An innovative and charismatic cable television sales and marketing pioneer, Symonds is well known throughout the cable industry and served as the Executive Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for BET Holdings, Inc. from 1988-2001. Named one of the 100 most influential people in the cable industry by Cable Fax Magazine, Symonds also served as Executive Vice President of BET on Jazz from 1996-2001; President and COO of BET Action Pay Per View from 1992-2001; and President and COO BET International from 1992-2001. During his tenure with BET, Symonds facilitated the successful growth of sales revenue, from four percent to 57 percent, essentially creating a solid platform for the sale of BET to Viacom.
Prior to joining BET, Symonds spent five years (1983-88) at ESPN, Inc., in the network’s Chicago office. He began as ESPN’s local advertising sales consultant and within a year was promoted to Director of Affiliate Marketing for the Midwest region. His cable career also includes a position as System Manager for Continental Cablevision of Ohio, Inc. In addition, Mr. Symonds has served as COO of the Washington Mystics WNBA Basketball franchise, owned by Ms. Sheila Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television.
Mr. Symonds is a former president of the T. Howard Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting women and people of color in the satellite and telecommunications industry. A board member of the Cable Advertising Bureau and the Cable Academy, he also spent 10 years (1983-1993) on the board of directors for the National Association of Minorities in Communications (NAMIC).
In 1997, Symonds was presented The Clyde Award for Marketing Excellence from Marketing Opportunities in Black Entertainment, and the Black United Fund’s prestigious “Walter Bremond” Achieving Against the Odds Award. Additionally, Symonds is a recipient of the 1998 National Cable Television Association (NCTA) Vanguard Award for marketing excellence, the highest award for marketing in the cable industry.
A native of Bermuda, West Indies, Symonds is a graduate of the HBCU, Central State University in Xenia, Ohio.