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the this is in black america reflections of a white experience in american society like black entertainment television to be in every major urban market in america and in every city with anything resembling a significant black population for that matter c lao black population because i think in a change of culture will be good for white americans well good entertainment caliban from a business standpoint i like to be where we are underwriting a producing program untapped talent out of hollywood giving blanks an opportunity to show they can agree at work in creative impact they can do on the side of the public debate an impact on society i like a black entertainment television to be a force in providing information of
abhorrence of black america things about our philosophy attitude about the society trade on television in a way and i think if we get rid of the genome project and i'll be very heavy weapons and intelligence as rapper all those three things at the mosque robert johnson is president and founder of black entertainment television like entertainment television this country's first and only black korea's ally that were programmed to over seven million cable subscribers nationwide eighties black oriented programming includes news and public affairs black college sports classic black films and video music recently black entertainment television celebrating its fifth anniversary year twenty four hour cable service hadn't of the articles broadcasting magazine and the new york times' newspaper at the present time they are over one thousand companies several cities with eight percent or above black population as carrington i carried placards and television really of a black oriented service
i'm john ensign and this week our focus is on black entertainment television with founder and president mr robert johnson in black america the other issue though and two to write about is the whole question of the jolt that ways and so that says i'm really sizzling than in the cable business isn't on them brennan of the group the one in dc franchise and also shares in it but really not unknown in this is that the coupling that only black entertainment television which is a cable programming service and we distribute programming via satellite courage about seven million homes are beginning october we drove around forty two hours a week beginning apple will begin programming twenty four hours a day a program into cable subscribers across a mission the probably accounted there is one as i said before we can deliver the programming all satellite we got a hungry audience waiting to see them is as reagan pointed out in the readership get black readers knew that black writers and it got black entertainer that's totally un tap an anaconda an underutilized
what we need is access to the subscriber to the house or in most markets we don't control the cable franchise of all enjoy the market we know the job a friend of the job of a local cable operator the cable operators who operate systems in markets with significant black populations of simply denying access to those but subscribers lynette to spend over a billion dollars in signing up for cable television and yet cable operators refused to carry in some cases our program or to produce local programming and significance to the black consumer marketplace and i think that this is a tragedy that i will bring to your attention and basically in the business of selling advertising on sci fi can't reason people overeat i can't sell their advertising if i can sell advertising it produced a programming and therefore the diversity of voices to receive ideas of their opinions about blacks everything from taking gramling football nationwide to providing of them are programming to public affairs in those
programming is no is not in the black market place one day we deduce that we now program forty two as we got but at our blog to three r block's will now program three at our blocks and we'll just repeat performances of the switch to doing cable television repeat the port and before twenty four hour day we will air force out hours over with current every video music onto the back of a big expansion of the program we get now on video so acceptable be more video music probably without the days we will also get a one hour talk show out of la sammy davis jr is taking a pile of force and he likes the pilot that is going to use to do twenty six one hour talk shows of los angeles we'll be adding a show that sort of i guess a poor man's version of entertainment tonight targeted at black entertainers focusing on what's happening in the world we also aired a one hour news omnibus kind of news wrap up show at the end of a week get something focusing on what happened this week
and black america we have an agreement with abc news yet says laurie abc news in addition being a walk into a circuit court were much of what happens is news we will pull back together whoo emmy for a female aren't programs have a talk show to the net worth and no will continue to improve on the current programming we get a course who can in rubble for season of black college football basketball and i will require some additional syndicated program but basically the dangerous will be improved in the programming more music and a better network operation since january twenty fifth nineteen eighty black entertainment television has been providing programming of a black oriented nature to over seven million cable subscribers nationwide robert janssen the network's founder and president began designing and developing the concept was serving as vice president for government relations with the national cable television association the anc ga is the trade association
for the cable television industry motivated by the growing emphasis on increasing the obama no minorities in the cable industry with a jazz and capitalize on his contact within the cable tv industry us incursion in air support of the anc t a plus the beach event you in nineteen eighty four robert janssen charge a cable industry with faded to serve your interests of a black cable subscribers as to jackson's criticism of the cable industry was directed to cable operators who refused to live programming of the interest of the black community while at the same time expanding in excess of one billion dollars in nineteen eighty four in subscriber revenue from black cable subscribers when black entertainment television began five years ago a dude existing programs from broadcast and film industry ms beatty distributors programming using a domestic communications satellite videotapes i said from the abt offices to the usa network with a program to transmit up to the satellite
