Open Mike



EDITOR: We took issue with John Higgins' piece "Five Blind Mice" (June 11) for two key reasons and, in fact, don't believe TNN should even have been in the story. First, our ratings are up, not down, and, second, we do not consider TNN part of the same general-entertainment "bucket" as the other channels in the story.

To begin with, TNN has experienced a 47% growth in ratings this year among our core 18-49 demo, hardly, in John Higgins' words, "a little stronger." New programming, clever packaging, strategic scheduling and the addition of WWF programming all contributed to that increase.

That kind of dramatic growth over just nine months suggests that TNN is beginning to connect with a new and desirable audience, and we're just getting warmed up. Our first original programs debut in August, the bulk of our acquisitions join the schedule in the fall, and we continue to evolve our brand. As MTV Networks has done so successfully for the past 20 years, we are creating a brand identity that starts with our audience and builds from there in order to encourage loyalty and build affinity.

As far as we can tell, that strategy is worlds apart from the path Mr. Higgins suggested we are taking.

Diane Robina, executive vice president and general manager, TNN