New York -- The three "MetroChannels" -- a suite
of regional networks serving the New York tristate area -- are celebrating their first
anniversary by launching three original shows that reflect a new commitment to long-form
MetroChannels, part of Rainbow Media Holdings Inc., has
already debuted the first of the three series on MetroGuide, the entertainment and
The new series are: New York Stories, a weekly
showcase of documentaries by and about people living in the area; Buzz, a weekly
look at what's hot in fashion, food and style, featuring Judy Licht, Ed Levine and
Adam Rapoport; and New York Now, an hour-long daily newsmagazine.
Greg Moyer, president of regional programming for Rainbow
Media, which is owned by Cablevision Systems Corp., and Laurie Giddins, the senior vice
president in charge of MetroChannels, hosted a presentation on the new shows last week for
the press and media buyers.
Moyer told the audience Cablevision's aggressive moves
as far as the Internet, digital set-tops and extending programming across all of those
converging platforms will "make New York a lab for the world of interactivity."
New York Stories, a two-hour block,debuted this
past Saturday (Aug. 21) with Mother Tongue,a film about Italian-American
mothers and sons featuring director Martin Scorsese, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and
actor John Turturro.
MetroChannels provided filmmaker and New Jersey native
Marylou Bongiorno with finishing funds and postproduction resources so she could complete
Buzz premieres Aug. 30, while New York Now --
which Giddins said will be "all about the good news" of the city -- kicks off
MetroChannels is also deepening its commitment to
"MetroArts/Thirteen" -- its nightly six-hour block of arts programming produced
in partnership with WNET-TV -- adding the public TV station's CityArts seriesto MetroLearning's schedule in September.MetroLearning is the second
MetroChannel, and Metro Traffic & Weather is the third.
Moyer said MetroChannels is trying to become more viewer-
and advertiser-friendly by adding longer, regularly scheduled weekly shows, as well as
stripped shows, to its schedule, rather than its past staple of short segments that have
been hard for viewers to keep track of.
MetroGuide has the widest distribution of the three
channels, reaching 3.6 million Cablevision and Time Warner Cable households. MetroLearning
has the second-largest carriage with 2.5 million homes.