Last week, the founder of the Tennis Channel held a party at Q's in Brentwood for his latest venture, the Ski Channel.
Steve Bellamy plans to launch Ski as an ad-supported cable channel in early 2008. He already has deals with Time Warner Cable for carriage in several key markets such as Los Angeles and New York. He also has plans to pipe the channel into ski resorts and hotels. Charter advertisers for the channel include Panasonic, Marquis Jet, Mirage Resorts and Fender Guitars.
Of course, Bellamy hopes to sell ski-related ads for gear and destinations. He said in recent years private equity groups have purchased and upgraded many of the nation's top mountain resorts. To generate returns on those investments they need to advertise, and the Ski Channel will offer a convenient one-stop solution.
Bellamy said the channel would not be a seasonal programmer. During the spring and summer, shows will feature alpine sports such as hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking. Even in winter, it will go beyond regular skiing to snowboarding, cross-country, ice skating and even bobsledding.
The Q's party celebrated the signing of Jonny Moseley, Olympic gold medalist and TV personality, as the channel's front man.
"Jonny is to skiing what Michael Jordan is to basketball or Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras are to tennis," said Bellamy. "Right now, there are too many anonymous athletes going really fast down a hill or doing a bunch of flips. Jonny will be a conduit between the athlete and the fans and help change that. He will be a face of the network."
Bellamy added that Moseley would become an investor in the channel and will host a magazine-format show tentatively called "Air It Out With Jonny Moseley." Bellamy's company, Atonal Sports & Entertainment, will run the channel from studios amid the not-so-snowy peaks of Pacific Palisades. Besides the Tennis Channel, he owns the Palisades Tennis Center, Westwood Tennis Center, and the L.A. Golf Academy.
The Museum of Television & Radio has changed its name to The Paley Center for Media to better reflect the institution's evolving mission to explore media beyond broadcasting. The center will continue at its bicoastal locations in New York and Beverly Hills.
The center will still collect, archive, and make available to the public its collection of radio and TV programs, which currently contains more than 140,000 shows and advertisements. Also, the center will keep its role as host for show screenings and discussion events with cultural leaders. However, the new center will offer more of these programs on its Web site, paleycenter.org, and through partnerships with Internet portals and broadband companies, including Yahoo and Comcast.
Shedding the museum label seems a good fit given the institution's focus on the present as much as the past. It has organized events around such contemporary TV shows as "24," "The Daily Show," and "Lost."
The new name comes from William S. Paley, the son of a cigar maker who bought a failing radio company in 1928. He ran Columbia Broadcasting System for the next half century. "We believe our role as a convener and community connecting point for industry leaders and the public is more essential than ever," said Pat Mitchell, the former president of PBS who now serves as president of the center.
News & Notes
Edward Moss is the new president of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group and publisher of the Daily News. He replaces John McKeon, who only held the job since October. Previously, Moss was publisher of the Akron Beacon-Journal; during 10 months at that job, he cut the newsroom staff by 25 percent. Pappas Telecasting in Visalia announced that five of its TV stations will function as independent broadcasters in the Spanish-language market. The news comes barely two months after Pappas terminated affiliation agreements with L.A.-based Azteca America for those stations. The Azteca-Pappas agreement for KAZA-TV (Channel 54) in Glendale will expire next year.
Staff reporter Joel Russell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org , or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.
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