Curtis Symonds, top marketing executive for Black Entertainment Television, is scheduled to speak Feb. 22 at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Freedom Forum First Amendment Lecture.
His talk on minority voices in broadcast media is set for 7:30 p.m. in the University Center Shiloh Room. The lecture is free and open to the public.
As executive vice president of sales and marketing and president of BET Action pay-per-view and BET International, Symonds has extended the network into Africa, Europe, Japan and other foreign markets.
Cable Fax Magazine named Symonds one of the industry’s 100 most influential people in 1998. His other professional honors include the 1998 National Cable Television Association Vanguard Award, the industry’s top marketing award.
Symonds is a board member of the Cable Advertising Bureau and the Cable Academy and spent 10 years on the board of the National Association of Minorities in Communications.
A Bermuda native and graduate of Central State University in Ohio, Symonds has worked as systems manager for Continental Cablevision of Ohio and marketing director at ESPN. He lives in McLean, Va., with his wife Pat and three children.
The Freedom Forum, established in 1991 by USA Today founder Allen H. Neuharth, seeks to protect free press and free speech through conferences, educational activities, publishing, and other programs.
Its programs include the Newseum at the Freedom Forum World Center headquarters in Arlington, Va., the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, and media studies centers in New York City and San Francisco.