Hubbard Broadcasting Inc. announced last week that it hasformed a new subsidiary, Hubbard Media Group, that will be led by many of U.S. SatelliteBroadcasting's former management team.
Former USSB president Stanley E. Hubbard, president and CEOof the new privately held spinoff, said Hubbard Media will develop video programming thatwill "further the interests" of the multichannel industry.
While some of the new content may have interactive orInternet components, Hubbard was quick to point out, "This is not meant to be anInternet IPO [initial public offering] play."
The new company is internally funded by its parent."At this stage in our development, we're not looking for outside funding,"Hubbard said, adding that it remains to be seen whether the company will seek outsidestrategic or financial partners in the future.
Asked whether he was gun-shy of IPOs following hisexperience with USSB, Hubbard replied, "Absolutely not." Even though USSB'sshare price had dropped to $18 at the time the company was sold to DirecTV Inc., from anIPO price of $27, "Going public gave us access to capital. It helped to move USSBforward, and it helped to move the satellite industry forward," he added.
Part of DirecTV's deal to buy USSB earlier this yeargives Hubbard Broadcasting the option of distributing two new video channels on DirecTV,as long as they're strong enough to merit space on the direct-broadcast satellitecompany's channel lineup.
The new Hubbard subsidiary plans to distribute itstelevision channels to DBS and cable companies.
Hubbard would not detail any specifics on the kinds ofprogramming Hubbard Media might develop, but he suggested that digital or high-definitioncontent was likely. He predicted that it would be late next year before Hubbard Mediawould be ready to have something on-air, and early next year before the company woulddiscuss programming specifics.
Other former USSB executives joining Hubbard Media includeexecutive vice president Robert Hubbard; senior vice presidents Jan Schuth, Gary Thorneand Bernie Weiss; and vice presidents Rick Abbott and Bob Bedford.
"The reason why no one on the list has specific rolesassigned to their titles yet is that everyone has to dig in and do a bit ofeverything," Hubbard said, adding that it was a good opportunity for everyone tolearn all aspects of the business.
Hubbard said the new company may draw upon the resources ofConus Communications Inc. and its All News Channel, in which Hubbard Broadcasting is ageneral partner, as well as some of Hubbard's broadcasting stations.
Privately owned Hubbard Broadcasting is one of the oldestbroadcasting firms in the country, with 10 owned-and-operated television stations and tworadio stations, plus Diamond P Sports and F&F Productions.
Both Hubbard Broadcasting and Hubbard Media are based inSt. Paul, Minn.