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(Originally aired: March 1980)


(1936-2010 RIP)


                (1ST 1/2 HOUR- Originally aired March 1980)

                     Veteran Television Producer

            Founder: Pyramid Enterprises Limited

              Co-Founder of Cable News Network


                               ROBERT JOHNSON       


                      (2nd 1/2 HOUR - Originally aired March 1980

                                  Founder & CEO

                       Black Entertainment Television


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http://youtube.com/watch?v=QMytokCi5X4  - ROBERT WUSSLER & ROBERT JOHNSON



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ROBERT J. WUSSLER (1st 1/2 hr.) & ROBERT JOHNSON (2nd 1/2 hr.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Former TBS executive Robert Wussler dies at 73 !!!!

By the CNN Wire Staff
June 13, 2010 6:12 p.m. EDT
  • Robert Wussler, a pioneering television news executive who helped build TBS and CNN, dies at 73
  • Wussler won seven Emmy awards covering major stories of his era with CBS
  • Wussler was instrumental in helping Ted Turner create the Goodwill Games
  • At CBS Sports, Wussler created "The NFL Today" pre-game show

(CNN) -- Robert J. Wussler, a pioneering television news executive at CBS before he joined Ted Turner to help build Turner Broadcasting System and CNN into cable industry giants, died on June 5 at his Connecticut home after a long illness, according to a family spokesman. He was 73. Wussler's career spanned five decades in which he became the youngest head of a major U.S. television network at 39 and later was instrumental in development of the cable television industry. After starting as a mail-room clerk at CBS in 1957, he eventually became president of CBS Television News and CBS Sports and produced coverage of major stories of his era, including the assassinations and funerals of President John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.; President Richard Nixon's trip to China; and the Apollo 11 lunar landing that put man on the moon for the first time. He won seven Emmy awards and created "The NFL Today," the pre-game show that became a standard for major sports broadcasts, said Arthur Sando of Sando Communications, who provided biographical information on Wussler. In 1980, Wussler joined cable pioneer Ted Turner at Turner Broadcasting System and took part in developing and managing CNN, Headline News, TBS Sports and TNT. He also was involved with Turner in the Atlanta Braves baseball team and Atlanta Hawks basketball team. "Bob Wussler was instrumental in helping Ted Turner build Turner Broadcasting and CNN," said Tom Johnson, a former CNN president. "Bob brought his prior network experience to the creation of TBS and served as a key adviser on many of Ted's major decisions during that pioneering era of the company. "Terry McGuirk, a former TBS chief executive officer who now holds that post for the Atlanta Braves, said Wussler "brought a new level of professionalism to Turner Broadcasting." "His arrival at TBS validated the maturity of programming in the cable industry and the businesses that Turner Broadcasting was building in that programming arena," McGuirk said. When Turner wanted to hold an international sporting event to help bridge political divisions, it was Wussler who helped him create the Goodwill Games, McGuirk said. "He actually was Ted's go-between with the Russians," according to McGuirk. "So much of it was about television production and building it from scratch. He and Ted personally went to Moscow in 1986 and made that happen." The Goodwill Games were staged six times from 1986 to 2001, at locales in the former Soviet Union, the United States, Russia and Australia. Born on September 8, 1936, in Newark, New Jersey, Wussler was a graduate of Seton Hall University. Wussler was regarded as an innovator, playing a role in expanding satellite usage in news coverage and the advancement of small cameras and recording devices in both the studio and in the field. In 1978, Wussler formed his own production company, Pyramid Enterprises, which created unique, syndicated programming for the international marketplace, specializing in Japan, France and the former Soviet Union. He later served as president and CEO of Comsat Video Enterprises, the largest provider of satellite-delivered entertainment to the U.S. lodging industry; and managed the acquisition of the Denver Nuggets basketball team. Other awards received by Wussler included the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Trustees (NATAS) Award, four Awards for Cable Excellence (ACE) and the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) President's Award.

