There are two known interested buyers for a majority stake of BET Media Group from Paramount Global.
Here are snapshots of each bidder:
Hometown: New Orleans
Current residence: Atlanta
Owns: Tyler Perry Studios, minority stake in BET+, property in the Bahamas, Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Beverly Hills, Calif.; 1,200 acres in Douglasville, Georgia
Content portfolio: Films like “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” “A Madea Family Funeral” and “A Jazzman’s Blues” and TV shows such as “Meet the Browns,” “House of Payne,” “The Haves and the Have Nots,” “The Oval,” “Sistas”
Content deals: He has deals to distribute his films and TV shows with Paramount, Netflix and Amazon
Also: an actor in movies like “Alex Cross,” “Gone Girl” and “Don’t Look Up”
How Perry built his fortune: He started doing plays, then segued into film with his ‘Madea” movies, followed by TV shows on TBS, OWN and BET.
Three recent Tyler Perry headlines:
Tyler Perry exhibit in Macon Georgia
Tyler Perry donating $2.75 million for low-income Atlanta seniors to stay in their homes
Tyler Perry concerned about emissions from future FDA lab near his studio
Something you may not know about Perry: He loves to fly remote model airplanes
How Perry could win the bid for BET: His already close relationship with existing Paramount+ executives
Current residence: Los Angeles
Owner: Allen Media Group, which owns TV stations, cable networks like Atlanta-based The Weather Channel, Automotive.tv and Pets.TV and TV shows like “America’s Court With Judge Ross” and “Funny You Should Ask”
Previously was: a stand-up comic, a host on NBC’s “Real People,” host of late-night talk show “The Byron Allen Show”
How Allen built his fortune: In 1993, he started his own production company and pitched his own entertainment show for syndication. He started producing scripted shows in the 2010s and acquired news/entertainment site TheGrio, multiple TV stations and The Weather Channel.
Three Byron Allen headlines:
Byron Allen signs Judge George Mathis to a new court show
Byron Allen slams recent rise in antisemitism
Byron Allen: too much talk, not enough action on advertising equity
Something you might not know about Allen: Jimmie Walker of “Good Times” fame heard Allen at age 14 doing jokes at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Walker asked Allen to join his comedy writing team alongside the likes of future late-night stars Jay Leno and David Letterman. By 18, Allen appeared on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” the youngest comic ever to take that stage.
How Allen could win the BET deal: He has plenty of experience running cable networks.
About the Author
Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com