Freedom is a novel by Jonathan Franzen, an album by Neil Young and, as of next month, a TV station out of Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City’s KAUT, the MyNet sister to KFOR is rebranding to be Freedom 43 TV, and will tailor its programming to the giant military population based in a market that general manager Jim Boyer describes as “as red as you can get.”
“For the first time, we’re going for an audience based not on demographic or age or gender,” he told me today, “but on shared values.”
Now known as OK43, KAUT offers newscasts at 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., and after the April 11 rebrand, “Freedom 43 TV” will tweak its news content to be more relevant to the military. Boyer says it will lead off with the top three or four local news stories, then focus on military news and affairs, or at least news that would be of interest to the armed forces and their loved ones (faith, family, patriotism, etc.), and those in the market who serve the military’s business needs.
“The mainstream media doesn’t cover a lot of interesting stories [for the military] out there,” he says.
The 9 p.m. news may eventually be expanded to an hour to better cover this beat. KAUT will continue with its syndicated shows, which have nothing to do with military life, though their promos will follow the Freedom theme too.
Boyer says Oklahoma City has an enormous military population, as the No. 2 destination for military retirees, and many others on active or reserve duty. (For the record, there’s also a Freedom, Oklahoma northwest of Oklahoma City, on the way to the panhandle.)
Boyer made the announcement to community officials this afternoon, after a rousing version of Reveille on the bugle.
The Franzen book and the Young album have both done pretty well. We’ll see how the Freedom TV station fares too.