like she’s leaving, but not leaving. She’s just giving up day to day operation of the network which is what it boils down to.
“Today, BET is thriving as the #1 network for African American audiences, and we continue to see strong growth in ratings, share and social engagement,’’ Lee said in a statement. “As I look to the future, I believe it is the right time to take a step back from day-to-day responsibilities at BET.’’
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Shows launched on Lee’s watch include the popular “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “Being Mary Jane” and “The Game.” The network is also home to the highly rated BET Awards.
“Vision and leadership, unmatched intuition for what audiences want, and ability to attract and foster top talent — both behind and in front of the camera — have been pivotal to this success, according to a statement from Bob Bakish, Viacom’s president and CEO.
Bakish also gave props to Scott Mills, who he credits as helping bring Tyler Perry into the BET fold to provide content starting soon.
Mills is “the right person for this role, as we continue to extend this brand across platforms and markets around the world,’’ Bakish added.