Dr. Boyce: BET, When It Comes to TJ Holmes, Either Grow Up or Give Up

by  Dr. Boyce Watkins

I’ve done a lot of work with various media outlets over the years, but it has left me relatively unsatisfied.   The reason for my concern is that, as a business school professor, I tend to notice ownership structure, incentives and the role that capitalist organizations have played in the oppression and control of black people.  Like infants being fed Vodka in their baby bottles, black people are consistently doused with an overwhelming amount of unhealthy propaganda, leading many of us to live our lives as the intellectual version of the walking dead.

There is no network that embodies this problematic disparity more than Black Entertainment Television (BET).  I love BET for what it could have been, but I hate the network for what it chooses to be.  BET has become a case study for all that can go wrong from a one-dimensional focus on corporate profitability with almost no concern for the externalities being created by destructive and irresponsible content.  Even worse is that BET is ultimately run and controlled by Viacom, a company headed by executives who don’t have to go home to gun violence, sagging pants, educational underachievement and all the other cultural deformities that come from consuming weaponized psychological poison for the entire day.

One ray of hope for BET was the new show, “Don’t Sleep!” hosted by TJ Holmes.  Almost no new show in the history of BET has generated as much buzz in the black community, at least among those with more than a 10th-grade reading level.  Like the drunk ass uncle who suddenly decides that he wants to take care of his kids, BET claimed that it was trying to turn over a new leaf and give us something that makes the black community better and not worse.

The problem for BET, similar to the uncle who suddenly decides to be a father, is the lack of trust.  The network has abused our brains with the kind of garbage that could serve as a How-to Guide for the Willie Lynch syndrome and produced its content with almost no degree of corporate accountability.  I even remember watching the rapper Wiz Khalifa perform a song (“On my Level”) where he bragged to an audience full of teenagers about “being sloppy drunk looking for the keys to my car.”  Most of us turned off BET years ago and can’t even find it on our cable guide.  Like the ex-girlfriend who slept with your best friend and stole your money, most of us feel that we escaped from the BET psychological plantation and can’t quite stomach the idea of coming back.

But TJ’s show seemed different and special.  Holmes took his powerful brand away from the lilly white safe havens of CNN and brought it back to his community.  Many of us hearing about the amazing guests and quality conversations on the show were saying, “I think I’m going to take a look.”  The trust was coming back, and people were ready to take notice.

But before you could say the words, “I heart coonery,” BET cut TJ’s show back from five half-hour days a week to just one day per week (extending the show to one hour), simultaneously attempting to argue that the change means that they are giving TJ more time on the air instead of less.  Sorry BET, but most of us know that five and a half hours per week is more than one.  This is something we learned when we chose to pick up a math book instead of watching 106 & Park

So, BET allows for a show that significantly changes the direction of the network, the host does a great job, the show has solid ratings in spite of mediocre lead-ins and they kill it in just a month?  The problem here is that the network should have at least given TJ three months on his original schedule to build an audience for the show instead of expecting him to overcome thirty years of misdirection in just a month.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that this show was actually set up for failure.

I respect BET President Debra Lee, but I have to be honest.   Rather than assuming responsibility for taking the show off the air, the network heads will likely lay the blame into the hands of black people themselves.  I can hear Debra saying, “See, we tried to offer you negroes something positive, but you refused to watch it.”  Such a statement would be made without regard to the fact that most of the quality audience left BET a long time ago, and it’s going to take some time and money to get them back.  But an exceedingly materialistic corporate model hell bent against the idea of delayed gratification is likely not going to make the kind of investment necessary to clean up a mess that began back when Michael Jackson was still a young sex symbol.

Sorry Debra, but you and I both know that you can’t blame black people for this one.  You never gave this show a chance, you never gave it adequate marketing and you never gave TJ the support that your network would gladly give to a baby killing gangster like Lil Wayne. You can’t feed a child cookies and grease every day for 20 years and then expect him to lose weight with one day of exercise.   Similarly, you can’t build a multi-billion dollar network on a perpetual dose of psychological poison and then expect your audience to suddenly become enlightened.

