Question of the Day: What was the first Black-owned business listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)?
Answer: Black Entertainment Television (BET) was founded by Robert Johnson, America’s first Black billionaire, and his company was listed on the NYSE in 1991.
- How does a company benefit from being listed on a stock exchange?
- The founder, Robert Johnson, noted that his first job was managing a paper route as a kid. What lessons do you think he learned from that experience?
- Why do you think BET was such a successful business?
Behind the numbers (CNBC):
In 1991, BET became the first black-owned company to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, according to CNN Money.
“My big break came when cable magnate John Malone, then CEO of Tele-Communications Inc., the country’s third-largest cable company, decided to invest in my company, even though I had no experience running any business, never mind a national media company,” he told Fortune.
In 2001, Johnson became a billionaire after selling the station to Viacom for $3 billion, which catapulted his net worth to an estimated $1.3 billion. At the time, BET reached 62.4 million homes.
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