40 Next: Nick Cannon

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, Black Enterprise is taking a look both forward and backward at the world of black business. Our list of 40 Next celebrates the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

These BE Nexters—those 21–35 years old making a measurable impact within their respective business, organization, industry, or field—are standouts in the areas of entrepreneurship, corporate America, academia, nonprofit, the arts, and the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). And they prove every day that “business as usual” is not so usual. For them, leveraging expertise in one area to maximize an opportunity in another is standard operating procedure.

Using the legacy of their business predecessors to forge their own way, this new generation of leadership accepts the torch without trepidation. But the commonality between then and now is that success still takes a focused, strategic, and passionate mindset. Here, we introduce you to one of our 40 Next.

Nick Cannon, 29
Chairman of TeenNick
Nickelodeon, New York

Cannon is America’s youngest television executive, charged with guiding the future of the brand from green-lighting programming to promoting and boosting ad revenues. Among his successful programming credits is the network’s HALO Awards, for which he’s the creator and talent. The show outperformed the network’s average ratings among teens (12–17) by more than 27% and total viewers by 36% in its time slot. The self-professed “Entrepre-tainer” simultaneously runs his own entertainment company and hosts a morning radio show on CBS Radio and NBC’s hit reality show America’s Got Talent.