BET Names Connie Orlando As Its Head Of Programming

BET Networks Thursday officially named Connie Orlando as its executive vice president, head of programming.

Orlando, who was named interim head of programming after the departure of network programming president Stephen Hill this past March, will lead the BET News and the original programming, music programming and specials teams responsible for creating, developing, and producing content across the network. 

Orlando, who previously served as senior vice president of specials, music programming and news at the network, will report to Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks, and will split her time between Los Angeles and New York. 

 “Having worked with Connie for the past 10 years, I continue to be impressed and inspired by her creativity and passion for the BET Brand,” said Lee in a statement.  “During her tenure at BET, Connie has played a critical role in the network’s largest expansion into original programming.  She is beyond qualified and ready for this new challenge, and I am thrilled to have her in this role.”

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.