Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of the RLJ Companies and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) was inducted into the 2013 Giants of Broadcasting Honors. Inductees are chosen annually. It is the highest award recognition in media from the Library of American Broadcasting. The event was held at New York’s Gotham Hall.
“I am honored to be recognized by the Library of American Broadcasting as an inductee into the 2013 Giants of Broadcasting. I have had an incredible journey in business and entertainment and it began with the launch of Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 1979. During that time, the cable business was one of most dynamic growth industries and I am honored to be recognized as a pioneer for this effort. It’s an exciting time to get back into media during today’s digital revolution, which is what I’ve done with the launch of RLJ Entertainment, Inc. The way we view content and entertainment today, whether by broadcast and cable or digital, is highly innovative and dynamic and it’s an honor to be able to continue making a mark in the industry. The “Giants Honor” is a prestigious recognition and I am proud to be among this year’s inductees,” Johnson told The Network Journal.
The award signifies outstanding leadership and innovation in broadcasting and media.
In 1991, the BET Network became the first African American owned company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Johnson sold the company to Viacom in 2001, but stayed on as CEO through 2006.
His new company, RLJ Companies, has business operations in a variety of arenas including hotel real estate investment, sports, automotive, and financial services. RLJ Entertainment was launched in 2012 and is one of the largest independent global distributors of entertainment content and programming in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.