Gore Purchases Cable TV Network; Venture Apolitical, Youth Oriented

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 5, 2004 | Go to article overview

Gore Purchases Cable TV Network; Venture Apolitical, Youth Oriented


Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Welcome to the Gore Channel.

Al Gore bought himself a 24-hour cable television network yesterday after months of pining for his own broadcast news outlet in a presidential election year. The former vice president insists his venture is not partisan.

"This will not be a political network," Mr. Gore said at a press conference yesterday, later adding: "This is not going to be a liberal network, a Democratic network or a political network."

It is instead a kind of Gore-MTV - a newsy, hip channel with Mr. Gore at the helm as chairman of the board.

Public affairs and entertainment programming "will be in a voice that young people recognize and from a point of view they identify as their own," Mr. Gore said.

There was no mention of the 44 million "young people" between 18 and 34 who are eligible to vote - a voting bloc that Mr. Gore courted heavily with appearances as a reinvented, earth-toned "alpha male" on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and on MTV during his own bid for president in 2000.

Rumors that Mr. Gore wanted his own TV network to counter the ratings success of the Fox News Channel surfaced last June. Democratic insiders were abuzz that Mr. Gore was poised to purchase Toronto-based news channel Newsworld International (NWI) for $82 million.

"Will we see Gore TV?" asked Time magazine.

Mr. Gore and his advisers, according to the New York Observer at the time, planned "to gut the channel for its bandwidth and reformat it for their own purposes."

The deal with Vivendi International - the media conglomerate that owns NWI and 17 other cable channels - fell through by October, mostly due to Vivendi's own complex merger plans with NBC. …

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