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Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson

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Also Known As: Bob Johnson, Robert Louis Johnson Died:
Born: April 8, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Freeport, Illinois, USA Profession: executive, public affairs manager, press secretary

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Cable TV executive who in 1980 founded Black Entertainment TV (BET), the only black-owned and oriented national cable channel, with $15,000 of his own money and a $500,000 investment from cable giant Tele-Communications Inc. Despite a rocky history, the network, which features many music videos by African-American performers, college sports, movies, news and talk shows, has adopted a 24-hour format and Johnson has gradually seen its modest ratings increase. Unafraid to confront MTV with its domination of airing rights to black music videos, Johnson has also worked to produce original TV dramas and celebrity shows for his network and continues to explore the growing realm of pay-per-view TV.

Cable TV executive who in 1980 founded Black Entertainment TV (BET), the only black-owned and oriented national cable channel, with $15,000 of his own money and a $500,000 investment from cable giant Tele-Communications Inc. Despite a rocky history, the network, which features many music videos by African-American performers, college sports, movies, news and talk shows, has adopted a 24-hour format and Johnson has gradually seen its modest ratings increase. Unafraid to confront MTV with its domination of airing rights to black music videos, Johnson has also worked to produce original TV dramas and celebrity shows for his network and continues to explore the growing realm of pay-per-view TV.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Stardust (1997) Young Boy
2.
 Red Sky at Morning (1971) Paul Robinson
3.
 Black Angels (1970) Knifer
4.
 Hero's Island (1962) Pound
5.
 Ride the High Iron (1957) Porter
6.
 Autumn Leaves (1956)
7.
 The View from Pompey's Head (1955) Bellhop
8.
 Bad for Each Other (1954) Attendant
9.
 I Want You (1951) Porter
10.
 Mighty Joe Young (1949) Ali
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1972:
Worked in the public affairs office of Princeton University
1973:
Served as press secretary to the Honorable Walter E. Fauntroy, Congressional delegate from the District of Columbia
:
Employed as vice president, government relations, for the National Cable TV Association
1980:
Founder and president of cable channel Black Entertainment TV (BET)
1980:
Founder and president of District Cablevision Inc.
1991:
Oversaw the broadcast of his first cable pay-per-view effort, a James Brown concert
1991:
Partner of actor-producer Tim Reid in United Image Entertainment
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Illinois: Urbana , Illinois - 1968

Notes

In the summer of 1991, Johnson staged a brief boycott of MCA Records artists after MTV garnered exclusive rights to air the videos of MCA rap group Heavy D and the Boyz. Record industry publicist Ramon Hervey notes that "If it were not for BET, a lot of artists would not have had any [video] exposure....MTV has never really played much black music, until recently. I'm surprised that Bob Johnson didn't take a harsher stand earlier." Johnson, though, notes that, despite the competition for music videos, "we have an advantage because BET's been there for black artists for a long time". --From LOS ANGELES TIMES, August 19, 1991

Johnson is the Director to Cable TV Advertisement Bureau.

He is the recipient of the President's Award from the National Cable Association (1982)

He is also a recipient of the Image Award from the NAACP (1982)

Johnson is a member of the advisory council College Communication

He was elected director of Liberty Media Corp., a cable company (1991)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Sheila Crump. Married on January 19, 1969.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Paige Johnson.

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