Exclusive: Bellum Hangs New Shingle
Tribune, Raycom two of the company's first customers
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/19/2012 11:00:00 AM
"We felt very strongly that we wanted one brand out in the marketplace," says Boyd McDonnell, Bellum's vice president of programming.
Although Bellum is a new name, the company is composed of established players. Bellum is the parent of Longneedle Entertainment, which produces and distributes a block of educational/informational kids' programming to stations, and of 1525 Entertainment. Mary Carole McDonnell is Bellum's president, while Boots Walker is vice president of sales.
McDonnell, Boyd's aunt, also is vice president of programming and marketing at Raycom Media, which produces America Now with ITV Studios America. While Raycom has a close working relationship with Bellum, it's not a financial partner in the company.
As one of its first moves, Bellum has sold a block of weekend programming to 13 Tribune stations, including in six of the top-ten markets, on an all-barter basis. Unsealed: The Alien Files and Unsealed: The Conspiracy Files are two half-hour series that will run in hour-long blocks in afternoons or in late-night time slots. Both shows are executive produced by Craig Plestis of Smart Dog Media and Colet Abedi.
"The mysteries of the unexplained have always fascinated and influenced people, and made them want to learn more," said Sean Compton, Tribune Broadcasting's president of programming and entertainment in a statement. "We look forward to reigniting their imagination with these shows, and to bring a new perspective to the debate."
"We're going to shine a light on some of the most fascinating and controversial subjects in history, and our hope is to bring viewers closer to the truth than any investigative series has ever done before," said Plestis, also in a statement.
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