T Howard To Honor A+E, BET's Lee, Time Warner's Witmer

The T Howard Foundation will honor A+E Networks, BET chairman and CEO Debra Lee, and Time Warner Cable executive Melinda Witmer as part of its 20th Annual Diversity Awards dinner in March, the diversity organization announced Tuesday.

A+E Networks president and CEO Abbe Raven will accept the organization’s Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of A+E, while BET Networks chairman and CEO Debra Lee will be presented T Howard’s newly created Executive “Trailblazer” Award. Time Warner Cable executive vice president, chief video and content officer Melinda Witmer will receive the organization’s Executive Leadership Award.

Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman; Time Warner Cable executive vice president and chief communications officer Ellen East; DirecTV chief content officer Daniel York and A+E Networks president of distribution David Zagin will serve as dinner chairs for the event, which will be held March 20 in New York City.

“As T. Howard heads into its 20th year, we are delighted to celebrate our three honorees, whose achievements truly exemplify our commitment to pave the way for the country’s best and brightest minority students, and enable them to contribute their unique voice and vision to our industry,” said Jo Pamphile, President of the T. Howard Foundation in a prepared statement. “In addition, we are very pleased to pay tribute to T. Howard’s internship program alums – the next generation of up and coming multimedia and entertainment professionals.”

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.