As Black Entertainment Television (Bet) prepares to close its Washington, D.C., headquarters and move operations to New York City, rumors that the network may soon part ways with longtime head honcho Debra Lee are getting a second churn through the rumor mill.

Lee's move to California doesn't help quell rumors

Last month, several outlets obtained a memo that Lee sent to the network's staff telling them the headquarters would close on July 7. Days later, Page Six reported that Viacom, the parent company of BET, was planning to restructure the network.

According to one of their sources, the media giant planned to part ways with Debra Lee after the BET Awards, which aired this past Sunday. The source added that Lee had originally planned to leave on her own after last year's election. She had been eyeing a possible position in a Hillary Clinton administration, had the former First Lady won last November.

A second source, though, said that Lee was not leaving BET. That source pointed to a recent contract extension as proof that Lee, Viacom, and BET were on the same page, adding that the move was "part of a transition that's been occurring for a long time." Since purchasing BET in 2000, Viacom has moved some of the network's operations on to Viacom-owned properties in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Viacom declined to comment on the record.

After the past weekend's BET Awards, multiple sources told Page Six that Lee was still on the hot seat. Citing "internal conflict," one source said that Lee's "days are numbered."

Sources inside Viacom continue to insist that rumors of Lee's departure are not true and that moving the network's headquarters to NYC is a business move, as that is where Viacom's headquarters are located.

However, Debra Lee's decision to move to LA instead of NYC has raised a few eyebrows. Lee listed her Tony D.C. home on the market last December for a whopping $13.5 million. Two rumors have emerged about Lee's plans in Los Angeles - developing more scripted programming for BET or joining a different studio. Lee could also pull a Ryan Seacrest and fly back and forth from LA to NYC.

Move could be opportunity for fresh slate at BET

With the upcoming move to NYC, Viacom could see parting ways with Lee as a chance to wipe the slate clean at BET. The network and Lee have had a bumpy 2017, thus far.

Last month, Zola Mashariki filed a lawsuit against BET and former President of Programming Stephen Hill. The former vice president alleged discrimination by Hill.

Mashariki's lawsuit came only a month after Lee sent out a memo that Mashariki and Hill had left the company, a claim that Mashariki disputed. According to Mashariki, she had left the company. Instead, she said she was on medical leave, battling breast cancer.

While BET insiders claimed that Mashariki had indeed been fired, Lee was said to be embarrassed about the memo.

This past weekend's BET Awards added to the drama. Several incidents happened at various pre-parties. However, it was Remy Ma's win over Nicki Minaj for best female hip-hop artist that had some viewers scratching their heads.

Fans wondered if the company had manipulated the results in Remy's favor. Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj have been embroiled in a feud for over a year.

Furthermore, Remy and her husband are set to star in a new show for the channel.

With the move to NYC less than two weeks away, we should have an answer soon as to whether Viacom will stick with Lee or part ways, ending a 31-year relationship. Debra Lee joined BET's legal department in 1986. She was promoted to President and COO in 1996 and became CEO in 2005.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!