TJ Holmes is good for BET, and I hope that Debra Lee understands that.  But if the lives of Martin Luther King, Gandhi and even Jesus show us, you are usually going to be crucified for trying to do the right thing.  Anyone trying to save BET might just be wasting their time, for almost none of its leaders has the courage to push for something different.  In order to make progress, you must be willing to embrace the struggle necessary in order to move forward.  If you say you want something better, but aren’t fully prepared to make that investment, then your actions have told us everything we need to know.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, “Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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  1. I love watching TJ Holmes and he will be perfect candidate for a show on msNBC because of his substance, but BET is not for him. It’s never been a black-owned corporation, and they never think of the positives of the black community. They want to sell garbage, debauchery, and coonery on their network. They are too busying falling in love with their blackface lackeys (Lil’ Wayne, Soulja Boy, Chris Brown) to even put some enlightening substance shows and news shows on their network. Young black America needs to wake up because these people have aspirations for money and hookers. BET is one of those networks that culturally bankrupted young Black America.

  2. Charles Linder Floyd

    Rupert Murdoch,
    Must be stop not be cause this would create total control of the print media. BUT: (1) This take over will present a greater threat to Kushite/Blacks in Psalm 68:31(b) and (2) Murdoch is an Anti-Semite in, that his present control media opposed the TORAH/BIBLE final land plan for Israel in Isaiah 19:23-25.
    Ambassador Charles Linder Floyd.
    CEO First Jew-dna Ministry of Ur.

  3. Charles Linder Floyd

    Dear Oprah,
    Job well done, but it is not over: yet. If you call me at 760-955-1601 or <thefirstjew@yahoo.com> thekushite@gmail.com>. Try entertaining the thought of learning the "THE GREATEST UNTOLD STORY IN THE TORAH/BIBLE: THE ORIGINAL RELATIONSHIP OF GENESIS 3:15 JEW-DNA IN THE KUSHITE/BLACK RACE." Your Kushite Race is perishing, because they still think, that are Black and don't know their TORAH/BIBLICAL name is a:KUSHITE?

  4. Say What info posted 11/16/12 @ 8:30 P.M. should remain at the top of the comments line for all to see.

  5. I love his show but it comes on at 11p and that is a tad late so I DRV it but other than that it is refreshing to watch programs that are insightful and uplifting. I’m tired of the same old movies over and over again!

  6. This article has some merit to it…but in it was stated the fact that many did escape that 'pyschological plantation' of BET HOWEVER the mentality is STILL there! So it is hard to get through! I loved the show and wanted to see more of it but it does come on late you know "CP"priorities aren t always in order….. and the first round of guest to me was weak! I do agree that it needs more time to draw more of us in but just like everything else no matter how good it is American Greed always takes the lead…its all about the money not the message…..

  7. Jacqueline J Spratley

    I've wanted to see his show too, but I no longer look at BET either. He should be on Centric instead.

  8. Don't Sleep is for a channel like TVONE. BET is hopeless. I haven't watched BET since their early days. BET is no longer the only black channel. There are new ones popping up on cable TV these days. BET is really irrelevant.

  9. Willie Lynch alive and real.

  10. I love the show and will continue to watch it in hopes that it stays on and gets extended…

  11. Good article brother Boyce

    Speak the truth to power.
    Time for a tv show Boyce

    I know it flies in the face of what was just revealed in your article but why about t v one

    Or radical public television ..lol

    Just jokIng

    Good read

  12. Good article brother Boyce

    Speak the truth to power.
    Time for a tv show Boyce

    I know it flies in the face of what was just revealed in your article but why about t v one

    Or radical public television ..lol

    Just jokIng

    Good read

  13. BET stands for one of two things:1. Black Emasculatory Trash 2. Black Entertainment Terrorism, as Todd McGruder creator of “The Boondocks” calls it in his cartoon. Either or take your pick.

  14. My remarks for BET that I left on their “Contact Form” on their website:

    (“All I want you all to do, or whomever is in charge or reading emails, or whomever responds to anything related to emails or whatever of this nature related to BET, to check out some of the comments on Dr. Boyce Watkin’s, “Your Black World” website, mainly take note and read those two particular comments that are posted by the commentator, “SullyHarth,” whom happens to be myself. And if you would, can we, as T.J. Holmes’s fans and supporters, get an explanation? Here are the direct links to Dr. Boyce Watkins’s website where you can view and read the comments pertaining to T.J.’s show. Because to be perfectly honest, I am outraged about the sudden conversion that has taken place regarding his show I am positively certain that there are others that are outraged as well:
    1.) http://yourblackworld.net/2012/11/black-news/dr-boyce-bet-its-time-to-grow-up-or-give-it-up-please-make-a-choice/#comment-173851

    another direct link:


    Be sure to forward those links to T.J. so that he can see that he has fans that truly supports him and his show and simply loves what he does. Moreover, kindly send any updates, remarks, comments, etc. relative to his show and of T.J.

