BET Honors Magic Johnson, Blige, Perry

BET will pay homage to NBA legend Ervin “Magic” Johnson, singer/songwriter Mary J. Blige and actor/playwright Tyler Perry and several other prominent African-Americans as part of its annual BET Honors event next month.

The show, which honors standout African-American individuals across several business and entertainment categories, will take place Jan. 17 in Washington D.C. and will air Feb. 9 on BET as part of the network's Black History Month programming lineup, BET said.

Former Los Angeles Lakers' star Johnson will receive the network's corporate citizen award, while Perry — creator of TBS's comedy series Tyler Perry's House of Payne and star/producer of such theatrical films as Madea's Family Reunion — will take home the media award. Multi-Grammy winner Blige will be recognized with an entertainment honor, according to the network.

Also receiving honors during the event will be Judith Jameson (education); B. Smith (entrepreneur); and Rep. James Clyburn (public service.)

Last year's inaugural Honors show showcased such executives as former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons; model/entertainer Tyra Banks; Rep. Maxine Waters; educator Cornell West; and singer/songwriter/actress Alicia Keys. That show's Feb. 22 premiere drew 1.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

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.