BET NETWORKS PROMOTES PROGRAMMING EXEC CONNIE ORLANDO TO EVP, SPECIALS, MUSIC PROGRAMMING & MUSIC STRATEGY
NEW YORK, NY Tuesday, October 22, 2019 – BET Networks, (a subsidiary of Viacom Inc., NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), the nation's leading provider of quality content for African American audiences, announced today that Connie Orlando has been elevated to Executive Vice President, Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy. In this new role, she will continue to report to BET Networks President Scott Mills and be responsible for the development of an overarching BET Networks music strategy—including linear and SVOD programming, tentpoles and award shows—that reflects the opportunities for music and music talent across the full array of BET Networks’ businesses and initiatives.
Orlando has been with BET since 2007 and her tenure has been marked by groundbreaking success and an ever-growing reputation as one of the top media executives in the business. Her creative vision helped BET scale its operations and expand its global footprint.
“Connie has been a pivotal partner in the expansion and growth of our original programming. I’m thrilled to now have her valued leadership at the helm of our music strategy, because music is at the epicenter of what we do,” commented Scott Mills. “Her ability to recognize not just the complexity of the industry’s landscape but also the forecasting of talent and trends that exists will be a crucial component to our company’s success and the expansion and elevation within our music and specials programming portfolio.”
Orlando is credited with leading and elevating BET’s original programming strategy for the past three years, culminating in the network currently holding four of the top six spots for new scripted programs among African Americans with hit series “Games People Play,” “American Soul,” “Tales,” “Boomerang,” executive produced by Lena Waite and Halle Berry, plus Will Packer’s “Bigger” on BET+, and new series “Twenties” and “The Uptown Records Story” which will premiere in 2020. Orlando’s deep well of nurtured relationships has attracted key talent to the network.
“It’s been a privilege to flourish within an environment where my creative and business vision has been a gateway to attract, amplify, and nurture rising and established creatives in the development of important content programmed for a highly coveted audience” says Orlando. “This new role will allow our teams to push the company further, breaking new ground for the biggest voices of our time to not just tell our stories through the universal language of music but own our narratives. I am up for this next task and challenge as we welcome people home to BET.”
A renowned, award-winning media executive, Orlando most recently served as Executive Vice President and Head of Programming, with oversight on all genres of original programming, including scripted offerings like “The Quad,” “Being Mary Jane,” as well as launching creative collaborations with Issa Rae’s Color Creative, Project CRE8 with Paramount Films, and Tracy Oliver’s newly developed writers program launching at this year’s Sundance Festival. In 2016, she ushered BET into the burgeoning documentary space with the BET Truth Series, which in its inaugural year produced award-winning projects “Katrina 10 Years Later,” “Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ,” and “Stay Woke.” This past year producing the critically acclaimed “Killer Curves” documentary executive produced by Lala Anthony, and two upcoming documentaries in 2020.
Orlando ascended from her previous roles with BET which include Senior Vice President of Specials, Music Programming and News, VP of Original Programming, and VP of Development. In 2011, Orlando was part of the network’s largest expansion into original programming in its history. Her leadership and vision resulted in a myriad of milestones, including “The Bobby Brown Story,” “Black Girls Rock!,” “Being Mary Jane,” “BET Presents: Love & Happiness, An Obama Celebration,” “Sunday Best,” “TD Jakes Presents: Mind, Body, & Soul,” “The Steve Harvey Project,” and scripted series “The Game,” which scored record-breaking ratings.
Orlando will continue to serve as Executive Producer of all of BET Networks’ tentpole events, including the “BET Awards,” the number one awards show on cable among African American viewers, as well as “American Soul 2,” and the “Uptown Records Story.”
Prior to joining BET Networks, the Syracuse University graduate ran her own full-service production company, CMO Productions, Inc. and served as Executive Producer of award-winning visionary director Hype Williams’ Big Dog Films.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African American audience. The primary BET channel is in nearly 85 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa and France. BET is the dominant African American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African American woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET Networks around the globe.