ION Makes Its Upfront Debut


At its first upfront presentation as ION Media Networks, the company Thursday unveiled a slate of new programming and content from producers such as RHI Entertainment and Firebrand.

The centerpiece of the presentation -- led by Ion CEO Brandon Burgess and president of sales and marketing Steve Appel -- was a partnership with RHI Entertainment, the award-winning producer and distributor of groundbreaking miniseries and movies for television.

RHI’s lineup of programming for Ion will include the creation of exclusive original programming, as well as quality library titles. The first of a promised 12 originals per year is Killer Wave, a political-thriller miniseries featuring a multibillion-dollar conspiracy.

"Killer Wave is the first miniseries event that we will be premiering on ION Television," said Robert Halmi Jr., CEO of RHI Entertainment, in a prepared statement. "This is a big action production completely in the vein of our other recent successes in previous seasons. We look forward to elevating the weekend ratings of our new network partner, ION, with these original productions.”

The upfront included a sneak peek at ION’s partnership with Firebrand, a first-of-its-kind multiplatform experience that gives consumers interactive access to their favorite brands, products and promotions, set to launch in the fall.

ION also highlighted its leadership and innovation in digital and mobile digital broadcasting. The company launched exciting new digital-TV brands, including qubo, a television and multimedia network for children formed in partnership with Scholastic, Corus Entertainment, Classic Media and NBC Universal, and ION Life, a television and multimedia network dedicated to health and wellness for consumers and families.

More recently, ION Media spearheaded the movement toward accelerating the development of mobile digital broadcast TV. Through the formation of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, the company, along with numerous other broadcasters, is leading the way in realizing the full potential of the digital broadcast TV spectrum via handheld and portable devices to reach consumers wherever they are.

ION Media owns and operates the nation’s largest TV-station group, more than 60 stations, and its national network reaches more than 90 million U.S. television households via its nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems.