BET Founder Robert Johnson Investing In Non-Media Ventures


BET founder Robert Johnson became a billionaire when he sold his cable channel to Viacom for $3 billion in 2000. But now he’s focusing his energies on non-media ventures, according to the LA Times. Here’s what Johnson’s working on now:

  • Trying to establish a video-gambling machine business in the Caribbean and Latin America
  • A $12-million, 78-room resort in Liberia set to open next month.
  • Resuscitating the bankrupt Chevrolet dealership he bought for $3 million in Huntsville, Alabama. Good luck with that!
  • RolloverSystems, a Charlotte-based company that helps people manage retirement accounts when they switch jobs
  • Expanding his Urban Trust Bank
  • An investment in a $30-million private equity fund in Africa.
  • Bidding on the franchise to run the D.C. lottery.

Johnson also still has $100 million in Viacom stock, but we bet his holdings were worth a lot more before the market crash. No wonder he’s not investing in the entertainment industry. Nonetheless, we’re a bit dubious about the prospects for his various finance- and automotive-based ventures.