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BET Shuts Down DC Office, Relocates Headquarters to New York

CEO Debra Lee announced the move in memo to staff

BET Network will close it’s Washington D.C. office and relocate it’s headquarters to New York, Chairman and CEO Debra Lee said in a memo to staff on Tuesday.

According to an individual familiar with the situation, the office will officially close on July 7, leaving the fate of the 20 full-time employees and about 40 freelancers up in the air. It remains unclear whether the employees will be allowed to relocate to New York or Los Angeles, or whether they will be simply laid off.

D.C. had served as the network’s headquarters for 37 years, since the company’s founding in 1980. Lee is expected to relocate to Los Angeles.

“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,” the network said in a statement. “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.”

The move likely means the cancellation of “Joyful Noise,” the gospel music performance series hosted by Tye Tribbett and one of the network’s lowest-rated programs. The show is the last remaining BET program to shoot in the network’s D.C. studio following the cancellation of BET Honors, which last aired in 2016.

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