BET To Honor Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, `Diddy'

BET will honor R&B singer Whitney Houston, actress/singer Queen Latifah and hip-hop entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs as part of its third annual BET Honors show premiering Feb. 1.
The 2010 show, which honors standout African-American individuals across several business and entertainment categories, is scheduled to tape Jan. 16 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., according to BET officials.
Multi-Grammy winner Houston will receive the network's entertainment award, while Oscar-nominee Latifah will take home BET's media award, and respected business mogul Combs will be recognized with an entrepreneur award. Also receiving awards will be accomplished educator Ruth Simmons (education) and world renowned neurosurgeon Keith Black (Public Service).
"Each of our five celebrants are dedicated to reaching back to help bring more forward and represent integrity, perseverance, fortitude and outsized talent, said Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials for BET Networks in a statement. "Music, merriment and memories are only a small part of BET Honors. We also hope to encourage our viewers to embody and emulate the passion and drive of these individuals."
Last year's show, which showcased NBA legend Ervin "Magic" Johnson, singer/songwriter Mary J. Blige and actor/playwright Tyler Perry, averaged 2.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.