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BET, National Urban League, American Red Cross to Announce Prime Time Telethon to Benefit Hurricane Katrina Victims

Details to be Unveiled at New York Press Conference on September 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET

In the aftermath of this week's devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, BET is partnering with the National Urban League, American Red Cross, Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Chairman Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles and the Warner Music Group, Essence Communications and numerous concerned celebrities in a telethon to raise financial aid to benefit the storm victims. The telethon is set for Friday, September 9 on BET, starting with a special benefit episode of 106 & PARK: BET'S TOP 10 LIVE at 6 p.m. ET*, followed by the telethon from 7:30 - 10 p.m. ET* (*tape delayed to the West Coast; pledge phone lines will be open).

Numerous celebrities from across musical and entertainment genres will be involved as performers, hosts, presenters and special guests. Viewers of the telethon can call designated toll-free phone numbers to make financial pledges to the Red Cross relief efforts.

Here are details of an upcoming press conference to unveil plans for a Hurricane Katrina telethon:

WHAT: Press Conference Announcing Hurricane Katrina Telethon on BET

WHEN: Thursday, September 1 @ 12:30 p.m. ET (Media check-in and set-up
begins at Noon ET)

WHERE: American Red Cross in Greater New York
150 Amsterdam Avenue (at 66th Street)
New York, NY 10023

WHO: Debra Lee, President and CEO, BET
Reginald Hudlin, President of Entertainment, BET
Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League and former
New Orleans Mayor
Ed Lewis, Chairman and Founder, Essence Communications
Russell Simmons, Chairman, Hip-Hop Summit Action Network
Rick Pogue, Interim Chief Diversity Officer, American Red Cross
Theresa A. Bischoff, CEO, American Red Cross of Greater New York
Grammy Award-Winner Jazz Artist Wynton Marsalis
Rapper Master P
Rapper David Banner

RSVP: Michael Lewellen, BET -- (202) 608-2003; michael.lewellen@bet.net
Michelle Moore, National Urban League; (212) 558-5328;
Larry Geiger, American Red Cross -- (212) 875-2132;


BET, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA; VIA.B), is the nation's leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs programming for the African-American audience. The BET Network reaches more than 80 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

CONTACT: Michael Lewellen of BET, +1-202-608-2003, michael.lewellen@bet.net; or Michelle Moore of National Urban League, +1-212-558-5328, mmoore@nul.org; or Larry Geiger of American Red Cross, +1-212-875-2132, geigerl@arcgny.org.

PRNewswire -- Aug. 31

Source: BET (Black Entertainment Television)

Web site: http://www.bet.com/

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