MetroTV Lineup Morphs To Personal, Talk, Sports

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New York-area viewers this week will find yet another format permutation at MetroTV, one of Rainbow Media Corp.'s MetroChannels.

Under the latest change, personal-oriented talk and reality shows and weekend sports fare are in, while fashion — a centerpiece of MetroTV's last model — is out. Instead, Full Frontal Fashion
will go national on fellow Rainbow service WE: Women's Entertainment.

The new schedule comes two weeks after MetroTV carried out its share of the 7 percent across-the-board staff cuts being effected by Rainbow parent Cablevision Systems Corp. Published reports estimated that about 60 Metro staffers were given their walking papers.

A MetroTV spokeswoman declined to quantify the cuts.

Rainbow president of regional programming Greg Moyer — said to be in budget meetings for most of last week — was not available for comment.

As of Oct. 7, primetime programming will feature a mix of New York-themed films and original lifestyle series. One new attraction is Naked New York, a relationship talk hour hosted by Bob Berkowitz, formerly of CNBC's Real Personal. Also on tap are NYPD: At Close Range, a Sunday-night documentary series on the world of Irish-American cops.

Sports — including boxing and documentaries, and notably live New York Rangers, Knicks, Islanders and New Jersey Devils games — will be featured Fridays and Saturdays. Previously, MetroTV has presented New York team games intermittently, when they spill over from Cablevision-owned Madison Square Garden Network or Fox Sports Net New York due to scheduling conflicts. Network officials did not detail which games would migrate.

Three of MetroTV's current primetime attractions —To Live and Date In New York, Bid New York
and Urban Latino
— continue on the new schedule. Subway Q&A
will move from primetime to 11 p.m. each night, and be paired with Strictly Personal, an attempt to match single men and women of similar likes or dislikes.

Originally, the service presented reports and profiles of local attractions, personalities and lifestyle tips in 30-minute blocks. After more than a year, the reports were rearranged into nightly and weekly magazine series.

Later, it showcased a mix of documentaries, first-run local pop culture shows and New York-themed off-broadcast series.

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