In comments made August 8, 2018 during Urban One’s second-quarter earnings call, company President/CEO Alfred C. Liggins III announced that the owner of the TV One cable TV channel would be launching a new lifestyle network for the Black and Afro-Latino woman.
Saturday, Jan. 19, will see the formal birth of Cleo.
In introducing Cleo, Liggins noted that two unnamed MVPDs are already on board to carry the channel. He pitched the coming network as “advertiser friendly” and “lower cost to produce,” as well as being a complementary network to TV One, its general interest channel focused on second-run scripted programming of key interest to African American viewers.
Now, Cleo’s birth is coming right on schedule, as the Multicultural Media, Telecom & Internet Council beat Urban One to the punch by revealing Friday afternoon that a Jan. 19 formal launch is set for Cleo.
A website, mycleo.tv, is nearly ready to be up and running. It will feature entertainment and lifestyle news stories, show information, and a schedule of programming that will appear once Cleo debuts. As of 3pm, the website was up briefly but then taken down.
Urban One is expected to release information regarding the new channel once it debuts.
Among the shows are Just Eats with Chef JJ. The series premiere is set for Noon ET/PT Saturday (1/18). It stars Harlem, New York-based chef JJ Johnson — an award-winning chef formerly at The Cecil and Minton’s.
Overseeing Cleo TV as GM is TV One’s 15-year GM, Michelle Rice, while Dexter Cole takes the role of SVP of Program Scheduling & Acquisitions.
Cleo will not have an affiliate revenue model — a.k.a. there will be no retrans fee battles as Urban One will solely focus on advertising revenue for Cleo’s growth.
“The addition of a second network will help us to continue to grow our TV business in the longer term, and has great potential synergy with our existing platform,” Liggins says.
Cleo’s Saturday launch comes as television industry producers and executives gather Tuesday for NATPE Miami. RBR+TVBR will be covering key sessions and conducting interviews during the entire conference at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach.