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The life and career of bob johnson

April 8, 1946, in Hickory, Mississippi. His entrepreneurial spirit was honed when he was a child. At the age of 12, Johnson began a job delivering the Rockford Morning Star. He did not like getting up early.

  1. Johnson then formed the umbrella group RLJ Companies, which operated widely in the media, sports, gaming, real estate, and hospitality industries.
  2. Spanberg, Erik, "Taking Care of Business.
  3. This move provided more money for the channel and increased BET air time to 24 hours a day. In 1976 Johnson was named vice president of governmental relations for the National Cable Television Association, a trade organization that represents cable television companies.

Graduating from high school with honors in history, Johnson attended the University of Illinois on an academic scholarship. After earning his bachelor's degree Johnson enrolled at Princeton University to study toward his goal of becoming a U.

BEGINNING OF A MEDIA ENTREPRENEUR

In response to an effort to attract minority students to careers in international relations, Johnson attended the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with financial support from the Ford Foundation and the U. He was graduated sixth in his class.

After completing his studies at Princeton, Johnson worked primarily in the field of communication media. He had jobs as a public affairs officer for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, director of communications for the Washington, D.

Fauntroy, the congressional delegate from the District of Columbia. In 1976 Johnson was named vice president of governmental relations for the National Cable Television Association, a trade organization that represents cable television companies. As a lobbyist Johnson escorted an aspiring cable entrepreneur, Ken Silverman, to the office of Claude Pepper, the congressman from Florida, who was an advocate for senior citizens.

Silverman wanted Pepper's support for his idea of starting a cable channel for older Americans.

Malone agreed, and on January 25, 1980, BET made its debut on cable television. The content was primarily films from the 1940s and 1950s and blaxploitation films. With the advent of MTV, a cable television channel devoted to popular music, music videos had become ingrained into popular culture.

In an effort to keep costs low Johnson took advantage of another void, the lack of African American artists appearing on MTV. Johnson formed relationships with record labels to promote on BET videos by rhythm and blues and hip-hop artists.

The network also added infomercials, reruns of a gospel show, and African American college football and basketball games. For the first six years BET lost money, and Johnson sought new investors.

This move provided more money for the channel and increased BET air time to 24 hours a day. In the early 1990s BET turned its first profit. In 1999, believing the stock to be undervalued, Johnson reversed the decision, making his company private again.

THE RISE OF BET

In 2001 Johnson made an effort to become the only African American to own a major airline by becoming the owner of D. His plans were halted when the U. Department of Justice threatened to sue to stop the deal over antitrust concerns.

  1. Department of Justice threatened to sue to stop the deal over antitrust concerns.
  2. In the early 1990s BET turned its first profit.
  3. See Article History Alternative Title.

He also developed hotels under L. He also used African American talent by hiring executives, producers, and on-air performers. In an interview with Robert G.

Robert L. Johnson

Miller in the Black CollegianJohnson commented, "As an entrepreneur, sometimes you make it up as you go along. You have to have an unshaken belief in yourself, work harder than the next guy, and do whatever it takes with determination.

You have to have an ability to engage people to believe in you, while being lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. You must be able to marshal the resources to achieve that vision. That means you have to find good people, support them, and have the steadfastness to stay in there" October 8, 2001. Spanberg, Erik, "Taking Care of Business: Fontno Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: