Black Entertainment Television's recently announced news alliance with CBS
News will force the layoffs of about 15 percent of BET's overall work force.
BET president and CEO Debra Lee said the move was part of a 'redeployment of
resources' and 'staff adjustments' as it works to 'enhance and strengthen its
coverage of news in the African-American community.'
BET announced at the Television Critics Association tour earlier this week
that it will use the resources of CBS News to help program its existing and new
news and public-affairs initiatives.
The agreement is the first of what BET executives expect to be several
programming and resource alliances between the network and other Viacom
Inc.-owned services. Viacom purchased BET for $3 billion in November.
The layoffs are the second for the network since the Viacom deal. BET fired
more than 50 employees in March in what it termed then as a 'work-force