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BET names Viacom exec as president in rejig

BET Networks, the US network targeting African Americans, has named Scott M. Mills from parent Viacom as president and will bring the exec in for the post on January 1, as chairman and CEO Debbie Lee steps back.

Scott M. MillsPrior to his work with Viacom, Mills acted as COO for BET Networks, where he led its business functions, including sales, finance and legal and business affairs.

Mills will now oversee overall strategy and day-to-day operations at BET including oversight of the brand’s programming, ad sales and digital teams.

Debra Lee, BET’s chairman and CEO, will continue her role but step back from day-to-day duties and advise Mills. Lee has acted as CEO since 2005.

BET’s general manager, Michael Armstrong, will continue his position and now report to Mills.

Earlier this year, Stephen Hill and Zola Mashariki stepped down from their roles as programming chiefs.

Mills most recently served as executive VP and chief administrative officer at Viacom, where he has been overseeing human resources, real estate, facilities and security.

Lee said: “Today, BET is thriving as the number one network for African American audiences, and we continue to see strong growth in ratings, share and social engagement.

“I have spent more than 20 years leading this incredible enterprise and I am so proud of the BET team and all that we have accomplished. As I look to the future, I believe it is the right time to take a step back from day-to-day responsibilities at BET. I look forward to working closely with Scott, Michael, our many talented people – and very importantly, BET’s communities and external stakeholders.”