It takes an old pro to launch a new youth network, and the Hub president and CEO Margaret Loesch comes to the post with nearly four decades’ experience, including overseeing the launch of the Hallmark Channel and Fox Kids nets. But before that, getting into children’s television actually meant having to leave a career in banking behind her.
“I was always thinking of new ways to do things,” she says. “But people don’t like that when it comes to their money so I was told I belonged in a more creative job.”
Though that was hard for Loesch to hear at the time, it led to executive opportunities with Hanna-Barbera, Marvel, the Jim Henson Co. and many of the biggest names in kids programming, where she had a hand in developing and producing content for young auds.
“The Hub is a new challenge,” Loesch says. “With Hasbro and Discovery making this a joint venture, there are fresh opportunities there.”
The Hub’s current lineup aims for a mix of programming. Animated shows will range from the preschool focused “The WotWots” to the action adventure series “Deltora Quest.” Gameshows such as “Family Game Night” and “Pictureka!” are in the mix along with the pop-culture newsmagazine “Hubworld.” The network will also air “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour,” a live-action horror series for kids.
Loesch hopes to set the network apart from the competition by aiming for quality storytelling and programming with an educational focus. She has no immediate plans to try to develop a “Hannah Montana”-esque franchise.
“I think Disney and Nickelodeon are doing a great job in that space, but I don’t see us going there,” she says. “We’re going to focus on giving kids something different.”