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BET Latest Viacom Cable Network To Revamp At Top

Deadline logo Deadline 6/29/2017 Patrick Hipes

Michael D. Armstrong has been named General Manager at BET Networks, the latest move at Viacom’s revamping core cable network units. The news comes the same day Viacom sibling CMT said longtime CMT president Brian Philips has stepped down and TV Land GM Frank Tanki would take over as GM.

BET Networks chairman and CEO Debra Lee appointed Armstrong, who had been EVP and GM, Revenue and Emerging Brands, Viacom International Media Networks. He will be tasked with driving strategy and operations, with direct oversight of Content Strategy & Multiplatform Scheduling, Marketing, Corporate Communications and Operations. He will also liaise with teams across Viacom’s Media Networks and report directly to Lee.

As part of the new leadership, Jeanine Liburd has been appointed Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, a new position. Donna Blackman is expanding her role as SVP Business Operations and will serve as the liaison for all internal BET Networks departments with Viacom Media Networks shared services. Both Liburd and Blackman will report to Armstrong.

“Today’s announcement outlines key changes to our operating structure that further solidify our position as a thriving global brand,”  said Lee in a press release announcing the moves. “Michael exemplifies the values of strong, dynamic leadership – and his vast knowledge of our industry and how our audiences connect with content is unmatched. Known for their passion for our business and their strong experience in the industry, Jeanine and Donna have a proven track record of developing dynamic strategies that have accelerated growth, elevated brand awareness for BET and engaged consumers worldwide. These appointments will strengthen our ability to drive growth in ratings and digital metrics, achieve strategic goals and deliver strong financial performance.”

BET has been labeled one of Viacom’s flagship cable brands along with Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, MTV and Paramount, with Spike to be rebranded as The Paramount Network.

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