Did You Know That BET Was The First African American Founded Company To Trade On The New York Stock Exchange?

2 Posted by - March 17, 2021 - LATEST POSTS

Black Entertainment Television (BET) is a Viacom–owned cable network based in Washington, D.C. The cable channel is viewed in more than 90 million homes worldwide. As of 2010 it was the most prominent television network targeting young black-American audiences and was the leading provider of black American cultural and entertainment based programming.

  The network first aired on January 25, 1980. Its founder, Robert L. Johnson, was a former lobbyist for the cable television industry in the late 1970s. In that capacity, Johnson quickly recognized the dearth of television programming designed for the African American public and created BET to reach that demographic audience.

BET premiered in 1980 modestly as a channel that ran two hours of weekly programming in select east coast cities. By the end of the year it extended its viewership throughout North America and the Caribbean and expanded programming to 24 hours of news and entertainment. Most of its early entertainment consisted of music videos, reruns of old black situation comedies and some original programs. The company lost money during its first several years but began to turn profitable by the mid 1980s. It also initiated changes in its format. BET by 1985 began to diversify its programming, adding politically-oriented news programs, comedy showcases, talk shows and sports features.

In 1988 BET News was launched with Ed Gordon serving as the anchor of the first half hour news program directed toward an African American audience. Gordon also served as host of a number of other programs and specials for BET, most notably a candid, in-depth interview in 1996 with former Heisman trophy winner and Hall of Fame football player Orenthal (O.J.) Simpson, who recently had been acquitted of murdering his wife. It was also during this year that BET Talk (later BET Tonight) debuted with Tavis Smiley.

The channel continued to flourish in the late 1990s with several news programs including Our Voices and Lead Story. By 1991, BET offered programming 24 hours a day; and it had expanded from music videos to gospel programs, public affairs shows, and Black college sports. The company also began its publishing division, with the purchase of YSB (Young Sisters & Brothers), a teen magazine; and a majority stake in Emerge, known as “Black America’s News Magazine.” That same year, BET went public, becoming the first African-American-owned company to trade on the New York Stock exchange. Much of the money raised in the public offering was used to reduce the company’s debt and to buy back stock held by Great American Broadcasting (which had acquired Taft Broadcasting in the interim).

However by 2002, as part of a restructuring, management switched its focus to entertainment programs primarily airing rap videos while eliminating its news staff and cancelling all of its news programs except BET Nightly News anchored by Jacque Reid and Michelle Miller. That program was cancelled in 2005. Later that year BET was sold to Viacom for $3 billion dollars.

Read More: Black Entertainment Television (BET) (1980– ) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed

Source: Brett Pulley, The Billion Dollar BET: Robert Johnson and the Inside Story of Black Entertainment Television (New York: Wiley 2005); John Eggerton, “PTC, Enough Is Enough Campaign Take on MTV, BET.” Broadcasting & Cable. April 9, 2008; David Lieberman, “BET Founder Talks About His Career and Generation.”  USA Today, December 2, 2010, B1. – See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/black-entertainment-television-bet-1980#sthash.6EzotPHv.dpuf



  • KH April 23, 2018 - 12:12 pm

    This article is incorrect. Black owned Parks Sausage was traded on the N.Y. Stock Exchange in 1969

  • Emma Love April 9, 2019 - 7:01 am

    Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the captial of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    The Jewish people deny Jesus as their Messiah and have stated that their Messiah has been identified and is waiting to be revealed. They say this man will rule the world under a one world religion called “spiritualism”.

    They even printed a coin to raise money for the Temple with Donald Trumps face on the front and with king Cyrus'(who built the second Temple) behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the third Temple.

    The Bible says this false Messiah who seats himself in the Third Temple will be thee antichrist that will bring about the Great Tribulation, though the Jewish people believe he will bring about world peace. It will be a false peace for a period of time. You can watch interviews of Jewish Rabbi’s in Israel speaking of these things. They have their plans set in place. It is only years away!

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18:

    He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we need two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.