Pasadena, Calif. -- In its first major intracompany alliance under Viacom
Inc. ownership, Black Entertainment Television will use the resources of CBS
News to help program new and existing 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-owned
Beginning Oct. 1, CBS will jointly produce BET's signature weekday news
shows, BET Nightly News and BET Tonight with Ed Gordon. However,
BET will retain complete control of each show's content, senior vice president
of news, public affairs and program acquisitions Nina Henderson Moore said.
The announcement, made at the Television Critics Association tour here, also
calls for CBS to contribute resources to BET's new monthly newsmagazine show,
Inside Studio 2,which is set to premiere in October.
In addition, the cable network will have access to CBS Newspath's 24-hour
newsgathering operation to gather news and information for its other news
BET will move production of its news shows from Washington, D.C., to an
as-yet-undetermined site in New York, Henderson said. BET will also receive
production and newsgathering support from CBS-owned stations.
BET officials added that the network's on-air news personalities could also
appear in CBS News-related programs as part of the agreement.
The deal comes as BET plans to aggressively ramp up its news and
public-affairs programming. Along with its current news shows, BET will create
short primetime news breaks at 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Also, the network will create satellite offices in Washington -- which will
feature its first White House correspondent -- as well as in Los Angeles and New
'Our platform for delivering news and information will be raised to a broader
national and international level with this relationship,' Henderson said.
While the deal marks the first synergistic relationship between BET and a
Viacom-owned service since the $3 billion media giant purchased the
African-American-skewing network in November, Henderson said others are in the
'We're talking to all Viacom divisions about the same type of synergies that
are encompassed in this announcement,' she said. 'We'll look for opportunities
where we can find platforms in areas, whether they're programming or otherwise,
that allow us to take advantage of both networks' brand