Bellum Entertainment is making its grand entrance to
syndication at this year's NATPE, bringing several new weekend shows to market
and picking up national distribution of Raycom's America Now.
"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.