Chestertown – Robert L. Johnson, founder and former chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), will deliver the annual J.C. Jones Seminar in American Business and receive the inaugural J.C. Jones Award for Visionary Entrepreneurship, in the Decker Theatre of the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts at Washington College on Tuesday, October 13, at 5 p.m.
Johnson was named by USA Today as one of the 25 most influential business leaders of the past 25 years. In 2001 he sold BET to Viacom for approximately $3 billion.
BET is the the nation’s first and leading television network providing entertainment, music, news, sports and public affairs programming for the African American audience. Under Johnson’s leadership, BET became the first African American-owned company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
After selling BET to Viacom, Johnson remained the Chief Executive Officer through 2006. He has since gone on to found and chair the RLJ Companies, an innovative business network that owns or holds interests in a diverse portfolio of companies in the banking/financial services, real estate, hospitality, professional sports, film production, gaming and automotive industries.Johnson's talk is sponsored by the Department of Business Management, the J. C. Jones Seminar in American Business, and Washington College SIFE. Admission is free and open to the public.