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CNN’s T.J. Holmes moving to BET

CNN's T.J. Holmes is joining BET starting next month.

CNN's T.J. Holmes is joining BET starting next month.

In a sign that BET is recommitting itself to news, the network has signed Atlanta-based CNN weekend anchor T.J. Holmes to an agreement that includes a still un-named television show.

Holmes presumably will do some sort of news-oriented show. The last time BET had a regular news program was 2005 with BET Nightly News, which ran four years.

The 34-year-old Arkansas native has been at CNN for five years, doing reporting and weekend anchoring.

Holmes, who has been married for about  a year and a half, said in an interview Thursday that he will likely relocate to New York, where BET is headquartered, though he said he won’t uproot himself immediately.

CNN “has been a valuable learning experience,” he said. “CNN is an incredible company that has a reach like no other. People recognize me in the Caribbean and Europe.”

BET, he said, wants to bolster its news presence, especially during a presidential election year. “It’s something the audience has been asking for,” he said. “It’s desperately needed. It’s a huge void that’s missing. I hope to fill it.”

The most noteworthy news/talk personality BET has cultivated is Tavis Smiley, who had a talk show in the 1990s but left in 2001 after BET became upset when he sold an exclusive interview to ABC News. BET did not renew his contract. (Smiley has since thrived on public radio and TV.)

“Tavis was able to build his audience,” Holmes said. “They’ve followed him. I applaud what he’s been able to do. He has done a great service for the black community.”

On BET, Holmes really likes Malcolm-Jamal Warner’s new show “Reed Between the Lines” and he still enjoys “106 & Park.” He enjoys hip-hop such as Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco. He’s gotten to interview T.I. several times. He has attended The Soul Train Awards and BET Hip Hop Awards.

Holmes, who currently lives in Mableton, said he thinks his final day on CNN will be Christmas Day.

One thing he won’t have to deal as much with once he’s over at BET: being mistaken for fellow African-American weekend anchor Don Lemon. “At first, we had fun with it but after awhile, it kind of got annoying,” he said. “If someone calls me Don, I ignore them. They probably think Don is a jerk!”

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

51 comments Add your comment

Ron Burgundy

December 9th, 2011
4:44 pm

Its about time BET got some talent in the news room!

peter weter deter

December 9th, 2011
5:03 pm

They both have those bell pepper noses that is the reason for the mistaken identity.

Allison Wonderland

December 9th, 2011
5:22 pm

Wow I thought Don Lemon and this guy were the same guy!

[...] more CNN’s T.J. Holmes moving to BET at Radio & TV Talk… You Might Also Like…CNN’s Erin Burnett talks about [...]


December 9th, 2011
5:51 pm

I don’t think tj will do any better at bet than he has done at cnn. Just my opinion but too young not enough life experience bet could do a lot better in my opinion…….don lemon would do a much better job or a more seasoned journalist like Leon Harris former CNN anchor. Won’t be watching!!!!

Stewie Griffin

December 9th, 2011
6:55 pm

Always thought TJ sounded like he had marbles in his mouth.

C. Tampa Ironworse

December 9th, 2011
7:03 pm

Sad…he’ll have a much smaller audience to talk down to now.


December 9th, 2011
11:41 pm

Sounds like a step down from new reporting.


December 10th, 2011
4:52 am

First, until that particular cable channel changes their marketing strategy away from extreme heavy rotation of upcoming specials, I really don’t think it will make a difference. As to the confusion about Holmes over Lemon, I think its more to do with their simular complexion than there so-called bell-shaped noses. I wasn’t even sure if Holmes had a regular timeslot, but no matter. Now that its out there, maybe they’ll give him a public send-off into oblivion.

And another thing...

December 10th, 2011
11:24 am

Best of luck to TJ, we’ll miss seeing you on CNN! I hope you like living in NY, you seemed eager to get back to ATL when you were working for CNN in the city….nothing like the South!


December 10th, 2011
11:35 am

Best of luck to TJ. He’s always been one of my favorite anchors. Great guy and brought the news in a very professional yet personable manner.


December 10th, 2011
11:38 am

LOL…I always thought he was Don Lemon and I’m black. Anyhow I’m glad he will be able to get a shot to build his own audience at BET. The network really needs to rebuild its 30-60 audience because I stop watch it once I left college.


December 10th, 2011
12:10 pm

“nothing like the South!”

That’s what people who have never been out of the South tend to say.


December 10th, 2011
12:15 pm

Good move Debra!


December 10th, 2011
2:32 pm

I like what BET is doing. I think it will improve the ratings and will show the world that BET is still the best black entertainment network out there. I hope they add a segment to help talk about our black children that are abducted or missing. We never hear about them on the major networks like they should or like some of the others. This is why we need these kind of networks.


December 10th, 2011
2:33 pm

Debra has been a light to this station.


