Magazine article Black Enterprise

He Fell Down, but He Got Up

Magazine article Black Enterprise

He Fell Down, but He Got Up

Article excerpt

CBS producer Emmitt Henry proved he could get back up again with hard work

A failed business venture and a need to make ends meet brought Emmitt J. Henry to CBS as a security guard. But a pioneering spirit and a willingness to take risks are what landed him the position of lead producer in just three short years.

Henry was the 30-year-old former road manager of the rap group Onyx. He also managed other artists--but none panned out. After Onyx's second album tanked, the husband and father of four decided it was finally time to get a bachelor's degree and hold down a "regular" job.

Security seemed like the obvious choice for this former Marine corporal from Queens, New York. In the fall of 1996, Henry went from making about $70,000 in the music business to $19,000 as a security guard for a company that had a contract with CBS in New York.

Henry decided to get a fire and safety director certificate from New York University to beef up his credentials. "I brought it to [the attention of] the assistant director [of security] and he said, `You're wasting your time.' I got pissed off when he said it."

His supervisor's words turned out to be the impetus Henry needed to take a more aggressive approach in fulfilling his long-time dream of working in media. During his shifts on the set of 60 Minutes, Henry captured the attention of one of the senior producers, Merri Lieberthal. "She'd seen me reading a book or doing homework and she'd engaged me in conversation and I told her my story. …

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