Stephen Hill Named BET Programming President

BET veteran executive Stephen Hill has been appointed president of programming for the African-American network, BET officials said Tuesday.

Hill, who formerly served as president of music programming and specials at BET, will will be responsible for all aspects of programming and direct programming and production across BET. Hill takes over for former programming head Loretha Jones who left the network earlier this year.

Hill most recently oversaw the development of such shows as the BET Awards, BET Honors, Black Girls Rock, The Hip Hop Awards, and Celebration of Gospel Prior to that,  Hill served as executive vice president of entertainment and music Programming.

“I have worked with Stephen for over 15 years, and his passion for the BET Brand has been apparent from the very beginning.  He has grown our music shows and specials into iconic and highly-rated programs beloved by our audience,” said Debra Lee, chairman and CEO for BET Networks.  “Over the past several years, he has expanded his role into scripted programming, launching our hit series Real Husbands of Hollywood. He is well-qualified and ready for this new challenge and I am excited to have him in this new 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.