Billboard's 2011 Women In Music Honorees
Billboard's 2011 Women In Music Honorees

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No. 7
Debra Lee

Chairman/CEO, BET Networks
Twitter: @bet

Under chairman/CEO Debra Lee, BET Networks continues to make ratings strides, as evidenced by the success of two cornerstone programs: its annual BET Awards and "The Game," the football-themed former CW network sitcom that found a new home at BET. Ratings for the 2011 BET Awards trumped last year's showing. The popularity of "The Game" prompted Lee to offer executive producers Mara Brock and Salim Akil a multi-year exclusive deal to create new programming. Also greenlighted: a series with actor/artist Jamie Foxx as executive producer. Among BET's ongoing success stories is "Black Girls Rock!," which honors exceptional women of color. Lee has been appointed by the White House to the President's Management Advisory Board, formed to bring insight from the private and nonprofit sectors to federal government management and operations. Lee has also been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. Honored by the National Breast Cancer Coalition with its Women Who Get It Right Leadership Award, Lee remains an avid supporter of the arts, education and youth empowerment through various platforms, including BET's Leading Women Defined Summit. "In 2011, we proved that we could not only produce high-quality awards shows and specials, but sitcoms that also resonate with our audience-that was a huge step forward for us," Lee says. "I want BET to establish itself as a content creator, and give our audience images of themselves that they are not getting anywhere else."

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