Examining the issues that matter most to the African American community

President Barack Obama and Ed Gordon
President Barack Obama and Ed Gordon

Examining the issues that matter most to the African American community

BET Networks announces its comprehensive multi-platform political destination for the 2012 Elections

By Luis Defrank


     NEW YORK, N.Y.  — Recently BET Networks announces its multi-platform political coverage for the 2012 elections. BET Networks is making a nationwide effort to encourage its audience to “Vote Like Your Life Depends On It” and with this multi-phased initiative, track every aspect of the elections process and inform the nation about the issues that matters most to the African-American community. Coverage will include exclusive interviews with the First Lady and President Obama.  

     “This year’s election is developing into yet another historic presidential race and we are continuing to make a dedicated effort to mobilize the significant voting bloc of unregistered African-Americans to sign up and get to the polls,” said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BET Networks. “Now more than ever issues that affect our community and our votes will impact the political outcomes of several states on Election Day. BET will be the source to provide a comprehensive voting information experience on-air and online from an African-American perspective. Our votes are going to make a real difference in this election.”

     The launch of the BET Vote 2012 campaign in January was part of the first phase of BET Networks’ multi-phase political coverage for the 2012 elections and focused on voter suppression and voter rights. The next phase focused on rallying the community around the important matters that directly affect them with issues-based content and comprehensive political analysis. The third phase will focus on getting out to vote. With millions of African-Americans not yet registered to vote, BET Networks is seizing this election year to encourage its audience to embrace and participate in their civic duty, so that they are set to vote in November. The “Vote Like Your Life Depends On It” campaign is a strong example of BET Networks’ dedicated multiplatform approach to covering the 2012 presidential election. Over the course of the campaign, BET Networks will devote hours of on-air programming, live coverage and public service announcements, in addition to extensive coverage online and mobile. More details on BET Networks’ efforts are below:

     Battleground 2012: DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION 2012 Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 4 & Thursday, Sept. 6 – LIVE coverage begins at 9:30 p.m. ET. (Commercial Free Starting at 10 p.m. ET).

     BET News  will offer three live-anchored programs from the Republican National Convention (#BETRNC) in Tampa and Democratic National Convention (#BETDNC) in Charlotte, delving into key issues of the presidential election. Each two-hour program will present the election story from the African-American perspective and underscore the high stakes of this historic race.  Celebrated journalist Ed Gordon will anchor, with on-air contributor Nia-Malika Henderson (of the Washington Post in Tampa), BET News correspondent Lola Ogunnaike, BET consultant and pollster Cornell Belcher and special contributor T. J. Holmes (host of Don’t Sleep!). BET News will frame interviews for the black voter with pre-produced features, integrated with the live coverage of the keynote. Interviews at the RNC will include Jimmie Walker (star of “Good Times”) Rep. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll (R-Florida), U.S Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), former Presidential candidate Herman Cain (R) and many more.

     The exclusive interviews with the First Lady and the President will air during LIVE coverage on Sept. 4and Sept. 6, respectively. LIVE interviews with political & entertainment personalities, will air along with integrated BET Vote 2012 elements.  Interviews from the DNC include California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Charlotte’s Mayor Anthony Foxx, Broderick Johnson (Senior Advisor to the Obama campaign), Alfre Woodard (actor) and more.

     BET News will also release an original poll of the African-American electorate in the battleground states conducted by pollster Cornell Belcher, as a feature of our conventions coverage. Titled Black, Red, White and Blue the poll is based on interviews with black voters in swing states and explores divisions within the black electorate on key issues and the “enthusiasm index,” while taking the pulse of African-American political opinion following President Obama’s first term in office. 

Extensive Social Media Integration

     Commentator Derrick Ashong joins BET News as our social media correspondent in Tampa and Charlotte. He will lead the network’s television engagement of this important audience conducting exclusive Twitter-views with convention guests and seeking their input into our overall on-air coverage. Throughout our broadcasts BET News will place a Twitter feed on screen. The BET audience will be able to tweet about the convention in real time, rate the candidates’ speeches, and submit questions for BET panelists. Previously, Ashong hosted The Derrick Ashong Experience on the Oprah &Friends channel on the XM-Sirius network. 


CENTRIC to re-air RNC and DNC coverage starting at Midnight EST.


BET NEWS: ORIGINAL DOCU-SERIES Counts down to the 2012 election (Title TBD) Premieres Friday, Oct. 19 & Friday, Oct. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT:

BET News brought together filmmaker Sam Pollard (“Slavery By Another Name” and “Eyes On The Prize II”) and the producers of the Sundance original series, “Brick City”, to produce a two-part news documentary that follows a constellation of agents of political change and activism through the 2012 election cycle.  Celebrity surrogates Kerry Washington, Usher, BET pollster Cornell Belcher, the young activists behind “Barack The Vote,” and others will take viewers behind the scenes of their effort to mobilize the black community in another historic Presidential election. 

BET Digital

     BET.com continues to be the source for up-to-the minute news on the political conventions and the 2012 elections. BET.com’s dedicated elections and politics site, BET.com/Vote2012, will provide full coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions as they happen, including exclusive interviews with key lawmakers, political strategists and entertainers. The site will maintain an advocacy platform in support of voting rights and other issues that affect African-Americans.

     BET.com will host a bevy of digital offerings making it the ultimate destination for political news from the African American perspective:

  • LIVE Simulcast of the on-air conventions coverage, including video, breaking news, blogs, photo slideshows and articles,
  • Expert commentators like Keith Boykin, Michael Steele and others will give frequent updates on the perspectives and opinions coming from the African-American community about the elections.
  • The site hosts additional features that educate users on voting rules for their state, information about voter registration, and much more.
  • Users can also register for a special daily conventions-dedicated newsletter by registering at http://www.bet.com/register.html and checking off the BET Daily News Blast option.

Join the 2012 presidential election conversation on social media by logging on to BET’s multiple social media platforms:

         On Twitter by using hashtag: #BETVote, #BETNewsPoll, #BETDNC and #BETRNC; and following us @BETVote, @BETNews  and @CentricTV.

         On Facebook by liking the fan page at facebook.com/BETVote

         On Google plus at http://bet.us/gplusVOTE

           BET News is collaborating with Google to present results of BET News’ poll Black, Red, White and Blue via the Google.com/elections page. In addition they will jointly co-sponsor a forum in Charlotte to promote the results and explore the impact of the African American electorate in North Carolina. Throughout the election cycle BET News content will be posted on the Google.com/elections site.

     BET News’ special contributor, and host of Don’t Sleep!, T. J. Holmes will kick-off a 16 city promotional campaign for the series with a branded tour bus making stops at the RNC in Tampa on Aug. 29 and DNC in Charlotte on Sept. 5. At select locations, brand ambassadors and voter registrants will be on hand to encourage voter registration and answer any questions about the voting process. The bus will travel to 14 additional markets making stops including Nashville, Indianapolis, New York and Washington D.C.

     -*All times is ET/PT.

About Carma Henry 22108 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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