You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BET pinkslips 50 in consolidation move

P'gramming, PR, marketing, admin are hardest hit

NEW YORK — Black Entertainment Television has laid off approximately 50 staffers in the cable net’s Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles offices.

BET officials wouldn’t confirm the number, but chief operating officer Debra Lee said the cuts represent less than 15% of the 450-member workforce. The cabler, which Viacom acquired for $3 billion last November, is trying to eliminate staffing redundancies.

“We saw areas where we could cut back. When you’re part of a bigger family, there are some things you don’t have to do by yourself anymore,” said Lee, who emphasized that the cuts weren’t mandated by Viacom.

Lee said that the programming, public relations, marketing and administration departments were the hardest hit. There are no further cuts planned, and sources said some departments are even adding employees.

In an internal memo to staffers, Lee assured them that BET’s plan “calls for severance packages, benefits extensions, outplacement service and other assistance, including opportunities to pursue positions elsewhere among Viacom companies.”

(Jill Goldsmith in New York contributed to this report.)

More TV

  • The Alienist Title Design

    Emmys: Introducing 'GLOW,' 'Westworld,' 'Counterpart's' Stories in Seconds

    NEW YORK — Black Entertainment Television has laid off approximately 50 staffers in the cable net’s Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles offices. BET officials wouldn’t confirm the number, but chief operating officer Debra Lee said the cuts represent less than 15% of the 450-member workforce. The cabler, which Viacom acquired for $3 billion […]

  • Billy Porter Variety Facetime Portrait

    'Pose' Star Billy Porter on Making History: 'I've Always Had Big Dreams'

    NEW YORK — Black Entertainment Television has laid off approximately 50 staffers in the cable net’s Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles offices. BET officials wouldn’t confirm the number, but chief operating officer Debra Lee said the cuts represent less than 15% of the 450-member workforce. The cabler, which Viacom acquired for $3 billion […]

  • Stefani Robinson Writers Office

    'Atlanta' Scribe Stefani Robinson on Creating a 'Low-Key' Workspace

    NEW YORK — Black Entertainment Television has laid off approximately 50 staffers in the cable net’s Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles offices. BET officials wouldn’t confirm the number, but chief operating officer Debra Lee said the cuts represent less than 15% of the 450-member workforce. The cabler, which Viacom acquired for $3 billion […]

  • Sean Hannity

    Fox News Names Porter Berry to Oversee Digital News Content

    NEW YORK — Black Entertainment Television has laid off approximately 50 staffers in the cable net’s Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles offices. BET officials wouldn’t confirm the number, but chief operating officer Debra Lee said the cuts represent less than 15% of the 450-member workforce. The cabler, which Viacom acquired for $3 billion […]

  • Darren Criss Fashion Sense

    How 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace' Influenced Darren Criss' Fashion Sense

    NEW YORK — Black Entertainment Television has laid off approximately 50 staffers in the cable net’s Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles offices. BET officials wouldn’t confirm the number, but chief operating officer Debra Lee said the cuts represent less than 15% of the 450-member workforce. The cabler, which Viacom acquired for $3 billion […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content