Monday, June 09, 2014

'Live Well Network' plug pulled by Disney-ABC Television Group

Disney-ABC Television Group announces shut down of .2 Live Well Network

Michael Malone of Broadcasting and Cable reports the Disney-ABC Television Group .2 sub-channel Live Well Network will be closing down at the beginning of 2015 so ABC stations like KTRK in Houston can focus on local programming. In Houston, the network airs on 13.2/13.3 and Comcast cable.

ABC will discontinue its homegrown digi-net Live Well Network in mid-January. Focused on food, fashion and travel, Live Well was viewed as an example of what broadcasters could pull off in the multicast space, with original programming and partner stations both within the ABC owned group and outside of it. But the numbers were not working for ABC.

“Despite Live Well's tremendous accomplishments in distribution and original programming, we made a strategic decision that our priority must be local content, and we want to maximize our investment in our core local news brands in the digital space,” said Rebecca Campbell (pictured), president of ABC Owned Television Stations, and Peggy Allen, Live Well VP of programming and operations, in a letter to Live Well partners.

Rebecca Spera
Rebecca Spera
The network started in 2009 as Live Well HD.

KTRK produces one of the original shows left on air called Mirror Mirror hosted by former KHOU 11 Great Day Houston contributor Rebecca Spera. In 2011, Katishia Cosley joined the network as NewsFix took over CW39 KIAH where she had been weekend anchor to host Deals.

Katishia Cosley
Katishia Cosley
We will have to see what happens to the staff in Houston that produces these shows. Will KTRK just move them to new duties or new departments? Spera has already filled in for Don Nelson on morning traffic so that could be a future gig for her. Cosley originally started in Houston at KTRK, before KIAH, as a temporary reporter.

ABC is not saying what will replace the network, but I'm going to take a guess and say the new ABC News/Univision produced Fusion network.

Stay tuned.




13 comments:

  1. Naaah... I hope they bring back the Local Weather Channels that all ABC O&Os (including KTRK 13) had. I rather have a Local Weather Channel than anything else.

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  2. Roland and McGuff, aren't they're still going to keep 13.2 though?

    I'm betting both Cosley and Spera are staying at Ch. 13.

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  3. I liked Mirror/Mirror, but not Rebecca. I've always found her to be fake. I prefer Kat.

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  4. It won't be Fusion. That is a jointly owned venture that has already achieved decent cable carriage. Putting Fusion on the ABC O&Os would potentially undercut the cable deals that undoubtedly have some subscriber fees involved. That might be fine for ABC but Univision would say no.

    This sounds more like ABC will either do nothing and let the staff members involved in live well go back to local news production or they will have their stations do local news channels.

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    1. I bet a local news channel would give the ktrk staff a little mental stability when it comes to future emplyment concerns.

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  5. I liked both. I hope there is room to keep them at KTRK

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  6. Motion was a great show.

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  7. I hope ABC will create a new retro network featuring classic Disney and old movies-of-the-week! (On 13-2 and in SD, of course.)

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  8. I really enjoyed Deals with Kat. My wife actually got me hooked. It had a great local flavor that is desperately missing in today's LOCAL TV. Plus, it wasn't pretending to be a community program that is actually an infomercial like so many of these programs turn out to be. Hopefully 13 will keep those programs around.

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  9. Cant put weather map on continuously. The FCC mandated that the channels be used for "engaged community information."

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  10. I had Live Well on ABC 6-2. Will miss "Mexico-One plate at a time" plus the room makeover on a budget program, Stephen & Chris and all the wonderful nature & travel programs. Really ABC? For us folks with antenna only reception & limited channel selection, you sure took away a station that had alot of diversity. Thanks! Dianne B.

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  11. I had Live Well on ABC 6-2 & loved watching "Mexico-One Plate at a Time" with Rick Bayless, Stephen & Chris, Room Makeover on a Budget & all the wonderful nature & travel programs. For us folks with antenna T. V. It proved to be a very diversified program alternative. What now?

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