Former AT&T Broadband & Internet Services CEO Leo
J. Hindery Jr. has re-entered the cable business -- on the programming side -- making what
he termed a "significant" investment in an upstart African-American
Hindery said last week that he is a financial partner in
Space Station TeleVision, which is expected to launch New Urban Entertainment Television
(NUE-TV) sometime this summer. He would not reveal specific financial figures.
Space Station, founded by direct-broadcast satellite and
technology entrepreneur Dennis Brownlee, also counts music and media mogul Quincy Jones as
an investor and partner.
Former Bell Atlantic Corp. executive and cable veteran
Robert Townsend is president of Space Station and NUE-TV, which will offer broad-based
news and entertainment programming targeted toward African Americans and other minorities.
Hindery, who became CEO of Global Crossing Ltd.'s
GlobalCenter Inc. Web-hosting unit in December, said he would join the board of directors,
but he would not have much input in day-to-day operations of the service.
"It's a service that will be respectful to the
African-American community; an audience that comprises 12 percent to 13 percent of all
cable subscribers," he said. "Anything that I can do to make Dennis, Bob and
Quincy's venture successful, I will do."
Executives from the network would only say that the company
was excited to have Hindery on board.
At AT&T Broadband, Hindery -- who was active in several
diversity-related cable initiatives -- aggressively pushed for a new African-American
family-values service as an alternative to music-video-oriented Black Entertainment
Hindery had said he would commit AT&T Broadband's
resources and lobbying clout to the proposed network, and he made a distribution offer
similar to one the MSO had made to start-up women's network Oxygen -- 7 million
subscribers by 2001 if the network lands other affiliates.
AT&T Broadband later signed distribution deals with
NUE-TV and Atlanta-based Majority Broadcasting Corp. Network. The MSO has yet to reach an
agreement with BET2, a public-affairs/entertainment service proposed by BET Holdings Inc.
chairman Robert Johnson.
Johnson has said he would not launch a second service
without either a significant financial or subscriber commitment from cable operators.
Space Station -- which expects to offer between 40 percent
and 50 percent original programming, movies, series, music and news through NUE-TV -- said
it would announce additional strategic investors and partners in the "very near"