Careers at BET Holdings

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Black Entertainment Television (BET) is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the BET Networks division of Viacom. It is the most prominent television network targeting African American audiences, with approximately 88,255,000 American households (75.8% of households with television) receiving the channel. The channel has offices in Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Programming on the network consists of original and acquired television series and theatrically and direct-to-video-released films. The network has also aired a variety of stand-up comedy, news, and current affairs programs, and formerly aired mainstream rap, hip-hop and R&B music videos; the latter of which now air on its branded sister networks. After stepping down as a lobbyist for the cable industry, Freeport, Illinois native Robert L. Johnson decided to launch his own cable television network. Johnson would soon acquire a loan for $15,000 and a $500,000 investment from media executive John Malone to start the network. The network, which was named Black Entertainment Television, launched on January 25, 1980. Initially broadcasting for two hours a week as a block of programming on Nickelodeon (it would not be until 1983 that BET became a full-fledged channel), the networks lineup consisted of music videos and reruns of popular black sitcoms.