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BET Names Co-Programming President Pair

BET Thursday named former MTV programming executive Loretha Jones and network veteran Stephen Hill to head up its programming department.

The appointment of Jones and Hill as co-programming presidents comes two months after the dismissal of BET Entertainment President Reginald Hudlin from the head programming spot.

Jones, who will be based in Los Angeles, and Hill, who remains in New York, report directly to BET chairman and CEO Debra Lee.

Jones will be charged with overseeing original programming, news, development, planning and acquisitions for the African-American-targeted network. Most recently the executive vice president of MTV Films/Paramount Pictures, Jones served as producer of such shows as the Robert Townsend sitcom The Parent ‘Hood; theatrical movies The Fighting Temptations; The Meteor Man and The Five Heartbeats, and MTV original film Carmen: A Hip Hopera.

Hill (pictured) will oversee all music programming and specials, including the signature BET Awards show and daily music-video series 106 & Park. Hill, formerly executive vice president of music programming and talent for BET, also oversees BET network specials Spring Bling and Rip The Runway.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Loretha to the BET Networks family, and I’m so excited about Stephen’s promotion,” Lee said in a statement. “We’ve made great strides over the last few years with our original programming strategy, and this development is the next step in our evolution and in building on what we’ve already achieved.

In third quarter 2008, BET averaged a flat 0.6 primetime household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.