BET Names Mills President and COO

BET Networks made several executive moves Thursday, naming 10-year network veteran Scott Mills as its president and chief operating officer and appointing BET Interactive executive Michael Pickrum as its chief financial officer.

The network also named MTV Networks executive Denmark West as its president of digital media.

Mills, who was most recently BET Networks’ CFO and president of digital media, will lead the company’s advertising sales; content distribution and marketing; legal and business affairs; finance; digital; research; international; and administration operations. Mills, who joined BET in 1997 as senior vice president of business strategy and business development, will report directly to BET chairman and CEO Debra Lee.

“Scott brings incredible operational, financial and digital expertise to this new role -- qualities that will help him to guide BET Networks to a position of even greater growth,” Lee said in a prepared statement. “His leadership and vision for the future will ensure that we are working in the most efficient and strategic way possible across our business.”

In his role as CFO, Pickrum -- who was formerly executive VP and COO of BET Interactive -- will be responsible for managing the financial operations for BET Networks and will play a strategic role in the overall management of the company.

Formerly MTVN’s global-digital-media executive VP and chief of operations, West will lead BET’s expanding portfolio of digital brands, including, BET Mobile, BET on Demand and BET’s digital-download offerings. West -- who, along with Pickrum, will report to Mills -- will also oversee the development and implementation of the company’s global digital strategy.

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.