Urban One today announced that veteran television executive Michelle L. Rice has been named President of TV One and CLEO TV. Since February 2018, Rice has served as General Manager with full management oversight of TV One, the general entertainment network serving a diverse audience of adult Black viewers, and spearheaded the 2019 launch of CLEO TV, an aspirational cable network targeting Millennial and Gen X women of color.
“Michelle’s dynamic leadership has strengthened network partnerships, developed strategic alliances, and expanded distribution for both TV One and CLEO TV. All of which has uniquely positioned our networks to navigate the changing broadcast environment and catapult them to even greater success in the future,” said Alfred Liggins, President and CEO of Urban One.
“It has been a tremendous honor to work with such an exceptionally talented team and group of leaders who continue to transform and grow the business every day, even in the face of the most challenging circumstances presented to us this year. I’m incredibly excited about the future of both TV One and CLEO TV,” said Rice. “I am grateful for this recognition and the opportunity to continue building the TV One and CLEO TV brands. I appreciate the unwavering support and confidence in my leadership from Alfred Liggins and Urban One Founder and Chairperson, Cathy Hughes.”
Rice has successfully navigated and led the organization through a multitude of business and operational challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under her leadership, TV One has expanded its existing relationship with AT&T to include the upcoming launch of CLEO TV across DIRECT TV, AT&T TV, and AT&T NOW and with Philo TV, resulting in TV One’s first vMVPD distribution deal.
Rice has brokered an exclusive partnership with the NAACP to develop and launch the ‘Hey Black America’ digital content campaign in response to a myriad of political and social issues that profoundly impact communities of color. TV One and CLEO TV have also developed REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE, a three-part series of virtual town halls designed to tackle various social, economic, and political issues impacting Black women voters across the U.S.
Rice was one of the inaugural TV One employees, hired as the Vice President, Distribution Strategy, and Operations. She was promoted to Senior Vice President and held the role of Executive Vice President, Content Distribution and Marketing until she was promoted to General Manager.