Stephen Hill Exits BET

Well this is shocking…


Stephen Hill, president of programming for BET Networks, has resigned after 18 years with the company. Connie Orlando, senior VP for specials, music programming and news will serve as the interim head of programming for BET Networks.

Hill’s resignation was announced today (March 29) by BET Networks chairman/CEO Debra Lee. In an internal staff memo (below) obtained by Billboard, Lee saluted Hill as a “trusted colleague and friend” as well as his “energy, passion and love of BET.” Continued Lee, “Who could ever forget the Prince Tribute, James Brown and Michael Jackson, Beyoncé & Kendrick Lamar? The incredible ‘aww yeahhh’ moments Stephen has created during his 18 years literally are too many to mention.”

In his own parting remarks to the BET staff (also below), Hill—whose last day is this Friday (March 31)—cited Lee’s “investment in me and support of me from the very beginning” and praised the “abundance of talent at BET Networks; each person a spark that can start the blaze of the next success; to again take what is currently unimaginable and set on a path to make it real … I’m so excited to see where you next take this powerful, agile, thrusting spacecraft of a brand.”

There is no word as to what Hill’s next move will be. In the meantime, Hill promised in his memo that he will “jump back into the fast-paced double-dutch of life” after giving his feet a chance to sift sand on the beach “not unlike another former president.”

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