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GMC TV Exec Paul Butler Named GM of Magic Johnson's Aspire

Paul Butler Headshot - P 2012

He'll oversee operations for the new African-American cable network, launching in June.

Three months after announcing the summer launch of Aspire, a new African-American-targeted Comcast network intended to compete with BET, the cable channel has found a general manager.

GMC TV SVP and general counsel Paul Butler joins the new network, where he'll oversee all operations and report directly to network chairman Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

"We conducted an extensive search for the right person to lead ASPiRE and found that he was right here all along and already on the GMC team," said the former L.A. Laker. "Paul has a long track record of success with GMC with a wide range of responsibility and oversight. With his background and the fact that he was heavily involved in GMC’s tremendous growth, Paul is definitely ready to hit the ground running to ensure a successful launch and a great future for the network.”

Butler's former employer, GMC president and CEO Charley Humbard, echoed Johnson's words for his hire, speaking out about Butler's tenure at the network.

"I have worked closely with Paul for six years and in that time he has thoroughly impressed me with his leadership skills, forward-thinking and ability to develop smart solutions to critical issues," said Humbard. "He is very impressive as a business and creative executive. There is no question that Paul is an ideal choice to lead ASPiRE to great heights.”

Butler, who previously worked at VH1, will help craft a lineup of original shows, movies and documentaries for the Aspire, which is scheduled to launch in June. At the time of the network announcement, Johnson also noted that he wanted to open up opportunities for African-American actors, directors and producers.