By Richard Prince, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
WASHINGTON - "Do not adjust your television sets: The BET special celebrating the network's 30th anniversary scheduled for Sunday evening was nowhere to be found. The show, 'BET 30: Moments and Movements,' was supposed to air from 8 to 10 p.m.," Nancy McKeon reported Monday for the Washington Post.
"An e-mail from a BET press representative sent to The Post at 7:30 p.m., half an hour before the show was to air, said, 'It appears that we will not be airing the BET special this evening.' No explanation was given."
BET spokeswoman Jeanine Liburd told Journal-isms by e-mail Monday night, "Unfortunately, BET 30: Moments and Movements experienced some unforeseen technical difficulties and a solution could not be reached before air time. We sincerely apologize to our viewers and will announce the new air date shortly."
A note on the BET website Monday night listed a new airtime of Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time, 7 p.m. Central.
"The show postponement attracted comments to the BET Web site from upset viewers from around the country," the Post story continued. "A viewer from Philadelphia wrote, 'I'm very disappointed. BET should at least place a notation at the bottom of the [TV] screen with details of when' the show will air," the Post story continued.
While not produced by the News division, "BET 30: Moments and Movements," was to include "a look at 'police brutality' through the eyes of Rodney King; 'the September 11 attacks' from the personal insight of Melodie Homer, widow of one of the pilots of Flight 93;" and explore "hip-hop’s commercial rise from the perspective of rap icon Jay-Z. From the effect the Cosby family had in American households to Obama’s meteoric rise to Spike Lee and the emergence of black filmmakers to the crack and HIV/AIDS epidemics devastating urban communities."