Loretha Jones, the exec who steered BET’s successful move into scripted programming with such series as “The Game,” “Let’s Stay Together” and “Being Mary Jane,” has exited her post as president of original programming.
In a statement, BET confirmed that Jones had resigned but would remain a creative consultant to the Viacom cabler.
“BET Networks thanks Ms. Jones for her many contributions, on screen and off, and looks forward to a continued creative collaboration,” the cabler said.
Jones on Friday was en route to the Toronto film festival with BET chairman Debra Lee for the premiere of “Beyond the Lights,” the BET-produced pic about a rising-star musician from helmer Gina Prince-Bythewood. She was not available for comment.
BET said Jones would remain a consultant to the cabler in part to shepherd the “Book of Negroes” miniseries now in production in South Africa. In addition to “Book of Negroes,” an epic chronicle of slavery in America, Jones’ recently orchestrated the deal to bring the VH1 series “Single Ladies” to BET’s sibling cabler Centric.
Jones is well-liked by writers and known for her focus on bringing top talent to the cabler, including the husband-and-wife duo of Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, the pair behind “Game” and “Being Mary Jane.”
Other shows Jones developed during her six years at BET include domestic comedy “Reed Between the Lines” and “Second Generation Wayans.”
Darrell Walker, BET’s exec VP and general Counsel, will take over day-to-day operations for programming until a successor is named. Stephen Hill, prexy of music programming and specials, will remain in his current role along with Pete Danielsen, exec VP of program planning, scheduling and acquisitions.
Before joining BET, Jones was exec VP of MTV Films and Paramount Pictures.