Category: GEMA, GEMA Alumni Spotlight

Title:GEMA Alumni Spotlight – Eddie Hill (B’92), SVP of Consumer Marketing & Brand Strategy at BET Networks

Eddie Hill is the Senior Vice President of 360 Consumer Marketing & Brand Strategy at BET Networks (A VIACOM Company), responsible for all facets of the consumer marketing strategy for both BET and CENTRIC, across all platforms. has led the consumer marketing campaigns for such hit programming as The Game, BET Awards 2012, Apollo Live!, Second Generation Wayans and Real Husbands of Hollywood, among others.

What was your first “big break”? Or, what is the most significant experience you have had that has made your success possible?

My first big break was being born to two incredible parents, who I still lean on heavily. But on the professional side, becoming a College Representative (read: intern) for Walt Disney Studios’ Buena Vista Pictures Marketing (BVPM) was my big break. Having regular exposure to Disney’s movie marketing team during my junior and senior years was a big help towards me being offered a Marketing Coordinator job on the Disney studio lot in Los Angeles after graduation.

It was an incredible training ground with very hardworking, passionate people. I worked on some of the most successful films in history, was a small part of the renaissance of the film animation art form, and even got to take part in a few Golden Globe Awards and Academy Awards broadcasts. That rich Disney experience gave way to later roles at ESPN, Nickelodeon (Viacom), American Express, WWE and now back at Viacom with BET Networks.

What is the most challenging part of your job? What is the most rewarding part?

The most challenging part of my job is strategically combating the constantly increasing number of competitors that are entering BET Networks’ space, as the leading entertainment content provider for lovers of Black culture. We have been doing this for 34 years, and continue to be a Top-20 cable network among all US adults. However, it is amazing to see in the last 7 years or so the number of “general market” networks that are committing themselves daily or weekly to targeting our core audience – African American women in particular. This has certainly caused some viewership fragmentation. Through it all, we have to continue to lead, while others follow.

The most rewarding part is when we successfully have gotten members of our audiences (Viewers, Media Industry, Press) to re-appraise the BET Brand and recognize our size, scope and influence across the entertainment landscape. People are gradually listening, learning and recognizing the power of our Brands – BET and our sister network, CENTRIC. Trivia question: what network holds the cable industry record for the highest rated premiere of a comedy series? Answer: BET. The Game premiered on BET in January 2011, and the record still stands – 7.7 million viewers on premiere night!!

What is a current project you are working on that you are excited about?

There are so many projects across our networks that I am excited about. What is top of mind at the moment is BET’s first-ever original drama, Being Mary Jane, which stars Gabrielle Union and debuted in early January. It is truly a game changer for our network. Mary Jane is such a relatable character to any woman, regardless of race, region or social stratum. She appears to have everything in life, but as you peel the onion back, we learn that she, like all of us, has flaws. But the drama!!! This show takes the audience on a wild ride, week to week. The buzz factor is incredible, in terms of social media being on fire, and the myriad of bloggers that post their own content connected to the episodes. We have trended #1 Worldwide on Twitter each Tuesday thus far. The content is quite compelling, let me say that. It’s steamy. Just put the kiddies to bed before you turn it on at 10pm on Tuesdays!

Are there any ways that you feel Georgetown especially prepared you for your career?

My Georgetown experience was incredible. Those four years were among the happiest of my life. “Learning, Freedom and Faith” is such a powerful motto, and one that I still live by. I think the Georgetown community is one that makes you intellectually curious about life, but certainly not blindly willing to accept the status quo. So, challenging established norms that don’t make sense, or working to make whatever community you’re a part of a better place, is what I try to bring to the workplace and my career overall.

What is your best advice to those who are starting out in your field?

Carry out every assignment, no matter how small, to the best of your ability. Raise your hand to take on new tasks, even if you feel you don’t have another minute in your day. Get involved in the projects that matter. You have more time than you think, if you’re willing to trim some of your idle time, and sacrifice some sleep. The money will come later. Try to learn what you can from all divisions of your organization, so you can quickly find the intersection between your passions and your skill set.

How is the digital world affecting your industry? How are you approaching this transformational change?

The digital world affects everything, from how we deliver our content to how we promote it. African Americans over index in mobile device usage, as well as social media engagement and consumption. Therefore, we know that in addition to traditional media (TV commercials, Radio commercials, Website executions, Billboards and Grass Roots), we must have a robust portion of our marketing dollars allocated to reaching our viewers on their mobile devices that they are so intimate with. More and more of our paid media dollars are shifting to the digital realm.

Best Business Advice Received:

Work in, or work closely with, your organization’s key revenue-driving departments.

Trait(s) You Most Admire in People:

Resourcefulness, and a will to win.

Favorite iPhone/iPad/Blackberry/Android App:

The New York Times App

Favorite Georgetown Professor:

Diana Hayes

Favorite Georgetown Restaurant or Bar:


Favorite Georgetown Memory:

“Soul Night” on Sundays at The Pub