but that's in a television ad started in my mind about nineteen seventy eight when i was at the national cable television association and saw the growth of cable in the major markets and the need for a black programming it were to serve black subscribers around the country and sending man know about january we went on the air with a black entertainment television but you put together a group of investors will want a small business is stand up pretty much as a sole business i have was a lobbyist for the national cable television association the saddest acre rescind quit my job then no borrowed fifteen thousand dollars i signed along with my wife was a co signer and matt talk to a couple of executive pay will tell his ministry and found out that the president of tci the nation's largest cable company like the idea he became my second partner and from that we've put the biz again without the advent of cable us ally with black entertainment television be a reality today
no we met the head of technology that allows the distribution of programming outside of the traditional net worth for a system feeding stations that are limited in the number that have a market cable television is able to expand the diversity of programming choices to sound like a recent our country cable systems have anywhere from thirty literally up to a hundred channels so you can provide a program to target smaller audiences and diverse demographic groups that's exactly like this in the beginning like entertainment television was somewhat limited service not has increased do in that time was a difficulty in finding quality program for family warner programs for the network well the threat we stand out as a two hour week service and anyone to forty two as we cannot go one here twenty four hours ago day the key for us is finding good black or a programming most program is produced with the idea to sell and a number of their
ancillary markets what you produce programs are tired too narrow group your manager all tourists ancillary sales so we have to develop program and plus the other factors we don't have them to subscriber base of the revenue base to produce a lot of original work to recover alliance that was in the can christopher we can produce in a limited studio version but as we see it we get two minutes and tab black talent in the hollywood community in fact throughout the country but waiting there and it's just a matter of growing households getting more us subscriber revenues getting more advertising revenues and therefore producing viper and a great talent is there's just a matter of dollars to underwrite imagining a press release today bailout of black americans that's right the cable and not having the opportunity to watch beatty what can they do to really a situation where we have person walk away for that matter listening to this news radio station and in a market where there's cable should immediately contacted cable operator asked him to carry
black entertainment television a black americans as a whole it spent about a billion dollars a year in cable subscriptions and the basic monthly fee to pay for the servers not mention any of hbo or the pacers us yet we are service to the cable operator costs of three cents a subscriber so we believe that cable operators have an obligation to provide diversity they're taking money for the black community but not putting inequality black programming beckham and they have a monopoly on the service of there's no place to get us except via cable so i think black americans should tell a cable operators you taking my money gimme zipper and i wanna see and that this duplicate what i can already get over the air or what i'm giving him family of emmett words ago provided by program how do you go about deciding on what programs will be aired on bt what programs will be initiated a new fall season were programmed the time the program olympiad except my basic approach of course is a tarp or as a black consumer market and that means prayer features black entertainers
and leading role to address black coat of paint and lifestyle our what we decide to do is basically really what we got for weezer approach of them for the back where we we established a budget as what we can put into programming and mango outlook for programming that meet their budget yet at the same time maximize a quality product and the attractive to advertisers obviously we know football is a good attraction for average as one reads that the male viewers so we do evan by college football games into him by college basketball game we know there's a demand for programming a recent black female so we do a cooking show and we do they a woman sorry talk show we know those images in reaching young people eighteen to forty nine with a video music programs we produce a lot of video music program we also chat about a program that i think speaks directly to the black viewers interest in writing and gaining more information in and about black america so we will have started to fall a thirty minute news wrap up
show that'll do with musicians over the week that affect black america we have an entertainment show dua bikes and entertainment business and we keep looking for innovative approaches that are within our budget to develop around attract the audience an unholy audience an outdoor grill her to come over there to be unstoppable for it yet we were looking for so they were said the network black entertainment lgbt we we we liked or the tile or maybe ti really means bet which is a term that you'd probably get you you say tomato and i realized that was it to turn to the currency if you will in the black community so that that has a ring of the logo which is a us bright ghost are under a black be as religious something that would depict entertainment something that would be yeah so the flash in the book his heirs and at the same time we wanted something that was with strong statement about our commitment to black programming so we came out with the logo of the star that implies a hollywood kind of entertainment side of it and
the bee which is a in the black below which are set represents our commitment to the blackberry jam this is at the present time how many halls of pt shelling beaty gary he received today in over seven million cable tv households across the country about three hundred and seventy market or by comparison there are over six thousand five hundred cable tv systems in the country and we've identified a thousand cable systems and markets with that a black population of exceed eight percent somewhat as matty matheson that dont carry black entertainment television and they are the people omer i referred to reprogram islam or jew and take everything out in terms of the feet of blacks as robert but like slum lord who own terms of blacks lived and don't put anything back to rehabilitate him make the head of the housing data so we were calling on every bone in black america to hit to complement to urge the cable operators to put black entertainment television on assistance the size of a in programming with cable you're also
