BET and The RLJ Companies Founder Bob Johnson Joins Culture Genesis as Strategic Advisor

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Culture Genesis, a digital video network for underrepresented creators and publishers, today announced it has added Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) as a strategic advisor to support the company’s continued expansion.

A business and media pioneer, investor, and philanthropist whose career spans more than five decades, Johnson’s companies are among the most prominent Black-owned businesses in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The RLJ Companies, LLC, which Johnson founded in 2002, is an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. Within The RLJ Companies portfolio, Johnson owns or holds interests in businesses operating in hotel real estate, private equity, 401(k) fintech services, auto dealerships, content streaming, gaming, and sports betting. In 1980, he, along with media magnate John C. Malone founded BET—the first cable television network designed for African Americans featuring sports, movies, sitcoms, and original content. In 1991, BET became the first Black-owned company to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was eventually acquired by Viacom, making Johnson America’s first Black billionaire.

“Bob is the ultimate trailblazer and waymaker; he was the first to create a platform for Black people on cable/satellite networks,” said Cedric J. Rogers, co-founder and CEO of Culture Genesis. “We are tremendously excited to have the opportunity to work with Bob and leverage his vast knowledge and leadership skills as we build the BET for the creator economy that’s distributed on digital streaming networks and starts with YouTube—the largest ad-supported streaming platform.”

“I am very excited to work with the Culture Genesis team. As young entrepreneurs, they have demonstrated that they possess the strategic vision, work ethic, and personal character to make Culture Genesis a preeminent media brand serving minority and Black consumers,” said Johnson. Much of what I see in Culture Genesis reminds me of the early start-up stages of BET. I look forward to helping them become a preeminent content business and a financial success for their employees, clients, and stakeholders.”

The news of Johnson’s appointment comes as Culture Genesis has seen 275% year-over-year growth and expects to minimally double revenue in 2023. Additionally, the company has paid over $5M to underrepresented creators which is three times more revenue than they receive from social media platforms.

Culture Genesis is excited about their future plans to continue to scale the network and develop a dashboard and digital wallet for creators to grow and manage their funds.

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About Culture Genesis

Based in Los Angeles, Culture Genesis is a digital video network for underrepresented creators and publishers. Founded by former Apple executive Cedric J. Rogers and VEVO, MLB Advanced Media alum Shaun Newsum—we build, develop and acquire digital media technology and audiences. For more information, visit


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