Smiley proves big winner

Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 1:00am

Talk-show host and columnist Tavis Smiley has proven the big winner and Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and CEO Robert Johnson the ultimate loser in their recent skirmish.

Johnson ousted Smiley from his five-year position as host of the show BET Tonight in April following many months of open rancor and disputes. At the time many black people felt that Viacom, the current owner of not only BET but also CBS, MTV, VH-1 and several other outlets, had played a role in the firing because they feared having an outspoken, openly liberal African-American on their airwaves.

Viacom executives repeatedly denied that contention, and had even been secretly courting Smiley for some type of commentator

Filed under: City News