By Rhonda Cowan Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Rhonda Cowan handles the Talent Department at BET Networks and was previously VP of Network Convergence & Music Development at Bet Holdings, Inc. Ms. Cowan was also Vice President of Video at Island Def Jam Music Group
As President of Programming for Black Entertainment Television, Stephen Hill is the guiding force behind one of the pillars of African American pop culture. BET is the primary source for music, videos and news amongst African American youth and Hill doesn't take that position lightly.
Hill's contributions to BET Networks have been endless. He created 106 & Park, BET's wildly popular music countdown show; and Hill has also executive produced for such hit specials as "Spring Bling" and "Rip the Runway." And, of course, no other network competes with the BET Awards. The show has become known as the 'Black Super Bowl of Music,' and Stephen Hill is responsible for that. The 2010 show landed 7.4 million viewers, making it the #1rated event on cable for the year.
BET has a passionate audience and Hill is extremely committed to serving and exciting them. Stephen showcases and shines a light on Black music and Black people the way that indicates he has his finger on the pulse of his demographic. If you pick out any of BET's specials, you could see that. Hill is very hands-on with everything that appears on and off-air.
He interacts regularly with his music producers, creative services for on-air promos; the talent department; digital for our on-line content - PR for messaging. He's hands-on because at the end of the day he wants to make sure his team always delivers the best possible product for our audience.
Hill's visibility is unquestionable, as the high-powered exec is often right there amongst the fans and stars, getting to know both sides closely and making sure he's aware of everything that's taking place at BET events and shows. Also, Hill has been instrumental in bringing a bevy of new, original content to the network, including top-rated reality shows like "Tiny & Toya."
Stephen Hill is among the Top influential figures in Hip Hop because of his passion for music. He is responsible for managing, directing, producing, and most importantly creating music programming and specials for BET's audience. He understands the culture and respects it -- he is valued within the entertainment because of his passion and dedication to not only hip hop, but MUSIC.