MGM TO HANDLE NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF WEIGEL'S ME-TV CLASSIC TV DIGITAL NETWORK
Channel Features Such All-Time Favorites as "Cheers," "M*A*S*H," �The Dick Van Dyke Show," and "The Bob Newhart Show"
CHICAGO/LOS ANGELES January 4, 2011 - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Weigel Broadcasting Co. announced today plans for the national launch of Me-TV, a television network offering classic television sitcoms, dramas and classic commercials and targeted for digital broadcast stations, it was announced today by Jim Packer, co-President, MGM Worldwide Television and Norman H. Shapiro, President of Weigel Broadcasting.
MGM and Weigel have also worked together on the successful launch of THIStv, the national broadcast movie service. After only two years, THIStv is distributed in more than 85% of the country and in 40 million cable households. With the launch of Me-TV, MGM and Weigel have established a leadership position of providing quality programming to the broadcast digital spectrum.
Me-TV (Memorable Entertainment Television) is already a proven commodity on the local level with its daily dose of classic shows. A local version of Me-TV has been successfully airing on Weigel Broadcasting's WWME in Chicago. WWME and WBME, the Weigel station covering the Milwaukee/Racine metro area, have become the first affiliates of Me-TV, which boasts a dynamite classic TV lineup consisting of "Cheers," "M*A*S*H," "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Bob Newhart Show." Me-TV's national distribution will be handled by MGM's domestic television sales force.
"I believe Me-TV will be a perfect complement to THIStv," said Packer of MGM. "With this network launch, we are proud to become the clear leader in the digital broadcast space."
"Me-TV is a terrific companion service to THIStv, or as an option for a station that did not have the opportunity to affiliate with THIStv," added Shapiro of Weigel. "In our markets, we have success airing and selling both Me-TV and THIStv as part of a cluster of viewer and advertiser options. And we are proud, particularly given the present difficult economic times, to be able to provide nationally, on a single channel, some of the best programming ever produced, free for everyone on over-the-air broadcast television."
Commented John Bryan, Executive Vice President, MGM Domestic Television: "Me-TV is a proven concept and has worked for years in Chicago as a ratings hit and an advertising success. We have seen THIStv become a great revenue stream for our affiliates, and we know that Me-TV will do the same. For years, the only growth a station could show was on its existing inventory. In the new age, they can now add channels that local viewers and advertisers seek out."
Me-TV has seen fast growth with audiences who enjoy quality programming. As the network goes national, highlights also include "Laverne & Shirley," "Happy Days," and "Bosom Buddies," which stars a young Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari, as well as the original 'Star Trek" series.
Neal Sabin, executive VP of Weigel Broadcasting, who is directly responsible for Me-TV, said "Me-TV was created to present a wide variety of the iconic series, stars and genres that have defined pop culture and television for decades. Our goal is to present these series with creativity, reverence, and respect for the programs, our viewers and advertisers. We'll have a lot of fun doing so, as we reacquaint the TV generation with the shows they grew up with and introduce them to a new audience searching for comfortable, timeless and memorable entertainment."
The new network is preparing a variety of promotional stunts. To coincide with the new The Green Hornet 3D movie coming to theaters in mid-January, Me-TV is also rolling out the original "Green Hornet" TV series starring Van Williams as The Green Hornet and Bruce Lee as Kato. There�ll be kisses for everyone as Me-TV introduces "Love, American Style" on Valentine's Day. Many more promotional opportunities are planned for the 2011 season. Me-TV will also provide stations with two three-hour blocks of educational and informational programming per week, allowing them to air up to twice the mandated hours of children's educational series.
About Weigel Broadcasting Co.
Weigel Broadcasting Co. and affiliate companies own and operate WCIU-TV/26.1, The U Too/WCIU-TV 26.2, Me-TV/ WCIU-TV 26.3, Me-Too/WCIU-TV 26.4, THIS/WCIU-TV 26.5, WWME-LD 23.1, WMEU-LD 48.1 in Chicago, IL, CBS/WDJT-TV 58.1, WMLW/WDJT-TV 58.2, THIS/WDJT-TV 58.3, Shorewest TV/WDJT-TV 58.4, WMLW-CA 41, WMLW-LD 41.1, Me-TV/WBME-TV 49.1, Telemundo/WBME-TV 49.4, Telemundo/WYTU-LD 63.1, Me-TV/WYTU-LP 63 in Milwaukee, WI, and ABC/WBND-TV 57.1, Me-TV/WBND-T V 57.2, CW/WCWW-TV 25.1, My Michiana/WMYS-TV 69.1, THIS/WCWW-TV 25.2 in South Bend, IN.
About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in domestic and international TV channels reaching over 130 countries. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.