/// Indie News Channels Look to Break Into Cable

March 5, 2013  |  Media Week

As cable operators angrily watch margins shrink and subscriber fees rise, independent networks are trying to wedge themselves into the gap—and nowhere is the field of hopefuls more crowded than in cable news. A news channel isn’t a cheap or easy proposition even under the best of circumstances, but three outlets seeking distribution have the dual advantage of underrepresented ideologies and very deep pockets. First, there’s CCTV , an American version of China’s national news network, backed by the Chinese government. It’s controversial—the Chinese Communist Party is routinely criticized for censorship. Still, the English-language net has managed to attract a surprising number of decorated Western reporters. Jim Laurie , a senior consultant at CCTV, has worked for decades in broadcast news, having won a Peabody Award and two Emmys. Laurie defends the network’s integrity but concedes that the Chinese government “may choose not to do a story” when keeping silent is in their interest. “My perception has been that when the Chinese do a story, they do it with a great deal of integrity,” Laurie said. As for the selective coverage, he said, “that’s not different from any other news organization.” Brands are already on board. Procter & Gamble, Colgate and L’Or


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