Smiley's exit erodes support of BET audience

Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 12:00am

The backlash lingers from the recent decision by Black Entertainment Founder and CEO Robert Johnson to fire popular commentator and host Tavis Smiley in March. The move particularly dismayed black viewers who have been apprehensive since Johnson made the deal with Viacom last November to sell BET for $3 billion.

In this era of conglomerate consolidation where General Electric owns NBC, Disney owns ABC, the Mighty Ducks, the Anaheim Angels and ESPN, and Rupert Murdoch owns Fox, a stable of cable networks, newspapers and magazines, African Americans considered BET their major media outlet

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