CNN's Tom Cohen contributed to this report


Robert J. Wussler's instinct for innovation has consistently transformed television. Throughout his illustrious career, he has wrought groundbreaking advancements in commercial, cable, and satellite television. He is now president and chief executive officer of Ted Turner Documentaries and Ted Turner Pictures. During his 21 years at CBS, Wussler quickly moved from the mailroom to become the youngest president of the network. As executive producer of CBS News - where he oversaw special projects including election coverage and man landing on the moon - Wussler gained prominence as an industry innovator and leader, from his early use of miniature cameras to his calm control room demeanor as Walter Cronkite' producer. As president of CBS Sports, he essentially invented the genre of pre-game telecasts with "NFL Today," hiring Brent Musburger, Irv Cross, Jimmy the Greek Snyder and Phyllis George. In 1980 Wussler joined Ted Turner as a co-founder of CNN. Writing of the decade in which they transformed the news and cable business, Turner said, "I couldn't have done it without Wussler." Wussler helped enfranchise Turner Broadcasting as a major power by acquiring high-profile sports and entertainment properties including the NBA, the NFL, the Goodwill Games and exclusive movie packages. For almost 10 years he oversaw the growth of SuperStation TBS as its president and, in 1988, was instrumental in the founding of TNT. From 1989 to 1992, Wussler was president and CEO of COMSAT Video Enterprises, supervising rapid growth in on-demand videos in hotels. While there, he also managed the acquisition of the Denver Nuggets, serving as managing general partner. Following several international entrepreneurial ventures, including Metromedia's European television distribution businesses, Wussler became president and CEO of ABC Affiliate Enterprises, the new media and marketing arm of more than 100 ABC television affiliates. In addition to heading Ted Turner Documentaries, Wussler also serves as president and chief executive officer of Ted Turner Pictures, a newly created company that develops theatrical motion pictures and television documentaries on current and historical issues. Ted Turner Pictures released the theatrical motion picture "Gods and Generals" nationwide in late February 2003 through Warner Bros. theatrical distribution. Mr. Wussler has received six national Emmy awards, in addition to the prestigious NATAS Trustees Award, presented in the past to such recognized leaders as David Sarnoff, William S. Paley, and Ted Turner.


Robert L. Johnson is the founder, chairman and CEO of Black Entertainment Television (BET). He is also the majority owner of the the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association. Johnson grew up in Illinois and earned a graduate degree in international affairs from Princeton University. In the early 1970s Johnson found himself in Washington, D.C. during the early expansion of cable television. After a few years as a lobbyist for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Johnson borrowed money to start his own cable brand, BET. Launched in 1980, it was profitable within five years. In the early '90s BET became the first African-American-controlled company to be traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1998 Johnson bought it back and then sold it to Viacom, pocketing a reported $1.5 billion himself and retaining his position as chairman and CEO. Since then Johnson has continued to expand and diversify the BET brand, and in 2003 he became the owner of a new National Basketball Association franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats.


Robert L. Johnson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

President George W. Bush, entrepreneur Bob Johnson, left, and invited guests respond to entertainers on June 22, 2007 in the East Room of the White House, in celebration of Black Music Month.
President George W. Bush, entrepreneur Bob Johnson, left, and invited guests respond to entertainers on June 22, 2007 in the East Room of the White House, in celebration of Black Music Month.

Robert L. Johnson (born April 8, 1946) is an American businessman and the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), and is its former chairman and chief executive officer. Johnson is currently the chairman of RLJ Development which he is also founder and majority-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats along with rapper Nelly and NBA legend Michael Jordan, a National Basketball Association franchise. Robert Johnson was the first African American billionaire.[1]



[edit] Biography

Johnson was born in Hickory, Mississippi on April 8, 1946, but spent almost all of his childhood in Freeport, Illinois. He was the ninth of 10 children born to Edna Johnson and Archie Johnson. Johnson graduated from Freeport High School in 1964. He studied history at the University of Illinois and graduated in 1968 with a bachelor's degree. While at the University of Illinois, Johnson was a member of the Beta chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He earned a master's degree in International Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1972. He is the father of two children, daughter Paige and son Brett.