    Thank you
    From A True Fan & Supporter of “Don’t Sleep” & Of T.J.)

    I aint playing about this and am seriously upset and outraged over the conversion of his show. I am awaiting their response though. They say, after you leave your comment or suggestion on their “contact form,” that they can’t get back to all emails, but they will try their best to. Rest to sure that I will be anticipating some reply. I mean my thing is this, is there a problem or is it too much like right that an educated black man, regardless of what the concept of his show is whether it’s educated or targeting a specific race or something purely extraordinary, have his own show, four or five days a week for one hour?

  15. @SayWhat…’preciate that BET contact info. im on it, BEST BELIEVE, right now.

  16. To Whom It May Concern: If you really want to show your support for TJ Holmes, BET needs to hear from you directly. Here’s BET’s direct link:


    call, or write

    BET Networks
    1235 W Street, NE
    Washington, D.C. 20018-1211

    BET Interactive
    General Inquiries
    1235 W Street, NE
    Washington, D.C. 20018-1211
    202-608-2000 or 212-258-1000

    Concerning this matter — Do something. Say something (to BET), or (refer to DL Hughley’s latest book title.)

  17. I loved TJ HOLMES on CNN. He left a respectful job to report about his people/roots! It is sad that BET is not really a BLACK forum that VIACOM wants to express. Debbie needs to get with the REAL PROGRAM. BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION. I DON’T THINK SO!!T J HOLMES SHOULD HAVE BEEN A HOUR SHOW IN THE BEGINNING. WHAT CAN HE REALLY DISCUSS IN ONE HALF HOUR.

  18. I very seldom agree with the doctor, but i totally agree with his arguments. TJ HOLMES show , I find very informative ,but one half of an hour is not enough time for the guest to reaLY ARGUE THEIR POINT. I LOVE TJ HOlMES’ SHOW AND ONE WEEK DEBRA IS BULL—T!!!

  19. Totally agree. The show is great and BET did not give it a fair chance. I hope people continue to watch and the show gets more time.

  20. one other thing, i am highly tee’ed off by the fact that they have reduced him down to one day a week for one hour. that aint even right, and im almost certain it wasn’t even T.J.s choice and he didn’t even have a say in it. revert this positive brother back to four days a week and convert all of his day that he is on air to that hour, because he brings some significance most definitely at night time that needs to be addressed in the black community. get it together, BET; i can stress that enough. GET IT TOGETHER! (and i surely hope someone from that network, like back-end staff members, like seriously, read these comments on, take heed to ’em, mainly take heed to what I’ve posted, and do my boy, T.J. right because this is indescribably ridiculous that y’all have done him like this.) can we, as his fans and supporters get an explanation on why he’s been reduced to only one day a week? I wanna know wholeheartedly.

  21. i thought i was just the only one who had those lingering thoughts about that network(referencing from another commentator’s post from another article related to my boy, T.J.);the “when I think of B.E.T. i think of 106 & Park” bit, that aint EVEN good by far, and i stopped watching that network when they got rid of Big Tigger and Julissa, and y’all know how long that’s been, because they were the best damn host (to me) that they had due to them being so down-to-earth and cool and weren’t stuck-up, weren’t self-centered and didn’t think it was all about them just because they had a hosting gig on television, unlike their successors, primarily their current successors, who i cannot stand to even lay eyes on or the sight of due to their uppity, bitchified attitude, who are hosting presently. smh at them reducing my boy down to one day a week though. get it together 4real, B.E.T.! T.J. is one of the few positive black bruthas out there that is only trying to bring awareness to us, as a black people, on specific issues that needs to be addressed, and in most situation and with a prayer, rectified. smh at y’all like on a serious tip, B.E.T. and for Christ’s sake, can y’all, as a supposedly black entertaining network, stop playing over and over and over the same movies, like there aren’t any other new movies out there? if y’all need some references, hell, go to netflix or a source of that nature, scroll through their 1000s upon 1000s of movies, choose and air them, my gosh, man. like seriously, get it together in all aspects.

