BET’s ‘Ultimate Hustler’ Winner Joins Network as Executive VP

Brian Rikuda BET
Brian Rikuda (Image credit: BET)

Brian Rikuda is joining BET as executive VP of enterprise growth strategy, business operations and programming strategy, reporting to BET president and CEO Scott Mills.

Most recently an associate partner at McKinsey & Co., Rikuda was the winner of BET’s Ultimate Hustler, a hip-hop version of The Apprentice featuring Damon Dash in 2005.

In his new job, Rikuda will be in charge of BET’s Enterprise and Business Group. He will oversee the network’s scheduling, acquisition and research teams and lead performance and cost assessment, identify new business opportunities and look for ways to grow the BET brand.

“BET is uniquely positioned to thrive at the intersection of content, community, and culture, and with Brian leading our enterprise strategy, we plan to supercharge our already expanding portfolio of businesses,” said Mills. “As we embark on a new year, Brian’s experience alongside our brilliant and diverse BET leadership team places us in a great position to further increase our share, and drive usage and record-breaking revenue growth in 2022.”

BET is part of ViacomCBS.

In addition to helping clients within McKinsey’s tech, media and telecom practice, Rikuda co-led the McKinsey Black Network on the West Coast. Before joining McKinsey, he founded and operated a hip-hop record label and a cloud based app development company.

“For over 40 years, BET has been a pillar of Black culture, and been a platform for a multitude of meaningful and impactful moments, so it is important that the BET brand is accessible wherever and however audiences consume content,” said Rikuda. “Identifying opportunities to both grow the brand and lead these shifts—because Black culture often precedes general market trends—will forge the future of BET and influence the industry at large.”  ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.