[edit] Black Entertainment Television

In 1979, he left NCTA to create Black Entertainment Television, the first cable television network aimed at Black Americans. It was launched in January 1980, initially broadcasting for two hours a week.

Eleven years later, BET became the first black-controlled company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. As of 2007, BET reaches more than 65 million U.S. homes[citation needed] and expanded into other BET-related television channels that make up the BET Networks: BETJ, and digital cable channels BET Hip-Hop and BET Gospel.

In 1998, Johnson took the company private, buying back all of its publicly traded stock. In 1999, Viacom bought BET for $3 billion. Johnson's 63% stake made him worth over a billion dollars after taxes, making him the richest black person until surrendering the title to Oprah Winfrey, when then-wife Sheila Johnson claimed much of his billion in divorce. Johnson continued to be the company's chairman and CEO for six years. In 2005, Johnson turned over the titles of President and Chief Operating Officer of BET to Debra L. Lee, a former BET vice president.

[edit] Other ventures

Johnson also serves on the boards of General Mills and Hilton Hotels. He is the first Black American to be the principal owner of a North American major-league sports franchise: He and Michael Jordan led the group that acquired the Charlotte Bobcats NBA expansion franchise, which began play in the fall of 2004. Until December 2006, he also owned the Charlotte Sting of the WNBA. However, he gave up his ownership of the Sting; when the WNBA was unable to find a buyer, the team folded on January 3, 2007. Johnson is also the founder and chairman of RLJ Companies Inc.

In 2006, Johnson became a staunch advocate of phasing-out the Estate tax. He went so far as to call the tax racist, although relatively few black people will have to pay this tax. [2]

In late 2006, Johnson founded Our Stories Films, a Los Angeles-based film company. His partner is Harvey Weinstein, whose own new enterprise, the Weinstein Company, will serve as his distributor. JPMorgan Chase invested $175 million into Our Stories. His private equity fund is financed partly by the Washington-based Carlyle Group, while his hedge fund has backing from Deutsche Bank.[3]

In 2007, Johnson was so inspired by new Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf that he and a delegation of several Black-American leaders toured Liberia and committed to revitalizing the historic relationship between Black-Americans and the war-torn country. This led to the creation of the $30 million Liberia Enterprise Development Fund.[4] Months later Johnson wrote a controversial letter to the Washington Post advocating that the new AFRICOM Military Command be based in Liberia. Johnson has also called for "African-Americans to support Liberia like Jewish-Americans support Israel".[4]

[edit] Controversy

In January, 2008, Johnson became the target of criticism for remarks he made to supporters of Hillary Clinton about Barack Obama. Johnson taunted Obama about his self-confessed past cocaine use. The Clinton campaign denied this, submitting that the comments were referring to Obama's work as a community organizer.[5] In subsequent days, Johnson was roundly criticized for his comments as hypocritical given the prodigious glorification of drug use and sale by artists prominently featured on BET[6].

On January 17, 2008, Johnson sent Obama the following apology: "I'm writing to apologize to you and your family personally for the un-called-for comments I made at a recent Clinton event. In my zeal to support Senator Clinton, I made some very inappropriate remarks for which I am truly sorry. I hope that you will accept this apology. Good luck on the campaign trail."[7]

On April 14, 2008, Johnson made comments to the effect that Obama would not be the Democratic Party's leading candidate if he were not black, in support of the prior statement made by Geraldine Ferraro. He also went on to say "I make a joke about Obama doing drugs (and it's) `Oh my God, a black man tearing down another black man.'" [8]

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes



(10:30 - 11:30 AM / (NYC Time)

Channel 34 of the Time/Warner & Channel 83 of the RCN
Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York.

The Program can now be viewed on the internet at time of cable casting at


NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time

& click on channel 34 at site








(11:00 AM - NOON / (NYC Time)

Individual programs can be viewed each week day

                 Channel 34 of the Time/Warner & Channel 82 of the  Host 
                       Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York.

The Program can now be viewed on the internet at time of cable casting at


                  NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time

                   & click on "wATCH nOW" AND THEN CHANNEL 1 at site