  22. TJ HOLMES is the REAL DEAL! I am so glad the network decided to let the show go for a hour as oppose to the half hour it once was. Its because of TJ I watch BET and it porgramming.

  23. Good Evening my sista. Thanks Ms Yvette Fuller Bailey.

  24. Five half hour days a week equals 2 and a half hours a week not five…I agree with your sentiment, but if you want to express that you're smart, get the math right…

  25. Dr. Boyce, now that you’ve stoked the fire, what’s next? You stated, “In order to make progress, you must be willing to embrace the struggle necessary in order to move forward. If you say you want something better, but aren’t fully prepared to make that investment, then your actions have told us everything we need to know.” That’s good talk, Dr. Boyce. So, what about the walk? We can’t continue to complain without making an effort to take action for change. Where’s the petition? Your blog is a great vehicle to mobilize change. Use it.

  26. Ditto for me Janice Edwards.


  28. I love TJ Holmes on CNN, but was very excited to learn of him hosting his own show on BET. However, I am a fan of TVOne and Centric. These stations are watch more now than BET. Maybe this could be an option for him. Love you TJ.

  29. Finally an article worth reading and thinking about, now let’s stop complaining like always and do something about it. How about turning to another channel…….

  30. BET is not the only media outlet thats pushing garbage through the ears and eyes to the brains of our people – essentially programing them to be dominated as a subculture (negative at that) for generations to come. We get awarded in the entertainment industry for disgusting character traits, ignorant music, Step and Fetch it type political agendas – virtually a deracinated type life. Have you listened to any black radio stations, watched the Grammys, gone to the movies etc… Every super Hero blockbuster film I’ve seen has shown a healthy male female relationship of white men as Gods that take white women higher in their quest for a mate – so you can imagine what their offspring would be like. Our first black male super hero was an alcoholic formerly married to a white woman Goddess – married to an average white male who is controlling the image of the black super hero bachelor – you know which film I’m talking about – Greatness in the making Huh.

  31. BET has not been a Black owned company for many years. Many say the programming has disintegrated since the sale in 2000. I very rarely watch it now. I had hope that the new “Don’t Sleep” program would be more than just a 30 minute commercial for the re-election of Obama. The host was particularly insulting and down right rude to Republican and conservative guest who did not love Obama. Maybe that changed. I gave up watching after 4 shows.


    Black-owned media giant BET sold to Viacom

    By The Associated Press,Freedom Forum Online staff


    Printer-friendly page
    Debra Lee, president and chief operating officer of Black Entertainment Television, presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Luther Vandross during taping of “BET’s 6th Annual Walk of Fame: A Tribute to Luther Vandross” Oct. 14 in Washington. The show aired Oct. 24.

    NEW YORK — Black Entertainment Television, the nation’s biggest cable channel aimed mainly at African-Americans, will be sold to Viacom Inc., the media powerhouse that owns CBS, UPN and the MTV and Nickelodeon cable TV channels, under a deal announced today.

    Viacom is paying about $2.3 billion in stock for the privately held BET Holdings II Inc. and will assume $570 million in debt, according to the announcement.

    The sale would unite BET cable, which features music videos for much of its programming, with Viacom’s MTV, VH1 and Country Music channels, creating opportunities for cross-promotion and joint advertising sales.

    It would also unite the dominant black-oriented cable television channel in the U.S. with Viacom’s Showtime pay-TV channel, which produces made-for-TV movies about black history, and the UPN over-the-air television network, which has been successful with black-oriented comedies. Those shows, including “Moesha” and “The Hughleys,” are more popular than “Friends” and “Frasier” among African-Americans.

    The sale would result in the disappearance of the second-largest black-owned media company. BET Holdings ranked sixth in the latest rankings by Black Enterprise magazine of the all black-owned industrial and service companies in the U.S., with an estimated $225 million in revenue in 1999. Only Chicago-based Johnson Publications was larger, with $386 million revenue last year.

    Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television and majority owner of BET Holdings, will remain as chairman and chief executive of the operation after the deal, as will Debra Lee, BET’s president and chief operating officer.

    “It is a great day for Bob Johnson, but it is a significant loss for African-American ownership,” said Cathy Hughes, who founded the largest black-owned radio group, Radio One, in an interview with The Washington Post. “It changes the identity and changes the perspective.”