December 11th, 2011
1:18 pm

i have to admit when reading this article i confused TJ for Don Lemon. Don is the one who revealed he was raped as a child and is homosexual earlier this eyar after the new birth eddie long scandal right?

anyways, i think this is a bad idea. BET is all about $ not substance. they have hired hilmes bc next year is election year and there will be inerest. after Jan 2013 when the inauguaration happens BET will drop their support.So TJ, get a contract like Keith Olberman. He left msnbc but is still getting paid, plus he had another new show on currentTV so he has another paycheck. Get a deal like that ok?
Also, do you have to move to NY bc that is where BET news is based? I know BET has offices in DC and teh ATL studio.


December 11th, 2011
4:18 pm

It seems like he felt that his professional growth at CNN has maximized. I do agree because was placed on American Morning for a short time and then pull of the line-up then they bypassed him for Brook Baldwin for the afternoon slot although he was better suited than she was for that shift. It is obvious CNN doesn’t really have much potential for him aside from working weekend morning which he has been doing since he arrived there. TJ having his own news magazine or show on BET would be promotion and who knows he might wind up doing well in the long run.


December 11th, 2011
5:28 pm

Good luck! I always enjoyed your show!


December 12th, 2011
1:54 am

I am just an old woman BUT I just love this guy…he has such a wonderful personality…he is cheerful,so nice…and I will miss him if I can’t get his channel. Good luck to him and his wife…and I want you to know I never thought he was Don Lemon….also a very nice guy!


December 12th, 2011
2:03 am

The thing I dont like is..CNN has this thing that if you are young, black, male,….you will get weekends only…..totally unfair….bad policy and very noticeable too. For me that is a bad policy that needs remedied at once. Along comes Pierce Morgan from another country he is lousy…and still he gets prime time spots…..He is treated like royalty….all he is a celeb interviewer….I never ever think Larry King when I see him……He makes me forget why he was hired.


December 12th, 2011
2:09 am

Deep thinking……

It is good that republicans have so much respect for Jesus …he was a Democrat….actually a socialist if
you pay attention ……

He worked his whole life for the poor, under fed, sick, maimed….and crippled….He had no use for money
or taxes on the poor..but proclaimed taxes should be paid by the rich……in fact he died because he upset
the tax table and got arrested defending his …poor people. If he could have got the poor and middle class
to rebel…they might a marched against the palaces …or stock market and bankers of the day… sort of an
uprising as we see today in our streets….against Republicans ruining this country…..trying to turn it into a
single party anarchy run by the Masons….who command the Republicans.They are the powerful leaders only
…the rest of the dumb asses who lope along saying …yeah we are going to be rich..will say that all the way
to the ovens.

They have no clue they are being used to get the big dicks in power…then pffffft …off with their heads…and
it works ..they are too stupid to see no money ever comes to them…

But back to Jesus the socialist….

I guess you could call it …Jesuscare…….He wanted help for all poor …medical treatment for all poor….
raising taxes on the rich…..he was a real threat ….so they crucified him…..and he was not religous……
obviously neither were the rulers….who like Republicans of today believe in torture…

You see ,,,indeed there is nothing new under the sun…..

Crucifiction was the old ….electric chair.

See the power of print?

Ohhh by the way…Merry Hicky Doodle……the symbol for the Hicky Doodle Holiday is a huge fist up an ass.
You can put lights on it if you wish. Some do.

You did say….respond didn’t you?

Common sense is not common knowledge……….


December 14th, 2011
12:46 am

I will miss TJ on CNN but looking forward to seeing him blaze many trails at BET. And I too never mistook him for Don. They don’t even look alike.


December 15th, 2011
11:16 am

TJ, congradulations, will miss seeing you on the weekend time slot CNN. It was so wonderful to turn on CNN Sat mornings and see 3 beautiful black men doing their thing (you, Mario and the financial guy). I will tune in to see you on BET. All the best to you,

b k

December 17th, 2011
11:53 am

i am sorry to see TJ go.but i wish him the best,and i will miss him.lots of luck to you!!!!!!

g r k

December 17th, 2011
12:03 pm

He is so gorgeous. Will be missed at CNN.

Mr. Jones

December 17th, 2011
12:14 pm

Wish you the best!!!! will miss seeing you on CNN. But as you know we all must move on in time to make it in this good old world. I never mistake you for Don

The Best!!!


December 17th, 2011
12:14 pm

TJ I will certainly miss you, you are fun on the air, wish you the best,
best of luck to you,


December 17th, 2011
12:15 pm

Way to go! I wish you the best in all you do. Thanks for representing Black men in such a positive manner. Hopefully all men have learned and applied what you are doing.
Much love to you and yours…my brother indeed.


December 17th, 2011
12:17 pm

I will miss T J Holmes on CNN, I always enjoyed his show . Best of luck T J, and I don’t think you look a thing like Don lemon.

Sherry Trotter

December 17th, 2011
12:18 pm

T.J., good luck at BET. You will do great. Will be missed on CNN

keith warner

December 17th, 2011
12:22 pm

Good luck TJ lookig foward TOWARDS seeing you on BET, YOU CAN FOCUS MORE TO BLACK ISSUES

Benay Williams

December 17th, 2011
12:30 pm

Good luck Mr. Holmes – I will miss watching you on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Actually, if you were not on for some reason, I did not watch the show. I live in California and did not mind waking up early to watch your show. However, I also watch BET and will look forward to watching your show. I am watching today and this was the first time I heard you were leaving, I don’t know how I missed the announcement previously. Also, I never have confused you and Mr. Lemon. I am off work right now, I had surgery in November, and I watched CNN doing the week, you and Mr. Lemon were filling in for other anchors and I remember the two of you mentioning the look alike comparison. I enjoyed watching all of you on the weekends; you, Fred and Mr Lemon. Wishing you the best of luck. Happy Holidays to you and your wife. Signed, a fan always.


December 17th, 2011
12:32 pm

TJ is a great talent and I very much respect journalism and his work. I hope that we (minorities worldwide) can get better coverage concerning economics, civics, sports, etc.). It is so obvious that we have much yet to overcome as many aspects of life that are taken for granted by some, are just not experienced by black people. Hopefully, TJ will bring his expertise to BET and help us to grow as people!

Denyse Chayer

December 17th, 2011
12:48 pm

CNN should keep T.J. Its CNN’s loss. As a matter of fact they should give him Erin burnet’s time slot.


December 17th, 2011
12:59 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!! God Willing T.J. might bring some credibility to BET News like never before. He might actually be able to persuade BET to ask the United State the hard questions CNN, ABC, CBS and Fox are afraid to report.


December 17th, 2011
1:00 pm

i never mixed up T.J. and Don, but believe it or not i mixed up T.J. with Barack Obama in the early days of Barack coming on the national scene! anyway, good luck T.J., you’ll be missed!


December 17th, 2011
1:04 pm

please bring

(BET) back into the Black and brown home for News THANKS


December 17th, 2011
1:14 pm

Will miss TJ a lot. I think CNN should have used him more and should have given home a more perminant time slot, as TJ was and is a true professional. CNN seems to be losing their best people to other networks. Hope all the best for TJ in the future!

Lee Fischer

December 17th, 2011
1:17 pm

will miss you T,J.
Good luck


December 17th, 2011
2:40 pm

Congratulations T. J. you are deserving! CNN is the Loser, and I will be supporting
you on BET. You are a professional Anchor and I am proud of you.


December 17th, 2011
7:46 pm

T J “you da man”. I’ve always enjoyed your positive outlook and professionalism. Wish you much success in your new endeavor and BET will be all the better for their new acquisition. Keep smiling and stay humble. We’ll look forward to seeing you on BET!

Neilagh McCrone

December 17th, 2011
10:31 pm

Will miss you T J, I liked your smile and you always seemed happy. I don’t think you look like Don Lemon. I watch CNN all the time.

Peggy Dorrell

December 17th, 2011
10:51 pm

I’m an old lady and I enjoyed watching any show TJ was on because I believe he brought classy elegance to the airwaves. He could make Barry White recordings and I would find a way to listen.
Good fortune to you and my blessings.


December 18th, 2011
9:27 am

While watching this AM was shocked to hear TJ say he was leaving. I’ve stopped tuning in to Cnn because I’ve noticed their diversity declining. I only tuned in for the weekend because a little flavor was added to keep Americans posted on what was happening. Good luck TJ and stop dignifying that all Black people look alike with any further comments on an equally intelligent Black man being hired by CNN. Guess it was hard for some to believe there was two. Wait, there may be more of then.LMBAO.


December 18th, 2011
11:57 am

CNN lost a great talent with T.J. Smart move on BET’s part. BET may be getting a more diverse audience when T.J.’s fan base follows him from CNN to BET.


December 18th, 2011
8:38 pm

I enjoyed BET when if offered programs for all ages. News is important, and I am of the opinion that we (blacks) need to hear another perspective other than CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC,…etc. Good luck TJ, and I hope you can fill that void young man.

sondra jordan

December 18th, 2011
9:40 pm

Not so sure this was/is a good move for TJ. I’d let BET rebuild itself first before I jumped ship from a yacht onto a canoe.


December 19th, 2011
12:02 am

I agree that CNN should’ve given TJ Holmes Erin Burnett’s time slot. Wonder if that would’ve made him stay?


December 19th, 2011
1:37 pm


If you read these comments, you should be proud to read the positive, uplifting comments written by most of your CNN viewers/followers.

Sad to see you go but I wish you the best in ALL your future endeavors. By the way, in my opinion there is is no resemblance between you and Don Lemon.

Having said that, I hope that I took your comment about Don Lemon out of context, and that you did NOT refer to Don as a ‘Jerk”. If you did, I am very disappointed that you would stoop that low.

Good luck, my friend. Keep flaunting that personality that you’ve been blessed with.