BET Founder Bob Johnson To Launch Urban Television

Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder Bob Johnson plans to reinvent the traditional broadcast model as he launches a new television network, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Johnson is teaming up with ION Media Networks to launch Urban Television, a network that will allow producers to buy blocks of airtime and sell their own advertising for a revenue split. The new network will serve the black, hispanic, gay and other minority communities.

“The intent is to do something really innovative and not duplicate what I did at BET or even the traditional broadcast model. I like the idea of companioning a broadcast concept with an interactive platform.” Johnson said.

Johnson is also developing the website Point of U, through his firm RLJ Companies, using a similar programming model.

Master P To Launch ‘Better Black Television’ Cable Network

Percy Miller, aka former rapper Master P, will become the first hip-hop entrepreneur to own a TV network, with the launch of his Better Black Television (BBTV) in 2009.

The black, family-oriented network will offer “positive content for a black and brown culture that will appeal to all races with a goal to bring people of color a choice when turning on their television.”

The network’s advisory board reads like a who’s who of black entertainers, athletes and prominent members, like actors Denzel Washington and Will Smith, NAACP Executive Director Vicangelo Bullock, and real estate mogul Curtis Oakers.

Citing Bob Johnson as a mentor and a huge influence, Miller says the network’s mission is “to target the new generation of responsible African-American…and responsible hip-hop consumers who are taking charge of their families and striving for a better tomorrow.”

Miller, who was ranked at No. 10 on Forbes‘ highest-paid entertainers, found success as a rapper in the 1990s, but more importantly as a business man reigning over an empire that included music, sports, and clothing companies.