Garland fills veep slot at the Box

Music industry veteran Les Garland has been upped to executive VP of the Box, the interactive musicvideo channel operated by the Video Jukebox Network.

“Nothing has had the excitement and potential of the Box,” Garland said.

“We’re getting ready to do things that will forever alter the relationship of viewers to their television.”

May add home shopping

Garland says the Box, which allows callers to program music videos on their touchtone phone by calling a telephone number, is in discussions with several entertainment company partners and is close to including a home shopping component on its channel.

“A lot of the plans we have had on the drawing board are ready to be launched ,” Garland said. “We have been having conversations with merchandisers for years. The result of the talks should be up and running with the next 30 to 60 days.”

Expanding reach

The Florida-based Box is in 18 million homes, but the company expects that number to increase to 30 million by late 1995.

Call charges, currently at $ 1.99 and added to the caller’s phone bill, will drop, Garland said, once the viewer base increases and the channel can rely on advertiser support instead of callers as its main source of revenue.

“People phoning in is the most valuable part of the business,” Garland said. “Not for the (call charge) revenues, but for the potential to offer those callers something else, such as a CD or T-shirt. Whatever the telemarketing technology will get us into, we’ll be offering it.”

Garland says the company will have several business-related announcements in the near future.

Before the Box, which he joined as programming VP in 1990, Garland was involved in the founding of MTV Networks as senior VP of programming, spending six years developing MTV and VH1 programs.

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