a franchise owner in the west indies see harry potter franchise on why is cable television this industry attractive to black americans are should be attracted to black americans oh i think they're two reason one is it's it's about his business opportunity and i think black american to become more more business or an m or more where the opportunities as the doors open in terms of financing capability and now into what's happening in the business the second reason i think is is a one is i think black entertainment television generate so much excitement is that blacks have long been denied a voice a chance to express their ideas their philosophy opinions in a medium where they have the control in the sale of logo on that that the degree program so i think that the combination of television cable television being built the business and a medium where you can communicate ideas using visual form which i think is a powerful form of communication in the world then i think that has some attraction for black out of the nose by businesspeople i was totally well as you do
do you be one third party to others yeah live here's my town and you know wanted the name is b fifty fifty of us and none of your tooth there's no one for me so i say well no i can't do it like that it's gone on it so that one group fell out is another way in ways we went to them and then allow money but they had a lot of political clout as we say look here's the deal will do you come on in and what you've done in preparing a franchise in casa limon in particular application that so that will give you twenty percent of the deal just the sweat equity of putting your application they said they will give us twenty percent but it can never be diluted no matter how much money if any somali if you can't pay your way we will give you the first twenty but if we keep having cash got together made into a knot know do we think we can win so what happened in essence was a free black groups all intelligent people on knowledge about an occasion but all knowing within them the money went up and got out of the
fight where we ended up going out getting white company to be a financial backers the end result is we do have a blood on french a significant leverage in terms of debt the way companies that have to happen that way but that's just a problem that happened in a very competitive environment cable television where people seek movie franchise lucrative mining as a very tough business but i think that something that that this is gonna happen cable television in the minute remaining cities and it's it's gummy sort of forgetting can result is going to be as a say the same companies that own cable properties about an issue on the major currencies even though we do have the political clout to get the franchises in your opinion what do you foresee the future of black entertainment television war which like for it to be ten years and now we sit here today at the lapd a conference talk about black entertainment television about ten years that i like black entertainment television to be in every major remark in america and in every city with anything resembling a sin of the black population for that matter so the black population because i think
in a change of culture will be good for america's well good entertainment colorblind from a business standpoint i like to be where we are underwriting introducing programs so that untapped talent out of hollywood giving blacks an opportunity to show they can agree at work in creative impact they can do i'm on the side of public affairs an impact on society i like for black entertainment television to be a force in providing information of imports of black america things about our philosophy attitudes about the society could mean a trade on television in a meaningful way and i think if we get ray routine vote rejected i'll be very happy with whether to metallica's wrap around all those three things with them also be a successful business but my job all about playing the classic black veils it's simply about those films is that the ziegfeld produced early thirties and forties when about black production cummings with and most of all the fall of all i care the fact is the seldom produced during the thirties when they had said in the eighties so effective at a serious film industry
mike mammoth funded under the a depression and a dandy pa program foreigners so blacks get to share that the films will play the severity of the black production coverage for whatever reason did not remove the copyright license only the ticket tiles and so a copy right after twenty six year period period lapsed and they still live thousand libre kahn is in the public domain and you're going to get a lawyer and administrative costs over well and there you can explore them from now on the commercial use because they are in the public domain so we've taken those films an airman a show on bt call them that's but some questions most programs on bt are on tape you foresee in the future near future of doing say a live program this hour starting october one will go near twenty four and we will head a once a week a live call in show called on the line with it's it's beyond of what a month now and we've had such success with the show to remake a once
a week it's gonna be an open forum for black viewers to call an expressed their opinions and ideas on a number of issues as well as the average think personalities in politics business entertainment world as well as people interesting thing so we see that shows really being our one of our flagship shows in the new middle basically when alex heard about is the cable television business but what about my business at where i see it's going well in nineteen eighty for me i'm unlike to what adam was saying here about the window being open in a radio and broadcast properties go kart tv and other things in the us and so i the windows closing in cable television and i think it's very much closed all minority ownership and about the state was and three or four years ago no reason prince of reading is a cable television highlight broadcasting is very first our standpoint very capital intensive you know taking on the order of
a hundred and thirty million dollars to wire a city like washington dc and the fact that moses only so many cities of that sighs were blacks have the political clout to put together a whole award winning application in a city so with the remaining top twelve cities remain to be wired for cable television ads it granted france as the process growing franchise i think you don't see very limited minority ownership beyond that and the end result is a cable television is a technology can be very important and provide a diversity board universe of ideas we'll end up pretty much in the same hands the people who control the only a television and much of the other communication that weighs in the nation when i got involved in the army or operatives i was a particular group in washington they go up the franchise and we are successful in doing that we were unsuccessful and we were
