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Curtis Symonds

HBCU Stories


Bachelors in Science

Grad Year


Notable Affiliations

BET executives

Greek Affiliations


Led by former BET executives, HBCU GO TV is a live and streaming entertainment, educational, lifestyle and sports network. HBCU GO TV is the voice of African American youth and the HBCU community and currently airs on Roku and HBCUGO.TV. Vision To be the leading media provider illuminating the voice and experiences of the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. (HBCU’s) Mission To increase awareness of and, to support the sustainability of HBCU’s, by making a meaningful financial contribution to the population of these American Institutions of Higher Learning. Target Audience Primary : Millennials, 18-24 Secondary : Alumni, 25-49+ An audience highly engaged in the lifestyle and rich heritage surrounding HBCU’s Why HBCU GOTV? It’s time has come! There is an audience who wants to see their schools and their lifestyle highlighted. HBCU millennials and alumni will now have a voice in their programming options, telling their stories, and their experiences on a true destination. Delivering content that Empowers, Educates, and Entertains. In addition, HBCU Sports has served as an extraordinary foundation for many African American icons: Walter Payton, Steve McNair, Jerry Rice, Michael Strahan, Oprah Winfrey, and Taraji P. Henson to name a few. Also offering the legacy of our school marching bands that have performed around the globe.

Central State University

Curtis Symonds, a prominent corporate executive, was born on August 12, 1955 in Bermuda to parents Barbara and Norman Symonds. At the age of two, his family relocated to Wilberforce, Ohio. Symonds completed his high school education at Xenia High School, graduating in 1973. He went on to pursue a B.S. degree at Central State University, which he successfully obtained in 1978.
Following his graduation, Symonds embarked on his professional journey by joining Continental Cablevision in Ohio as a system manager in 1979. Seeking new opportunities, he relocated to Chicago, Illinois in 1983 and joined ESPN as a local advertising sales consultant. Symonds' dedication and expertise led to his promotion as the Director of Affiliate Marketing for the Midwest region. After spending five years at ESPN, he joined Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 1988 as the Executive Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Affiliate Marketing. His responsibilities expanded in 1992 when he assumed the role of President and Chief Operating Officer of BET Action Pay-Per-View and BET International. In 1996, Symonds took on the position of Executive Vice President of BET on Jazz, which he held until his retirement in 2001. Throughout his tenure, he played a crucial role in significantly increasing BET's subscriber base from 18.8 million to 65 million homes.
In 2005, Symonds was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Washington Mystics, a professional women's basketball team in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), by Sheila C. Johnson, the team's President. He currently oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization. In addition to his involvement in the sports industry, Symonds established Hoop Magic, an indoor basketball facility located in Chantilly, Virginia, which is privately funded.
Outside of his professional roles, Symonds has dedicated himself to the T. Howard Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on promoting diversity and inclusion in the entertainment and multimedia industries. He served as the foundation's President and actively contributed to its mission. Symonds has been recognized for his outstanding contributions in the marketing field, receiving the prestigious National Cable Television Association (NCTA) Vanguard Award for marketing excellence in 1998, the highest accolade in the cable industry.
Currently residing in McLean, Virginia with his wife, Symonds continues to make significant contributions in his professional endeavors and remains actively engaged in his community.

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