Stephen Hill, longtime BET executive and friend to the stars, is out

BET’s President of Programming Stephen Hill is stepping down, with Connie Orlando, who is the SVP Specials, Music Programming, and News, set to replace him as interim president.

The news was announced via a memo circulated by chairman and CEO Debra Lee. “Stephen has earned a reputation as one of the leading creative minds in television and music. His contributions to the team have been invaluable as we worked together to successfully reinvigorate our brand,” Lee wrote.

“Most importantly, Stephen has been a trusted colleague and friend to many of us. We are fortunate to have enjoyed his service, creativity and laughter for so many years. I can’t imagine this ride without his energy, passion and love of BET,” she added. “Thank you Stephen for every awesome and magical moment, I know this won’t be our last dance. I know your dedication to BET will still live on in everyone you’ve touched over the years.”

As for what Hill will be doing now that he’s left BET, he said in a memo that he’ll be just enjoying life for a while:

“I am truly looking forward to some time to just be. There’s much in this world I haven’t experienced that I soon will. And then, I’ll re-approach the side of the action, sway to and fro while catching the rhythm and jump back into the fast-paced double-dutch of life. However, these same feet that will one day return to churning in time with the ropes will now, for a few moments, have their individual digits sifting sand…not unlike another former President. Check the IG in a little while. Previously unimaginable. About to be wonderfully real.”