Recovery in two hours a day

NEW YORK — The Recovery Network, which has tried to engineer a launch since early 1993, will go into national distribution April 23, producing two hours of original programming a day.

“We’re filing for an initial public offering on April 1,” says Bill Moses, president and CEO of Recovery Network. The offering will try to raise $20 million, which will tide the channel over during its first two years of operation.

Moses says three venture capitalists — George Henry, Peter Graf and Jack Fuellhart — are the network’s investors. The three have helped Recovery produce 60 hourlong episodes of “Full Circle,” which consists of tapes of actual group-therapy sessions covering topics such as alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders and smoking.

Recovery will start off with two-hours-a-day clearances on about 200 cable systems, most of them piggybacking on a programming service called Access TV Network, which “tries to pick up carriage wherever it can get it,” said Larry Namer,chief operating officer of Recovery, who also runs his own consultancy, Comspan Communications. Cable operators will pay no fees, and the contracts will run for one year.

The two other minimally budgeted series that constitute Recovery’s programming block are “Testimony,” which points the camera at one person for a candid account of an individual’s addiction, and “Bottoms,” a one-on-one interview session “intended to be a lighter look at the darkest points of recovery.” Each show runs for a half-hour, with commercials.

Moses says most of the early advertisers are “non-traditional ones,” many of them treatment facilities such as Anacape by the Sea, the Sierra Tucson, the Johnson Institute and Boston’s Proctor Hospital.

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