  32. I have not watched BET in years. Do not know where to find it. But do not miss it because it is a waste of my time.

  33. I agree with you 100% Angela DonDiva.

  34. I,m actually lost for words my heart goes out to T.J Holmes. T.J Holmes is an excellent newscaster and we as African Americans truly needed this forum. T.J Holmes was truly bringing it live with very informative information that we needed to hear. Now I don't understand why they have to cut his time why they just switch the time. They can put T.J. Holmes on about 6pm or 7pm because he is bringing us news. BET airs alot of shows that don,t really need to be on. Give the brother a chance because he,s damn good at his job he came from CNN. Good luck T.J. and much love and respect.

  35. The problem is we think that we can only air our dirty laundry among "family". The concept is definitely a start but just as the author states, I had long been given up on getting anything of worth from BET (I saw the commercials, but totally dismissed it because it was on BET). Until we as a people begin to reject the negative messages that are proliferated by outlets such as BET, reject the negative actions and behaviors that we see in our neighborhoods, begin to uncouple Black culture from Pop Culture or even Hip Hop culture, and make a paradigm shift in what we place our values on – we will not see major change. And this is a conversation that needs to go beyond BET, beyond "Black" media. This is a conversation that needs to happen in the open. A TV show is a step in the right direction; but we need a movement with the strength, determination and organization like the civil rights movement. We definitely need a new Black renaissance.

  36. The ability to change time available for Don't Sleep says volumes about the need to be vigilant concerning the things that we want to see on TV. TJ Homes was bringing individuals on the program who could relate to the daily struggles of African Americans. Maybe others do not want African Americans to take the blinders off and talk to each other. Don't Sleep is a program that is worth having five days a week. It's not time to look back we must move forward and press toward a new image of who we are in the media and in our daily lives.

  37. I happene to catch this show accidentally flipping through channels in the hotel the other day around 11:30pm. Don't know the regular schedule, but it seems quite ironic that he comes on around election time an not too soon after the election, his time has already been scaled back.

  38. Totally agree.

  39. I totally agree with Ms Thompson, Ms Ferguson, Ms Graham and most of everyone else. It's a d–m shame.

  40. The leadership of BET perpetuates the denigrating DNA it was founded on.
    You want change. Start with the Leadership.

    • Many years ago I wrote to Debra Lee about the negative programming and about a comment she made on a BET Awards show. In addition to sending email, I made sure a copy of the letter was hand delivered to her office. No reply. No progress.

  41. I have a petition I started that I want to submit to Debra Lee asking to bring back the nightly news.The newscast covered national and international news stories from a black perspective. If you would like to sign the petition it is here: http://www.causes.com/causes/801337-nightly-news-added-to-bet-programming/actions/1703161.

  42. I did not see any comments in this article,from T.J.Holmes. I would think ,at the very least if one is dissatisfied with ones show,based on ones disdain with BET, T.J. Holmes should be interviewed to get his input. I would like to know how does this opinionated writing help T.J. Cause. If he feels BET has diluted his efforts to produce a quality and meaningful product is one thing and the most important. TO just blantly call down BET,because they have cosistantly fallen short of ones expectations before and now. That is poison to TJ efforts, to struggle through a new beginning Professor of Finance,destroyer of black efforts. I remember when the eventually extremely successful show "ALL IN THE FAMILY" featuring the famous character ARCHIE BUNKER was rejected, and picked up by another network and the rest is known history. OWN network has had growing pains, I cannot believe if BET fails to support and promote T.J.Holmes properly OWN would certainly consider adding his show to their programming. I'm just saying,don't dilute T.J. In your effort to vent your BET problem…PEACE

  43. Having known TJ when he was at KNTV San Jose Ca. I was excited for him when he told me he was going to CNN. This young man is a rising star and when I heard about his move to BET I was a bit skeptical. My thoughts of BET was it had.
    become a JOKE and the entertainment infrastrure is not conducive to what interest me.
    The hiring of TJ by BET, had me wondering if the network was taking a turn that it would make it more relevant to those of us who not only like music but also wanted intellectual stimulation from a African- American perspectives.
    My friends encouraged me to watch 'Don't Sleep" and I was pleasantly surprised by the entire optics from the set design to the quality of guest that appeared. This brought me back to what BET looked like in its formative years. The mix of entertainment and current events(news) addressing the issues of African-American Community as well as issues of the world.
    My impressions of the Viacom purchase has come to fruition. I see the purchase and focus of BET as a loser. I strongly feel that TJ Holmes who is a awesome representative of our young professionals in media who bring a fresh look and perspective to the African-American community through out the USA. I recommend that Viacom take a serious look at what they are trying to say to the US community as a whole and determine if they are a part of the problem or want to be a part of the solution.

