Spike taps vet to lead new unit

Cabler forms news, doc dep't

Spike TV has tapped Keith Brown VP of news and documentaries, bringing him aboard from PBS, where he was an on-air correspondent for “Now With Bill Moyers.”

Brown will build a news and doc department for the recently revamped channel and oversee production of segments “Spike Marketwatch,” “Zero to Sixty” and “Men’s Health Minutes.” Creation of news and doc division puts Spike in league with sister nets MTV and VH1, each of which has its own. While net’s news angle is currently more service oriented, Brown, who boasts a background in network news, is keeping the door open for addressing other issues, including politics. Such news may be approached via longer-format programming.

“Men are interested in a whole host of things beyond sports and girls, and we’re looking forward to exploring that,” Brown said. “I see this as a way to respond to events as they’re happening. For instance, during the governor’s race, it would have been great if we could get in the middle and follow Schwarzenegger during that time. He’s a figure men are intrigued with.

“As things like that happen, we’ll be on it, especially next year, for the elections. If people want to reach a male demo, we can be there and be a force behind it.”

Doc division will further explore men’s events and issues. Brown expects to announce its slate soon, made up of multipart series and specials.

Brown told Daily Variety that the net is taking the brainstorming process seriously.

Before joining PBS, Brown was primetime producer with NBC News and CBS News. At NBC, he was a senior producer for “Dateline.” At CBS he produced “Street Stories With Ed Bradley,” “48 Hours” and “CBS Reports,” a three-hour special anchored by Dan Rather, Ed Bradley and Mike Wallace.

Brown has won an Emmy, a Peabody and a Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is the author of “Sacred Bond: Black Men and Their Mothers.”

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