NEW YORK â€” September 24, 2008 â€” As the deadlines for voter registration in each state draw near, BET Networks is making an unprecedented, nationwide effort to encourage its audience to â€œSTAND UP, SIGN UP, BE HEARD.â€ On Saturday, September 27, BET Networks will be hosting a powerful and exciting voter registration day â€“ on air, online and in communities across the country â€“ from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. ET/PT* on BET and BET J aimed at getting people registered to vote. The special will re-air from 5:00-8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Saturday, September 27 on BET and BET J.
During this historic, three-hour â€œSTAND UP, SIGN UP, BE HEARD: THE BET VOTER REGISTRATION DAYâ€ special, the BET studio in New York City will serve as the headquarters for the event, featuring host Queen Latifah (The Secret Life of Bees) and Toure (THE BLACK CARPET), appearances by Jim Jones and Mary Mary, and an in-studio audience of 100 unregistered voters.
In addition, BET will present live remote coverage from voter registration rallies taking place in cities in four (4) key battleground states: Cleveland , Ohio ; Detroit , Mich. ; Norfolk , Va. ; and Philadelphia , Pa. At each rally, thousands of people will gather to register to vote, receive valuable voter registration information and hear about the importance of voting from BET hosts and news correspondents, as well as celebrity guests.
â€œTo support this historic presidential election, we are making a major, dedicated effort to mobilize the hugely significant voting bloc of unregistered African Americans to sign up and get to the polls,â€ said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BET Networks. â€œThe numbers donâ€™t lie â€“ African American voters have the potential to impact the outcomes of several states on Election Day. With more than 8 million African Americans not yet registered to vote, BET Networks is seizing this Saturday, September 27th as the moment to encourage our audience to embrace their civic duty and get on the rolls, so that theyâ€™re set to vote in November and make a real difference in this election.â€
â€œThrough â€˜STAND UP, SIGN UP, BE HEARD,â€™ weâ€™re using the power of our platforms to educate and inform our viewers about why their votes count,â€ said Scott Mills, President and Chief Operating Officer, BET Networks. â€œWeâ€™re so excited to be partnering with the four host cities this Saturday, and are thrilled that Queen Latifah will be anchoring the whole event for us from our studio in New York . This is a critical moment in our nationâ€™s history, and BET Networks is proud to do our part in urging the African American community to vote.â€
BET Networks has also partnered with several local radio stations in each of the four cities to spread the message about Voter Registration Day and get people out to the rallies and registered to vote. Other partnerships include the NAACP, Hip Hop Caucus and UNITY â€˜08.
Details for each rally are as follows:
Location: The Met, 858 North Broad Street (between Poplar and Parrish Streets)
Hosts: Terrence (106 & PARK) and Sharon Carpenter (BET News)
Confirmed Talent: Beanie Seagal, Young Chris and Jurnee Smollett
Affiliated radio station: WDAS 105.3 / WUSL 98.9
Location: Luke Easter Park â€“ 3090 Martin Luther King Drive
Hosts: Tocarra (THE BLACK CARPET) and Jeff Johnson (BET News)
Confirmed Talent: n/a
Affiliated radio station: WENZ 107.9
Location: Reggie McKenzie Field â€“ 10 Pitkin Avenue , Highland Park , MI (between Hamilton and 3rd Street )
Hosts: Q45 ( RAP CITY ) and Jina Johnson (BET News)
Confirmed Talent: Brandy, Ray J, Marvin Winans Sr. and Marvin Winans Jr.
Affiliated radio station: WHTD 102.7
Location: Crispus Attucks Cultural Center â€“ 1010 Church Street (between Virginia Blvd. and Church Street )
Hosts: Danella (THE BLACK CARPET)
Confirmed Talent: Clipse, DJ Khaled and Coko (formerly of SWV)
Affiliated radio station: WVKL 95.7 / WNVZ 104.5
The â€œSTAND UP, SIGN UP, BE HEARD: THE BET VOTER REGISTRATION DAYâ€ special is a strong example of BET Networksâ€™ dedicated, multiplatform approach to covering the 2008 presidential election. Over the course of the campaigns, BET Networks has devoted hours of on-air programming on BET and BET J, live coverage, daily news specials, public service announcements, and extended news briefs, in addition to extensive coverage online and on BET On Blast, BETâ€™s broadband channel.
Additionally, BET Networks offered live coverage every night of the Democratic National Convention, along with four BET News specials that delved into key issues of the presidential election. The network also aired extended news briefs and special editions of THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON during both the DNC and the Republican National Convention. More details on BET Networksâ€™ efforts are below:
ON BET AND BET J
Â· YOU(th) VOTE! Sound-Offs â€“ BET has gathered YOU(th) VOTE! Sound-Offs to air on BET.
Â· Extended News Briefs â€“ BET News correspondents have filed reports each week. These reports put the historic nature of this election in context and examine the issues as they relate to the Black community. Reports have been integrated into 106 & PARK, RAP CITY and THE BLACK CARPET.
Â· Public Service Announcements â€“ Throughout the election cycle, BET is airing â€œBE HEARD,â€ a series of special public service announcements encouraging viewers to make a difference and vote.
Â· Decision â€˜08 â€“ BET.comâ€™s comprehensive Decision â€˜08 site provides up-to-the-minute coverage of the presidential election, including breaking news, photo flipbooks, articles, polls and quizzes.
Â· YOU(th) VOTE! Blog â€“ YOU(th) VOTE! bloggers give frequent updates on the perspectives and opinions coming from young people about the election.
Â· â€œPamela on Politicsâ€ Blog â€“ The blog by Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Producer, BET News, provides daily, up-to-the-minute, close-up coverage of the presidential campaign.
Â· Weekly Polls â€“ Weekly polls survey our users on the hot-button issues of the day.
Â· Video â€“ Missed it on TV? BET News video from the campaign trail and other related political coverage are available for the BET audience to watch online. BET News also offers exclusive political coverage online.
For more on the â€œSTAND UP, SIGN UP, BE HEARD: THE BET VOTER REGISTRATION DAYâ€ special and other 2008 presidential election coverage from BET Networks, please visit www.bet.com/beheard.
*Please note: The voter registration special will premiere LIVE on the East Coast, and will be tape delayed in the Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones.