T.J. Holmes, the affable CNN weekend anchor who told colleagues on Sunday he was leaving the network, is heading for Black Entertainment Television, according to a source familiar with Holmes’ situation.
BET plans to build a show around Holmes, 34, the source said. Neither Holmes nor spokeswomen for BET were available for comment.
BET made the announcement official later Wednesday.
“BET Networks has inked a multi-platform talent agreement with award-winning journalist and television personality T.J. Holmes, as announced Wednesday,” it said. “The deal with Holmes includes a new show on BET as well as content on BET.com in which he can bring his many talents to some of what BET says it regards as ‘the most important and interesting stories’ for their audience.
” ‘We are simply ecstatic to have T.J. Holmes coming to our fold. He’s been an outstanding news anchor and we look forward to working with him in a variety of new ways on BET,’ said Stephen G. Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials at BET Networks. ‘It’s now upon us to develop vehicles that capture his intelligence, curiosity about the world, warmth, humor and compassion. It’s a challenge that we are happy to have.’ “
“When we found out he was looking for new opportunities, BET approached him,” spokeswoman LeToya Glenn Bacon told Journal-isms.
Holmes joined CNN in October 2006 and anchors the weekend edition of “CNN Newsroom” on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
At the summer convention of the National Association of Black Journalists, he joked about the “weekend ghetto” to which African American television anchors seem to be consigned, and not just at CNN. Also anchoring weekends at the network are Don Lemon and Fredricka Whitfield.
CNN confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Holmes was leaving “to pursue other opportunities.” With that, and a prior mention in Journal-isms that Holmes was leaving, the news went viral.