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Variety staff seen, heard on Reelz

Paper to provide content for 'Dailies'

New movie-centric cabler ReelzChannel has given a TV pulpit to Hollywood’s industry bible.

The channel recently struck a deal with Variety under which the paper will provide news and analysis for ReelzChannel’s daily “Dailies” movie news series. Staffers have started appearing on the channel to give their take on the day’s headlines.

That showcase will become even more frequent as ReelzChannel will mount a permanent camera in Variety‘s newsroom this week.

Variety‘s editors and reporters will give a fresh perspective on news about movies, furthering the mission of ReelzChannel to become the authority on movies for fans everywhere,” said Rod Perth, ReelzChannel president of television. “We’ll be able to toss it to one of Variety‘s reporters and broadcast news, update things and drill more deeply into a story with Variety‘s analysis.”

ReelzChannel launched last September in more than 28 million homes, giving the Hubbard Broadcasting-owned outlet one of the largest-ever channel bows.

Perth expects ReelzChannel to clear 45 million subscribers by the end of this year. Net is already available on DirecTV and EchoStar’s Dish service and has deals in place with cable operators including Time Warner and Comcast.

Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart is among the staffers who will be asked to appear onscreen.

“We’ll be helped by Variety because of its credibility as one of the oldest and most relied-upon news sources that people use in the movie business,” Perth said.

As part of the arrangement, Variety‘s “Dailies” segments are being made available on both Variety.com and ReelzChannel.com.

“ReelzChannel offers a unique opportunity for our editorial staff to talk about movies directly to consumers, something they don’t often do as writers for the leading business magazine in the entertainment industry,” said Variety president-publisher Charlie Koones. “With this exciting new agreement, ReelzChannel and Variety will jointly offer consumers the most accurate news and analysis about the movie industry on both the network and our Web sites.”

Perth said he first approached Bart and Koones last summer about forming an alliance.

“There’s a belief that we can grow together and an understanding that there will be a broad benefit for both of us,” Perth said.

ReelzChannel currently produces a three-hour block of original programming at downtown’s Los Angeles Center Studios.

“The goal for this network is to become for movie fans what the Food Network is for foodies or ESPN is for sports fans,” Perth said. “We’re going to do it by going a bit deeper. That’s why we’re so delighted by this arrangement with Variety.”

ReelzChannel includes a personalized component that directs viewers to movies throughout their entire lifespan, “from the pitch to the premiere and beyond. We focus on every single window of release. Most movies are forgotten after their launch. We stay with them and help revive them.”

Perth said ReelzChannel targets a high-end adults 18-34 and 18-49 aud.

“These are early adopters. They tend to be more upscale,” he said. “They overindex tremendously in terms of movies they see in theaters, buy on DVD and watch with VOD and pay-per-view.”

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