The UK to get Baby Channel TV

- A combined television channel and website dedicated to expectant mothers and new parents is set to launch in the UK.

- A combined television channel and website dedicated to expectant mothers and new parents is set to launch in the UK.

The Baby Channel, which will be the first TV station of its kind, will launch in the spring of 2001 on satellite and cable television. The TV station will be preceded by the launch of the Baby Channel website, babychannel.net, which goes live in the Autumn.

The management team behind the Baby Channel includes the former Observer editor, Donald Trelford, as chairman, a former CNN anchor and BBC political journalist, Leon Hawthorne, as chief executive, and former head of Europe at Razorfish, Chris Mathias, as a director.

The station has had early discussions with several unnamed ad agencies, but an appointment has yet to be made. Any decision is likely to be dependent on the time-table of a planned £12 million flotation of the company, slated for late this year.

The Baby Channel's main focus will be providing a source of trustworthy information for mothers both on TV and computer screen coupled with ecommerce shopping opportunities.

The TV station will be simultaneously broadcast on the web and viewers will also be able to access a library of more than 100 short educational videos for immediate viewing. These are designed to help mothers deal with child rearing problems as they happen.

Hawthorne said: "This is a truly integrated multi media strategy. We are more than just a dotcom business or just a television channel. The TV and internet operations will exist symbiotically, driving viewers and customers to each other. The cross marketing potential is enormous."

The TV station will broadcast 16 hours a day, from 8am to 12 midnight, and will be responsible for producing 35 hours of original programming each week, including live studio daily shows and documentary features.



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