Curtis Symonds: Businessman giving back to HBCUs

Name: Curtis Symonds
Profession: CEO, HBCU Network
Alma Mater: Central State University
Graduation Date: 1978
University Twitter Account:

Stat Sheet

Hometown: Wilberforce, Ohio
Interesting Facts: Curtis Symonds was born in Bermuda but his family moved to Ohio when he was 2.

Curtis Symonds has had a long and successful career in television marketing. After leaving Central State University, Symonds worked as a systems manager for Ohio’s Continental Cable before embarking on a career in advertising sales and marketing with ESPN in Chicago. Six years later he left the company to lead BET’s affiliate sales and marketing efforts as their executive vice president. He spent 14 years with the company heading up various units, including the cable channel’s jazz, pay-per-view and international offshoots.

Since his departure from BET, Symonds has been the president and chief operating officer of the WNBA team the Washington Mystics. In the last year Symonds announced plans to launch a 24-hour HBCU channel called the HBCU Network that would feature sports, entertainment and lifestyle content geared to HBCU students. In an interview with, Symonds said the HBCU collective as a whole will have the opportunity to own a 20 percent equity interest stake in the network.

The HBCU Network’s website is currently up and running. The channel is looking to fill its staff and talent roster.

You can reach Central State University alum (
Curtis Symonds on Twitter at