VH1 is moving under the BET Media Group. The change was announced in a memo from Paramount President Bob Bakish on Wednesday.
Previously under Chris McCarthy, VH1 will now belong to the BET Media Group, which houses BET brands BET, BET Her, BET Studios and BET Digital. BET will now carry hit VH1 shows including the “Love & Hip Hop” franchise, the “RuPaul’s Dragrace” franchise, the “Black Inc. Crew” franchise and more.
The restructuring comes as an easy fit for VH1, which has become well-known over the years for its large slate of diverse and multicultural programming. The network launched in 1985, at the time primarily featuring music-centered content like “Behind the Music,” and then went on to produce original shows like “The Surreal Life” and “The Flavor of Love” that catered to the early inception of reality TV while serving to viewers interested in the socialite lifestyle with its show “The Fabulous Life of.”
MTV Entertainment Studios will still work alongside BET to continue producing some VH1 shows. As TheWrap previously reported, the network jumped to the No. 1 spot in cable primetime in 18-34 and 18-49 demos, knocking out Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” “Below Deck Mediterranean” and HGTV’s “Love It or List It” during the same time frame, per Nielsen data.
The Atlanta and Miami editions of “Love & Hip Hop” won the first and second place in Monday programming in terms of total viewership in the 18-34 range during the third quarter, with “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” receiving 190,000 viewers on average in the demo and “Love & Hip Hop Miami” drawing in an viewership of 147,000 on average in the demo.
Read the full memo below:
As we take further steps to accelerate the transformation of our business and maximize the full strength of Paramount, I’m excited to share that VH1 will move into the BET Media Group, which includes BET, BET Her BET+, BET Studios and BET Digital.
This strategic alignment will ensure that VH1 − a leader in multi-cultural programming and the second largest U.S. cable network for Black viewership − is best positioned for future success as a key part of the powerful BET ecosystem under the leadership of Scott Mills.
Scott and his team continue to drive the evolution and growth of BET by building an interconnected set of leading platforms – linear, streaming, digital and studios – centered around the Black Community, Black Culture and Content. Their ability to create hit programming and experiences, invest in new talent and storytellers, leverage our capabilities in streaming and original production, and expand and deepen relationships with key commercial partners make them ideally suited to take on this brand and business.
I’d also like to recognize the MTV Entertainment Studios team under the leadership of Chris McCarthy and Nina L. Diaz, who, for the past five years, have rebuilt the VH1 brand and produced powerful hit franchises from Black Ink Crew and Love & Hip Hop to RuPaul’s Drag Race. Their work has helped VH1 score nearly 40 Emmy Awards while establishing it as an industry champion in driving diversity both in front of the camera and behind the screens. As Chris and his team continue to focus on integrating SHOWTIME and globalizing the Media Networks Group, they’ll also partner with the BET teams to continue producing several of the existing hit shows on VH1.
We are working through the details of that transition now and will share updates as we have them. In the meantime, as we look forward to this successful next chapter of VH1, please join me in congratulating Scott and the BET organization, and thanking Chris and the MTV Entertainment team for their ongoing contributions.