  44. What a disappointment. I mistakenly thought BET was FINALLY giving airtime to a news-based show. I've been embarrassed by this station for a long time, often wondering why we could not have meaningful programming on a station founded by a Black man and directed to a Black market. Holmes gave me hope. And now this!

  45. I totally agree with your outstanding assessment on the demise of TJ Holmes show. I am part of that group you described as "turning off BET years ago." And, I had no desire to even find it in the channel guide. With the elimination of TJ Holmes from any meaningful exposure the network has once again confirmed its dedication to keeping black folk uninformed about the real world, but over exposed to the most denigrating aspects of Black life in America. They continue to be part of the problem–not part of the solution with their death walk to mediocrity 24/7 entertainment for the 14 year old mentality that is their audience. TJ Holmes never had a chance in the world of BET, because they are not truly interested in providing relevant adult programming—it's too hard for them. But, it's easy to cater to the saggy pants generation. What a shame!

  46. Theartistformallyknownas Heifersaywhat Johnson

    For once I agree with Boyce. No early morning is not good for this show. The need to be entertained all the time is the problem. But the show is quite entertaining plus you get updated on current events. Even Letterman comes on after the news. They need a live 30 minute news show in the morning like 12 years ago with Jaqui Reed and TJ at night. And why in the hell would G Lopez need to be on BET?

  47. Chris BgLuvn Antwine

    I guessed Aron mcgruder (Boondocks) and hip hop group little brother was right about b.e.t not wanting the educated, intellectual black audience anymore. Instead, keeping it dumbed down.

  48. I guess the show, Don't Sleep, has forced us to wake up to the reality that our people are still lost, oppressed, misguided, unfortunate and flat out irresponsible. It's even more degrading because we have the audacity to stick our chests out as one of "us" stands as the leader of the free world, not once but twice. Shameful!

  49. Good job Dr. Watkins with this article. Would have been even better if you would have asked the readers to voice concerns to Debra by listing her email or facebook link. Information is good, but we need to start putting some action behind our complaints. Again, great job!

  50. Totally agree with you Dr. Watson. BET hiarachy thru Viacom is not trying to bring strong integral programming with shows like "Don't Sleep" which I think could help bring a serious element of journalism or bringing levels of seriouis discussions within the community but of course, the almighty dollar seems to be the course of action for the executives of BET and Viacom. I think TJ would be a great talent on either ABC or even better yet, replace Al Sharpton on MSNBC..IMO.

  51. I was so dissapointed not seeing TJ Holmes this week, he should have an hour show every night of the week. TJ you would be great on MSNBC, you are the best, including Tamera Hall.

  52. The issue is NOT the show but the time slot. This show should have been in the morning time slot build from there and go forward. BET needs to hit up George Lopez or Arsenio Hall for the late night. Folks want to be entertained at night as they wind down. TJ's show is getting buried because it is in the wrong time.

    • Well @ Phinessse, I agree to a certain extent, but a lot of "news oriented" programming comes on later at night. And besides, BET is using all of its programming time for shows like "105 Something…and Park." BET has been just BEEPBOP for a long time now. Stopped watching after Donnie Simpson was put out…

    • But you have to rebuild. They were on the right path, even though I did not like her, with MONIQUE. George Lopez had great ratings at the 11pm time slot until TBS moved him(Conan) and cancelled his show. In regards to Arsenio, he set to bring back his late night show for 2013. TJ's should would have been great at 9a-10a slot, give him a talented co-host. Start with that format and then grow. You have to give it time to grow.

    • What are you talking about? Your statement is literally — literally wrong. As a working media member I am telling you, your statement is wrong.

      1. Morning news is lighter. Today show, GMA, Starting Point, The View, The Chew, Katie Couric, Wendy Williams (her show slot on BET is not her main slot), Anderson Cooper MORNING T.V. IS LIGHT!

    • Cathy Lee & Hoda.

      And to also be clear, Don't Sleep was NEWS. No matter the time of the day and no matter how this world changes – the sole purpose of news is to educate and inform. Just in different ways. Morning news does it with a lighter feel.

