Michael D. Armstrong

Michael D. Armstrong

*BET is shuffling the deck in its executive offices.

The network on Thursday announced a new streamlined leadership, with Viacom International executive Michael D. Armstrong becoming the new general manager of BET Networks, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Armstrong, based in New York, will report directly to the now Los Angeles-based BET chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee. His move from BET’s parent company Viacom follows the March exit of programming president and head of originals Stephen Hill. The network is also still caught up in legal issues with another former head of originals, Zola Mashariki, who filed a discrimination suit after her own termination.

Armstrong’s tasks now include driving strategy and operations, with direct oversight of content strategy, multiplatform scheduling, marketing, corporate communications and operations.

Also getting a promotion are longtime BET Networks staffers Jeanine Liburd and Donna Blackman, who will now serve as chief marketing and communications officer and senior vp business operations, respectively.

“Today’s announcement outlines key changes to our operating structure that further solidify our position as a thriving global brand,” Debra Lee said in a statement. “Michael exemplifies the values of strong, dynamic leadership — and his vast knowledge of our industry and how our audiences connect with content is unmatched. Known for their passion for our business and their strong experience in the industry, Jeanine and Donna have a proven track record of developing dynamic strategies that have accelerated growth, elevated brand awareness for BET and engaged consumers worldwide. These appointments will strengthen our ability to drive growth in ratings and digital metrics, achieve strategic goals and deliver strong financial performance.”