Just three weeks after Bob Johnson, chairman of Black Entertainment Television, bought an airline for about $200 million, 50 people were given walking papers at his network. BET is cutting 50 jobs, or about 9% of the 530-person workforce, a network spokesman said. The jobs cut were primarily technical jobs made obsolete by a digital facilities upgrade and music-production jobs based in Washington. The music-production department is being moved to New York City, the spokesman said. Come September, BET intends to add 45 people to run its new public affairs and news program, BET News.
Copyright officials, entertainment representatives and Web-site operators told a House panel last week that there is no need for legislation that would give Internet companies a blanket license to stream TV programs over the Internet. Mary Beth Peters, registrar of the U.S. Copyright Office, says a "compulsory license specifically designed for the Internet [is] not appropriate."