Michelle James 

BET Networks

Michelle James is the Senior Director for 360 Consumer Marketing and Brand Strategy for Black Entertainment Television, the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for African-Americans.
In this role, Ms. James directs the management and development of consumer marketing strategies, plans and advertising campaigns for BET’s iconic properties, initiatives, and show launches. She is also responsible for leading the development and execution of series positioning, cross-department marketing programs and consumer/trade advertising campaigns.

Prior to joining BET, Ms. James was the Senior Director of Sales Development for ESSENCE Communications – the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women and the internationally renowned Essence Music Festival, one of the largest entertainment events in the world. At ESSENCE, James was responsible for the brand’s overall positioning across all divisions, drove strategic research and insights initiatives and was responsible for educating advertisers and marketing partners on the unique attitudes and consumer behaviors of multicultural audiences.

James has also held positions within such organizations as Sean Combs Enterprises, Scholastic, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanguarde Media, publisher of HONEY, Heart & Soul and Savoy magazines, amassing 20 years experience in television, music and publishing. 

Ms. James holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in television from Western Kentucky University and a Master of Science degree in publishing from New York University. In 2013, James completed the Cable Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Ms. James is a member of the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), Women In Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and a member of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM). 

In 2010, James was honored by ESSENCE Magazine as “Marketer of the Year” and by Spirit Magazine as one of the “Top 40 under 40” professionals to watch. 

In 2008, Ms. James created the Michelle J. James Scholarship, an endowment at Western Kentucky University for qualified state residents to pursue their dreams of a college education.


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