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[07/16/08 - 01:26 PM]
BET Networks Continues Its Extensive Election Year Political Coverage with Comprehensive Plans for the Democratic and Republican Conventions
Plus: BET News will unveil a new and timely weekly talk show, THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON, premiering on Friday, August 15.

[via press release from BET]

BET Networks Continues its Extensive Election Year Political Coverage With Comprehensive Plans for the Democratic and Republican Conventions

BET News Also Reveals New Talk Show 'THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON' Premieres Friday, August 15 at 11:00 P.M.*

Through 'THE TRUTH,' Long-Time BET Host and Political Correspondent Jeff Johnson Tackles Today's Top Stories and Delivers a Keen Analysis of the Issues Facing the Black Community

WASHINGTON, July 16 -- BET Networks today unveiled more details of its extensive election year political coverage, including the network's plans for this fall's Democratic and Republican National Conventions, as well as the premiere date of the BET News show THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON. The company shared this news, along with its other upcoming programming announcements and overviews of its digital strategy, research efforts and pro-social initiatives, with members of Congress, leaders of major national organizations, and local elected officials in an election-themed presentation at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association Cable Multimedia Center.

"As the leading African American targeted media company in the world, we have a comprehensive plan in place to reach our influential community of voters both on air and online," said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BET Networks. "We're so proud to give our audience a wealth of information and analysis throughout every step of this historic presidential election, all the while encouraging them to vote and make their voices heard."

"With the launch of 'The Truth With Jeff Johnson,' along with all of our other in-depth political coverage, we are providing a unique and necessary perspective on the issues important to the Black community," said Reginald Hudlin, President of Entertainment, BET. "BET News is committed to informing our audience with the news they can't get anywhere else, with a diversity of voices and opinions that our audience demands."

BET Networks will be taking an unprecedented multiplatform approach to cover the 2008 presidential election, including the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, through hours of on-air programming on BET and BET J, live coverage, daily news specials, public service announcements, and extended news briefs, in addition to extensive coverage online and on BET On Blast, BET's broadband channel.

In the weeks leading up to the Democratic Convention in August, when the first African American will accept the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America, BET News will unveil a new and timely weekly talk show, THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON, premiering on Friday, August 15 at 11:00 P.M.* This provocative half-hour program will use a mix of investigative reporting and one-on-one interviews with leading experts to review the week's events and examine exactly what the top headlines mean for the Black community. Known for his in-depth analysis of political, social, and economic problems affecting African Americans, host Jeff Johnson will leave no issue unaddressed. From unique coverage of the 2008 elections to the increase of heart failure in the black population, THE TRUTH will go behind the issues and deliver the African American side of the news.

During a special 2008 election report, THE TRUTH will travel to Denver for the 45th Democratic National Convention. Broadcasting live from inside the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field, Johnson will provide extensive event coverage, including Senator Barack Obama's speech on Thursday, August 28. He will be joined with other leading media figures such as political strategist and BET J host Keith Boykin; San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris; and political pundits Jamal Simmons, Keli Goff, Angela McGlowan. THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON will take a frank look at news, trends, pop culture, current events and politics from an unapologetically Black point of view.

In addition to this new weekly program, BET News will also air a number of news specials, extended news briefs, special reports in entertainment and music programming throughout the week, and more. BET Networks' political coverage will include:

ON BET

-- Special editions of THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON -- Before and after Obama's live speech on Thursday, August 28, Jeff Johnson and a team of political strategists, special guests and BET News correspondents will provide context and analysis of the speech and the latest developments of the Democratic Convention.

-- DNC Nomination Speech -- BET will air Barack Obama's nomination speech live from Invesco Field and in its entirety.

-- Convention Specials -- Each night of the Democratic Convention in primetime, a BET News special will delve into issues of the election. Each special will have a tailored introduction from the convention floor. The specials include:

-- Locked Out: Ex-cons and the Vote, an in-depth look at voter disenfranchisement;

-- What's At Stake: The Top 10 Issues Affecting Black America, which delves into how the policies supported by both presidential candidates can, for better or worse, affect the lives of Black Americans;

-- Obama's Journey to the White House, which counts down the top 10 moments of Obama's rise to the Democratic nomination for President; and

-- The Dream: 45 Years Later, which takes a critical look at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic "I Have a Dream" speech and examines if Obama is the manifestation of Dr. King's vision.

-- 106 & PARK -- Terrence, co-host of 106 & PARK, will be in Denver providing updates and news to the show.

-- YOU(th) VOTE! Sound-Offs -- BET will be gathering YOU(th) VOTE! Sound-Offs that will air on BET throughout the conventions.

-- Extended News Briefs -- BET News correspondents will file reports all day that include interviews with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, political analysts, and celebrities attending the conventions. These reports will put the historic nature of this election in context and examine the issues coming out of the conventions as they relate to the Black community. Live and packaged reports will be integrated into 106 & PARK, RAP CITY and THE BLACK CARPET.

-- Public Service Announcements -- Throughout the election cycle, BET will be airing "BE HEARD," a series of special public service announcements encouraging viewers to make a difference and vote.

ON BET.COM

-- Decision '08 -- BET.com's comprehensive Decision '08 site provides up-to-the-minute coverage from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, including breaking news, photo flipbooks, articles, polls and quizzes.

-- YOU(th) VOTE! Blog -- A YOU(th) VOTE! blogger will be on site at the conventions with frequent updates on the perspectives and opinions coming from young people attending the convention.

-- "Pamela On Politics"' Blog -- Pamela Gentry, BET's Senior Political Producer, will be live from the conventions. Her blog will include the latest news from the conventions and exclusive interviews and analysis from Black lawmakers, pundits and political watchers.

-- Jeff Johnson's The Truth Blog -- This will also be live from the conventions with commentary on the issues coming out of the conventions.

-- "BE HEARD" Upload Feature -- This feature will allow convention attendees and the public to upload photos and/or video of their personal takes on the conventions.

All of BET Networks' presidential election coverage can be found on BET's DECISION '08 site: http://www.bet.com/news/decision08.

For more on THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON, please visit http://www.BET.com.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 87 million households according to Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of businesses extensions: BET.com, a leading internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks -- BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, which offers ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

*All times are ET/PT.





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