MBC Taps Newberger for CEO

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MBC Network, which in October will change its name to the Black Family Channel, has appointed Rick Newberger to the posts of president and CEO, effective immediately, officials said last week.

For the past 17 years, Newberger has been managing director of Vanguard Media Corp., which has aided startups such as Sci Fi Channel, The Golf Channel, ZDTV and Sí TV.

Newberger will continue his work with Vanguard’s other clients while helping to manage Black Family Channel.

His appointment was announced by MBC Network board chairman Willie Gary, who had been serving as CEO.

“Black Family Channel is on the cusp of a major breakthrough,” Newberger said in a prepared statement. “We are reaching 24 of the top 25 black markets through agreements with all of the major cable MSOs. This fall, we will debut several new primetime shows plus a kids block from the famed Hollywood producer Robert Townsend, who joined the network as president and CEO of production earlier this year.”

MBC has said the new name for the channel, now in about 12 million homes, will more importantly be accompanied by a revamping of the network to feature more variety and reality programming targeted to African-American families.

Townsend has said he’s developing a number of family targeted shows, including a urban kids-targeted block to air weekdays and Saturday mornings.

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