FCC Commissioner Clyburn and BET Networks to be Honored at the 2014 Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and BET Networks will be honored at the 31st Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner on Wednesday, September 17, 2014, in New York City.

Peter Rice, Chairman  & CEO, Fox Networks Group, and Pat McAdaragh, President & CEO, Midcontinent Communications are the dinner co-chairs. Other industry executives joining them on the Dinner Committee include: Rocco B. Commisso, Chairman & CEO, Mediacom Communications Corporation; Pat Esser, President, Cox Communications Inc.; Ken Lowe, Chairman, President & CEO, Scripps Networks Interactive; Brian Roberts, Chairman & CEO, Comcast Corporation; Robert Rodriguez, Chairman, El Rey Network; and Amy Tykeson, Chairman, President  & CEO, BendBroadband.

Diversity Advocate: FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will be honored as the Diversity Advocate. This award is presented annually to an individual or organization outside of the cable industry that has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity. Through visionary leadership, this individual or organization has directly or indirectly fostered a more embracing and inclusive diversity environment for the cable industry.

A longtime champion of consumers and a defender of the public interest, Commissioner Clyburn is a leader of initiatives aimed at closing the digital divide and fostering the adoption of high-speed Internet by families in racially and ethnically diverse communities across the country. She is a strong advocate for enhanced accessibility in communications for disabled citizens, and works closely with representative groups for the deaf and hard of hearing. Commissioner Clyburn is also dedicated to promoting programs to improve digital literacy and achieve greater racial, ethnic and gender diversity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and media.

Currently serving a second term on the Commission, Clyburn began her service at the FCC in August 2009, after spending 11 years as a member of the sixth district on the Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Carolina. She also served as Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, following her appointment by President Barack Obama on May 20, 2013.

Diversity Champion: BET Networks

BET Networks will receive the 2014 Diversity Champion Award, an award given to organizations that act as catalysts for diversity throughout the cable industry. These organizations motivate the cable industry to embrace and value diversity by serving as role models, inspiring and encouraging excellence, removing barriers that hinder progress, and empowering others with opportunities.

Since its inception, BET Networks has maintained a diverse workforce while developing programming that is representative of and appealing to its diverse audience. BET has led the industry in developing original programming as well as in creating initiatives designed to develop and retain its workforce, increase diversity at all levels within the company and further expand its corporate philanthropy and social responsibility efforts. 

BET’s senior leadership is one of the most diverse in the industry. In recent years, BET has successfully proven that it could Respect, Reflect and Elevate its audiences with award-winning original programming while maintaining its profitability. In addition, BET has included within its mission social and philanthropic efforts designed to positively impact the African-American community. 

Some of BET Networks’ diversity activities include:

  • Under the direction of Debra L. Lee, BET Network’s Chairman & CEO, the company reinvigorated its brand and programming approach guided by the vision: “Respect, Reflect, Elevate.”  The brand is built on supporting families, embracing and encouraging their dreams, focusing on the issues that are important to them and presenting the freshest talent and entertainment. 
  • In 2013, BET generously supported many arts, business, civic and social causes and empowered employees to engage in various community and charitable initiatives. As part of the BET Networks & College Bound Partnership, BET employees have volunteered more than 2,400 hours to mentor students to help them achieve their dreams of attending and graduating from college. BET has also developed a number of pro-social campaigns, using its airtime and talent to address critical issues in the community including the BET Next Level Challenge and the BET Rap-It-Up Campaign.
  • BET Networks has developed a number of special initiatives, including B*Real, H.I.S. BET, and Black Girls Rock! to inspire its audiences and raise awareness of important issues and accomplishments within the Black community.
  • BET has created a proprietary executive development program that provides leadership and training for its talent base.

Ticket Sales and Sponsorships

The Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner is the cable industry's most prestigious fundraising event.  Each year, the dinner typically raises more than $1 million to fund diversity-oriented programs and initiatives for three industry-based diversity organizations: the Emma L. Bowen Foundation; the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC); and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT).

Ticket sales for the dinner are now under way. For information on sponsorship opportunities or for other questions about the dinner, contact the Walter Kaitz Foundation, at (202) 222-2490, or email Michelle Ray, Deputy Executive Director for the Walter Kaitz Foundation, at [email protected]. Full information about the dinner can be found at http://www.walterkaitz.org.


Additional Information: 

Contact: Joy Sims (202) 222-2350

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 13:00