BET's Exit From D.C. Results in 55 Layoffs

Black Entertainment Television’s exit from D.C. is resulting in the layoffs of 55 employees.

The company issued a WARN notice in the District on July 7, the day BET had planned to officially make its move to Viacom Inc.’s central offices in New York City.

The BET Networks, the parent company of the Black Entertainment Television network founded in D.C. in 1979, announced in May it was pulling up stakes on its 1235 W St. NE campus. Viacom purchased BET, founded by Sheila and Robert Johnson, in 2000.

“The closing of BET Network’s Washington, D.C., office has been an ongoing transition in line with our overall strategy to make New York BET’s new headquarters,” a BET spokesperson said in a statement issued in May. “We are very proud that Washington, D.C., was the birthplace of BET Networks, the first network and the premier destination for African-American audiences for the past 37 years.”

BET retained a real estate brokerage to explore options including selling the W Street property,…Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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