    • 2. As the day grows later, your news gets harder. For many reasons. One of them being exactly opposite of your statement. By the end of the day before we are entertained most studies show viewers want to catch up on the news. Hence why your local and national news comes on BEFORE Leno, Stewart, Chelesea, Letterman, Kimmel and Conan. News has deference.

      Holmes' show came on at the same time as many markets' local news….because his show was supposed to be news for an audience that is ignored in mainstream news media.

      Another reason news gets harder a the day grows later is because reporters, anchors, producers, editors, the whole news team by the end of the day typically will have more information than they did in the morning. For example if breaking news happens at 7 o'clock at night you'll get the basic information because it just happened. In the morning news it may just be a recap. But by the late night news THE NEXT DAY you'll have more information. Businesses typically close at 5. So if the shooting happened at 7 you have to wait to get a hold of businesses which will have experts, witnesses, basically anyone to talk to involving the breaking news. Feel me? Not sure if I explained that right.

      3. Night news is harder because IN THE MORNING I want to be entertained. It's already hard to wake up, fight the alarm, and get dressed for work and get ready to face the days challenges. I don't want all this hard news info thrown at me when I just woke up. And if it is, I need it in a happier tone. I can handle the serious tone at night because I've heard it all during my day. This is how most viewers think.

    • As a member of the media as well. I am not wrong. You just played to the point I am making, TJ's Show more suited for AM, which where you start building from first, revamp the show to a certain extinct and you can still be entertaining and educational. Half the shows you listed are afternoon shows: Wendy, Katie, The Chew, Anderson Copper(now cancelled), even the View is considered midday and not morning. TJ's show would go great at 9am and by the way I am a producer of talk shows in my area so I am not talking to be talking. Rebuild your morning and your late night first. Then you can fill in from there and since I have the platform I would move 106 and Park 4p-6p and bring back news. Drastic? Yes but you can have news from 6p-7p; some kind of news magazine or celebrity format from 7p-8p, then with the original programming/movie from 8p-10p. Library show like martin, Living Single, and whatever from 10p-11p followed by PAY THE MONEY FOR LOPEZ OR HALL (WHICH YOU COULD THEN RERUN FROM 10A-11A. The issue is sticking with the format Staying the course which they did not do with TJ's show. Incidentally, Charlie Rose is a morning show. SO if you disagree cool we can agree to disagree BUT since you said you were from the media and had no idea I was either, i just wanted to show Program Directors Logic as well as Executive Producers logic.

    • And FYI Bill Maher's "Real Time" on HBO has the same format as don't sleep — just with cursing. It comes on late at night and has 4+ million views. Beating Kimmel letterman and Leno this past season.

      Personally I don't think BET ever had intentions on investing in this show. I think they knew it'd boost ratings during the presidential election. They knew even THEIR viewers would stop watching BET to tune in to election coverage so they did what they could to keep them. Many networks did this is in their own way.

      But as a news media person I will say the power is in the viewers. Stop watching when don't sleep isn't on. Watch when it is. They will see the rating pattern. When people speak out it makes the news.

    • We BOTH can agree on that! Plus how do you get someone like TJ with a fan following of BOTH black and white and BURY his show! You lost half of his fan base to Leno, Letterman, and Conan! SMH!

    • I want to add one more thing and it is NOT just BET but all the Black Networks do a horrible job of promoting and advertising! I free-lance write for several BLACK newspapers and they have ignored the majority of newspapers for promoting and advertising. So folks don't know about these shows and I can name a list of shows that on air now that people do not know about! Lot of work to be done–STILL!

  53. BET? blacks should avoid this station – it pumps 98+% negativity to it's viewers – more black media in the gutter –

  54. Angela DonDiva Thompson

    Wow I read a story talking about the show being extended to an hour but they left out it would only come on once a week! What king of ish is that. Don't Sleep was the only reason I started watching BET again. It's just sad how the media would rather perpetuate BS rather than insightful knowledge for the betterment of the black community. Just sad!

  55. TRUTH! With all that garbage they put on what it to me is known as WET(White Entertainment Television), it's no wonder that station went to the side of divide & conquer as well as punish & enslave against black people. This station has become BRAINWASHED on black people especially the young black kids. It reminds me of a radio station here in Toronto FLOW 93.5FM that went from suppose to be the voice of the voiceless for blacks but did the same thing that BET did. Brainwashed and corrupting peoples mind. SMDH!