To make room for more entertainment fare, Black Entertainment Television will axe four programs -- Lead
Story, BET Tonight with Ed Gordon, teen issue program Teen
Summit and music show Cita's World -- by the end of the year. BET is
also cutting about 40 staffers, or 12 percent of its total staff.
"Our new focus will strike a better balance between original programming and
an increase in acquired shows," BET CEO Debra Lee said in a prepared statement.
Gordon's future with BET still needs to play out. The BET Nightly
News, which draws off some CBS News product, will remain.
Plans to reinvigorate the Viacom Inc.-owned network call for adding more
syndicated shows and original productions in prime time.
In November, BET's former programming chief, Curtis Gadson, stepped down,
apparently at odds with the new programming strategy.