Justice Network

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Justice Network
Type Digital multicast television network
Country United States
Availability Nationwide via OTA digital TV (U.S. coverage: 57%)
Founded November 10, 2014 (2014-11-10)
by Lonnie Cooper[1][2]
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia
Owner Justice Network, LLC
Key people
  • Steve Schiffman (CEO)
  • John Ford
  • (head of programming)
  • Barry Wallach
  • (head of distribution)
  • Wendy Brown COO)[3][4]
Launch date
January 20, 2015 (2015-01-20)
Picture format
480i (SDTV)
Affiliates List of affiliates
Official website
justicenetworktv.com

Justice Network is an American digital multicast television network that is operated by Justice Network, LLC, a limited liability company owned by a consortium that includes John Walsh[5] and network founder Lonnie Cooper.[6][3] The network specializes in true crime, investigation and forensic science documentary programming aimed at adults – with a skew toward females – between the ages of 25 and 54.

The network, which broadcasts in 480i standard definition, is available in several large and mid-sized markets via digital subchannel affiliations with broadcast television stations, along with carriage of Justice Network-affiliated subchannels on cable television providers in most of its market coverage via existing carriage agreements for local broadcast stations.

History

The concept for the network was developed in 2013, when network founder Lonnie Cooper (a former executive at Bounce TV and chief executive officer of sports marketing firm CSE) had approached Steve Schiffman (who formerly served as president of National Geographic Channel) on a proposal for a new digital multicast network. Schiffman suggested to Cooper that the network should focus on crime and investigation-related programming, an idea he suggested based on the popularity of the genre and the success of Investigation Discovery.[2] Incidentally by that year, about half of the 50 highest-rated television programs as ranked by Nielsen were crime-related series.[3]

The formation of Justice Network was announced on November 10, 2014, with the Gannett Company's television station group tapped as its charter affiliates.[1] Besides featuring justice-oriented programming intended to entertain audiences, the network also intended on taking an active role in combating crime and by working with various law enforcement agencies to disseminate information about missing children, and fugitives accused of various felonies. Cooper assembled several top media executives to head the network at its launch with Schiffman as chief executive officer, Barry Wallach (former president of NBCUniversal Television Distribution) as head of distribution and John Ford (former president of Discovery Communications) as head of programming.[4]

The network launched at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time on January 20, 2015.[5][7] No originally produced programming appears on Justice Network at launch, although there were plans to start developing original content within the network's first year.[2]

On March 6, 2016, the network premiered its own original programs co-produced with TwoFour Productions and Zodiak Productions.[8] In 2016 by August, Justice added channels from Hearst, Tribune, Media General, Gray and Univision stations to reach 57% of the US.[9]

Programming

Crime and investigation programming

Through a syndication agreement with Turner Entertainment announced with the network on November 10, 2014, Justice Network relies on an extensive library of crime and justice-related programming owned by the Turner Broadcasting System (encompassing 400 hours worth of episodes), including some series that originally aired on CourtTV/TruTV.[3] The network's decision to focus on crime-focused programming is based on various factors in addition to viewer interest in the genre, as it is intended to help tie into its public service mission, and because the genre is of relatively low cost to acquire and produce compared to other fact-based genres.[2]

The network co-produced and broadcast two original shows starting on March 6, 2016 were are:[8]

  • Killing Spree (2016–present) TwoFour Productions
  • Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer (2016–present) Zodiak Productions

Public service

In addition, the network airs 90 seconds of public service announcements per hour within its commercial breaks, which are produced through partnerships with Crime Stoppers USA, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and a number of law enforcement agencies. These PSAs consist of three different 30-second segments: the "Bad Person of the Week" (featuring a specific profile of a wanted fugitive accused of a violent or non-violent felony), a report on a missing child (featuring information on when they were last seen before they were abducted or ran away and the child's statistics) and safety tips informing the public on how to prevent themselves from becoming victims of a crime or abduction.[4]

The PSAs are mainly tailored to the specific region of the local Justice Network affiliate, with additional information on the fugitives and missing children profiled available on the network's website.[7] John Walsh, founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, serves as the network's on-air spokesperson and announcer of the PSA interstitials.[5]

Affiliates

As of 8 August 2016, Justice Network has current or pending affiliation agreements with television stations in 65 media markets, 24 of the top 30, covering 57% of all households of at least one television set in the United States. The network is selective in which stations to affiliate with choosing those that have local news and community involvement.[9]

When its launch was announced, the network reached a charter affiliation agreement with the Gannett Company's broadcasting unit (now split into a separate company named Tegna as of June 29, 2015), which initially debuted the network on 22 of its television stations.

As a result of the Live Well Network's initial plans to cease operations around the time of Justice Network's launch (later choosing to end national distribution of the former, and relegate it exclusively to ABC owned-and-operated stations owned by ABC Owned Television Stations in April 2015), some former LWN outlets owned by Gannett chose to become Justice Network affiliates at its launch.[10]

References

  1. ^ a b Cynthia Littleton (November 12, 2014). "TV Biz Vets Team to Launch Digital Justice Network with Gannett". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Kevin Ritchie (January 20, 2015). "Schiffman, Ford outline vision for Justice". RealScreen. Brunico Communications. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Lisa de Moraes (November 10, 2014). "Justice Network Launches In January With Focus On True Crime". Deadline.com. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Wallach, Other TV Vets Launching Diginet". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. November 10, 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Kevin Downey (January 20, 2015). "Justice Network Debuts With John Walsh". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  6. ^ Jon Lafayette (November 10, 2014). "Network Aims To Capture Viewers And Bring Bad Guys to Justice". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Hollie McKay (November 12, 2014). "Justice Network: New channel hopes to make the country a safer place". Fox News (Fox 411). Fox Interactive Media. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Buckman, Adam (February 19, 2016). "Justice Network To Debut 2 Original Series". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Buckman, Adam (August 8, 2016). "Justice Network Grows To 57% Coverage". TV News Check. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  10. ^ Jon Lafayette (January 18, 2015). "Exclusive: Comedy Multicast Net Launching on ABC, Scripps". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
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