doing one thing reagan said the voice on the radio probably used to be eating join other people's backyard and try to get a franchise is so we thought that would be the case and what you know of that worked their way we had other people come in we thought our backyard and try to get the franchise and now and when we went to a pandemic and say hey look as the last got to goma to the names in a way we lead tillman said he economy and we understand that you're a good person though do blackened town but nearby cal so we'll get some advice and do it let's not fight of money on it has no money to finance at best a fifty fifty deal i was totally well as you do do you be one third party to vote dr live here's my town and you know wanted the name is b fifty fifty of us and none of your tooth there's no one for me so i said well no it can go like that it's gone and so that when that fell out in another way
in ways we went to them and they have a lot of money but they had a lot of political clout as we say look here's the deal will do you come on in and what you've done in preparing a franchise in casa limon in a particular application that so that will give you twenty percent of the deal just the sweat equity of putting your application they said they will give us twenty percent but it can never be diluted no matter how much money if any somali if you can't pay you wave me will give you the first twenty but if we keep having cash going to get amended to not know do we think we can win so what happened in essence was a free black groups all intelligent people on knowledge about an adjacent is all knowing within them the money went up and caught up right where we ended up going on getting white company to be a financial backers the end result is weak global glut of french at a significant leverage in terms of debt the way companies didn't have to happen but that's just a problem that happened a very competitive like cable television where people see movie franchise lucrative mining
as a very tough business but i think that something that that this is gonna happen cable television intimate remaining cities and it's it's gummy sort of forgetting can result is going to be as a say the same companies that own cable properties about an issue on the major currencies even though we do have the political clout to get the franchises the other issue though and to have to write about is the whole question of the jolt that ways and so that says i'm really sizzling than in the cable business and on the front of the group the one in dc franchise and also shares in it but really not unknown in this is that the coupling that only black entertainment television which is a cable programming service and we distribute programming via satellite courage about seven million homes are beginning october we drove around forty two hours a week beginning apple will begin programming twenty four hours a day a program into cable subscribers across a mission the probably accounted there is one episode before we can deliver the programming on satellite we got a hungry audience waiting to see them is as reagan pointed out in
the readership get black readers knew that a black writers and it got black entertainment that's totally un tap an anaconda an underutilized what we need is access to the subscriber to the house or in most markets we don't control the cable franchise and have all joined the market will georgia friend of the job of a local cable operator and so what i've done this summer you may have fretted is your press release saying that the cable operators who operate systems in markets with significant white populations a simply denying access to those but subscribers lynette to spend over a billion dollars in signing up for cable television and yet cable operators refused to carry in some cases our program or to produce local programming any significance to the black consumer marketplace and i think that this is a tragedy that i will bring to your attention and basically in the business of selling advertising on sci fi can't reason people overeat i can't sell their advertising if i can sell advertising it
produced a programming and therefore the diversity of voices to receive ideas of their opinions about blacks everything from taking gramling football nationwide to providing them or programming to public affairs in those programming is no is not in the black market place so i looked at what's happening in the cable television business today is one of the fighting for control the pathways control of a way to communicate your ideas an annual your opinions to the population that's carly under serb unofficial broadcast methods that's what we're trying to do a black entertainment television i certainly hope that i can count on your support in those markets were various cable and they don't carry black entertainment television it is simply it's very simple process to do so all the cable up they need to do is make available and we believe that in northwest be successful were gonna need that kind of broad distribution nationwide and that funds our work for a war for jury accused tell me make a friendly
forum even so on that image in france as a white family flees war thank you essentially mr jessen says black entertainment television as a medium for developing commercial entertainment tiger to the mainstream of black america i've been speaking with mr robert johnson founder and president of black entertainment television which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary if you have a comment like approaches a cassette copy of his program write us the dresses in black america long one radio network ut austin austin texas seventy seven twelve when black america's technical producer david alvarez i'm janet so join us next week nancy
Series
In Black America
Program
Black Entertainment Television
Producing Organization
KUT Radio
Contributing Organization
KUT Radio (Austin, Texas)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/529-np1wd3r873
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Description
Robert Johnson, founder and president of BET
Created
1986-04-29
Asset type
Program
Genres
Interview
Topics
Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Rights
University of Texas at Austin
Media type
Sound
Duration
00:29:28
Embed Code
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Credits
Copyright Holder: KUT
Guest: Robert Johnson
Host: John L. Hanson
Producing Organization: KUT Radio
AAPB Contributor Holdings
KUT Radio
Identifier: IBA24-85 (KUT Radio)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 0:29:00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Citations
Chicago: “In Black America; Black Entertainment Television,” 1986-04-29, KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 14, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-529-np1wd3r873.
MLA: “In Black America; Black Entertainment Television.” 1986-04-29. KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 14, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-529-np1wd3r873>.
APA: In Black America; Black Entertainment Television. Boston, MA: KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-529-np1wd3r873