BET Takes Over VH1 Soul

BET has taken over sister music video channel VH1 Soul, the network said Tuesday.

The channel, which primarily features music videos from R&B performers like John Legend, Keshia Cole and Mary J. Blige, was renamed BET Soul on Dec. 28, according to network officials. BET will take over programming duties of the channel, led by VH1 Soul original programmer Michelle Johnson, BET’s current director of music and talent relations.

The 20 million-subscriber channel counts as its distributors AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Cox, Charter, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Bright House and Verizon FiOS.

BET officials also said the channel will feature new and exclusive music-themed content that will be announced at a later date.

“Soul music has always been part of BET Network’s DNA and we have the opportunity with BET Soul to expand our music content platform,” said the network in a statement. “VH1 Soul will continue to showcase R&B music on series, tentpole specials and VH1's digital platforms."

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.