Stephen Hill Steps Down As BET President of Programming – Tha Wire
Today in Tha Wire there are a few programing changes coming to BET at the end of the week. Out of nowhere, Stephen Hill announced yesterday that he would be stepping down as President of Programing for the network at weeks end. The news is pretty sudden, as there was no indication that there were problems at the top.
Hill's week ending departure was officially announced by BET CEO Debra Lee, who sent a memo out to BET staff yesterday morning to break the news. According to reports, Mrs. Lee spoke highly of Hill and said the decision to step down was his. Hill has been a staple with the network parent company, Viacom, since 1995. His first gig with BET as President of Music Programming and Specials, began in 1999. In his memo to staff Hill noted that he started one day after Roger Troutman was killed. That he'd never forget that day, because he wanted to do something in programing to highlight Roger's life. Yet the technology at the time wouldn't allow for real time schedule changes.
In his letter Hill marveled at how far the network has come over the past 18-years, and he was proud of all the life changing, moments and miracles he's been a part of. Speaking of which he is credited for BET shows like; The BET Awards, The Hip Hop Awards, The Prince Tribute, 106 & Park, Real Husbands of Hollywood, and The New Edition Story, just to name a few.
So why is he leaving? That's a very good question. One I'm sure will be revealed in time. By the way, he's not the only one at the top making a move at BET. Word also has it EVP Head of Original Programming, Zola Mashariki, will be following Hill out the door. So something is going on and hopefully in the coming days this will all make more sense.
In the meantime, another big name is pulling out of the frontlines. HipHop DX reports 50 Cent has dropped from Chris Brown's upcoming road trip, The Party Tour. I'm not sure if it's a disagreement between the two camps or scheduling conflicts, but Fif name is no longer being mentioned as a co-headliner.
However sources are saying there's no problems between the two stars, rather 50's shooting a new movie and the dates of filming don't work with those of the tour. I'm inclined to believe that's more like it. Fif is shooting a movie right now. It's called, Den of Thieves, also starring Gerard Butler, OShea Jackson Jr. Look for the crime/thriller flick to arrive in theaters sometime next year.
As far as Breezy's tour, the show must go on and tickets are on sale now for dates close to home. That's the scoop for today. For all things entertainment tune into Tha Wire every weekday on The People's Station 107 Jamz.