New York -- Nickelodeon has found a general manager and a
moniker for its new digital network, Nickelodeon GAS -- Games and Sports for Kids,
officials said last week.
Mark Offitzer, a veteran of Broadway Video Entertainment,
has been appointed vice president and general manager of GAS, which will launch in early
1999 along with Noggin, Nick's educational kids' channel.
Since 1992, Offitzer has produced Nick's Kids
Choice Awards, and he most recently was vice president of special-event programming
for Broadway Video. He will report to Cyma Zarghami, Nick's executive vice president
and general manager.
Both GAS and Noggin will be part of MTV Networks'
"The Suite," a digital tier of 10 channels.
As part of its programming lineup, GAS will debut original
series Renford Rejects, which is about the coming of age of members of a kids'
soccer team. The digital channel will also have original segments taped at
Nickelodeon's Studios in Orlando, Fla.
The rest of GAS' programming will come from
Nick's library, and it will include game shows such as Global Guts, Double
Dare, Wild & Crazy Kids and Figure It Out; sports-oriented shows
including Sports Theatre with Shaquille O'Neal; and programs about video games
and electronic games that kids enjoy.
Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders, host of Nick's Figure
It Out,is serving as the official commissioner of GAS by being its designated
spokeswoman and acting as an advocate of kids' games and sports.