The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Curtis Symonds

Share on Social Media

Information about Curtis Symonds

Profile image of Curtis Symonds

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Broadcast Executive
Sports Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Shrimp
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bermuda
Favorite Quote:
Doing The Right Thing.

Birthplace

Born:
8/12/1955
Birth Location:
Bermuda,

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Broadcast Executive
Sports Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Shrimp
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bermuda
Favorite Quote:
Doing The Right Thing.

Birthplace

Born:
8/12/1955
Birth Location:
Bermuda
See how Curtis Symonds is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Corporate executive Curtis Symonds was born on August 12, 1955 in Bermuda to Barbara and Norman Symonds. His family moved to Wilberforce, Ohio when he was two years old. Symonds attended the local Xenia High School, graduating in 1973, and he went on to receive his B.S. degree from Central State University in 1978.

Upon graduation from college, Symonds began working for Continental Cablevision in Ohio in 1979 as system manager. In 1983, he moved to Chicago, Illinois to work for ESPN as a local advertising sales consultant. He was later promoted to Director of Affiliate Marketing for the Midwest region. Symonds remained at ESPN for five years before joining Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 1988 as Executive Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Affiliate Marketing. In 1992, Symonds became President and Chief Operating Officer of BET Action Pay-Per-View and BET International. Symonds served as Executive Vice President of BET on Jazz in 1996 and remained in that position until his retirement in 2001. During his tenure, he helped BET build its subscriber base from 18.8 million to 65 million homes.

In 2005, Sheila C. Johnson, President of the Washington Mystics, a professional women’s basketball team in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), appointed Symonds Chief Operating Officer of the Washington Mystics. He is responsible for the organization’s day-to-day operations. In 2006, Symonds opened a privately funded indoor basketball facility called Hoop Magic in Chantilly, Virginia.

Symonds has also served as the President of the T. Howard Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting women and people of color in entertainment and multimedia platforms. He 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.

Symonds resides in McLean, Virginia with his wife, Pat, and their three children.

Symonds was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 23, 2007.

See how Curtis Symonds is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Curtis Symonds's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Curtis Symonds lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Curtis Symonds recalls visiting his maternal grandmother in Bermuda
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Curtis Symonds describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Curtis Symonds describes his mother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Curtis Symonds describes his father's background and personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Curtis Symonds lists his adopted sisters
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Curtis Symonds describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Curtis Symonds describes his neighborhood in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Curtis Symonds describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Curtis Symonds remembers Lucinda Cook Elementary School in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Curtis Symonds remembers his influences at Lucinda Cook Elementary School in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Curtis Symonds describes the African American community in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Curtis Symonds remembers his teachers at Lucinda Cook Elementary School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Curtis Symonds describes his early interest in football and basketball
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Curtis Symonds describes his experiences at Warner Junior High School in Xenia, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Curtis Symonds describes his decision to attend Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Curtis Symonds recalls his experiences at Saint Joseph's College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Curtis Symonds talks about his experiences of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Curtis Symonds talks about college athletic recruitment
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Curtis Symonds describes his decision to transfer to Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Curtis Symonds recalls his experiences at Central State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Curtis Symonds talks about the compensation of college athletes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Curtis Symonds recalls his decision to pursue a career in the cable television industry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Curtis Symonds describes his role at Continental Cablevision, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Curtis Symonds recalls Ted Turner's acquisition of the Satellite News Channel
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Curtis Symonds describes his positions at ESPN and BET
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Curtis Symonds describes the growth of Black Entertainment Television
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Curtis Symonds remembers Black Entertainment Television's initial public offering
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Curtis Symonds describes the creation of BET2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Curtis Symonds talks about BET's audience demographics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Curtis Symonds reflects upon his career at Black Entertainment Television
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Curtis Symonds talks about Black Entertainment Television's expanded networks
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Curtis Symonds talks about his wife and children
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Curtis Symonds describes his role at the BET on Jazz television network
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Curtis Symonds describes his activities during retirement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Curtis Symonds describes his presidency of the T. Howard Foundation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Curtis Symonds describes how he came to be COO of the Washington Mystics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Curtis Symonds reflects upon the perceptions of women's basketball
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Curtis Symonds reflects upon the racist remarks of Jimmy Snyder and Don Imus
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Curtis Symonds describes his plans for the Washington Mystics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Curtis Symonds reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Curtis Symonds shares his advice to future generations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Curtis Symonds reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Curtis Symonds describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community