No. 11

Chairman/CEO, BET Networks


It’s been a banner year for BET under chairman/CEO Debra Lee. In June the company launched its inaugural BET Experience. The three-day music and lifestyle festival (June 28-30) at L.A. Live in association with AEG attracted 75,000 visitors. Capping the fest: the 13th annual BET Awards. Held for the first time at the Nokia Theatre, the telecast brought in 7.6 million viewers, making it the No. 1 awards show among viewers ages 18-49, according to Nielsen. In July the company’s first original movie, “Being Mary Jane” (starring Gabrielle Union), drew more than 5.2 million viewers. It will now premiere as a weekly series on Jan. 7. The BET Hip-Hop Awards in October logged nearly 9 million viewers. And BET reports its annual “Black Girls Rock!” special in November pulled in almost 3 million viewers—a 25% increase over 2012. Other popular offerings on its slate of original and scripted programs: “The Game,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and the Soul Train Awards. Lee also oversees, BET Digital Networks and BET International, among other network divisions. “I’m thrilled,” Lee says, “that BET Networks continues to be the place where viewers turn to find what’s hot, what’s next and what matters.” —Gail Mitchell