BET Is Losing a G.O.A.T as Debra Lee Steps Down

at 3:03 pm | By

Switching Gears

Debra Lee has given BET over a quarter century of her life. So, as she steps down from leadership position, it’s only right to give her a warm send off.

The businesswomen started at BET as the television network’s Vice President of legal affairs department and general counsel in the late ’80s. She moved on to replace Robert L. Johnson, the network’s founder, as President and Chief Operating Officer of BET Holdings, Inc. Nearly 20 years later, in 2005, Lee stepped into the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position.

Under her care, the network’s production budget increased and new television shows came into being. She realigned the company’s mission statement to be more family oriented, which is where hits like Let’s Stay Together and The Family Crews grew from.

Lee even showed love to BET’s large (and growing) female viewership, launching CENTRIC in 2009. The network, which was originally named “BET Her,” mainly features lifestyle programing, including shows like Reed Between the Lines, Single Ladies, and Master of the Mix.

Her handiwork reached a milestone after BET reportedly earned $100 million in revenue in 2016.

Now, 31 years since her start in 1986, Debra Lee is stepping down as president of BET.

debra lee with a fan who shaved BET into their head source ig iamdebralee

Source: Instagram @iamdebralee