Next Avenue is a new national public television effort that will offer comprehensive, multiplatform content designed to super-serve and engage baby boomers, help them navigate a new life stage and unleash their full potential. The initiative has so far raised $5 million in grants that will help it move forward with launch plans for spring 2011. The grants include $3.5 million from The Atlantic Philanthropies, $1 million from the General Mills Foundation and $500,000 from the Medtronic Foundation.
Backed by three years of research and groundwork, Next Avenue intends to leverage the power of public media – online, on air and on the ground – to support this huge, diverse and influential generation in much the same way Sesame Street and PBS KIDS have supported and engaged young children and their families. Next Avenue will offer a blend of authoritative and vetted content, including content from public and non-profit partners as well as user-generated content, focusing on leisure and learning, health, financial security, work and careers, care giving, relationships and giving back to the community.
A mix of experts serves as Next Avenue’s Board of Advisors and is contributing their expertise: J. Walker Smith, Ph. D., executive vice chairman of The Futures Company and president of the Yankelovich MONITOR; and Dr. Fernando Torres-Gil, associate dean of Academic Affairs at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and the first assistant Secretary for aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Clinton.
“We are designing Next Avenue to be a virtual ‘life coach’ for baby boomers, informing, inspiring, engaging and connecting the nation’s largest segment of the adult population. It will also challenge them to see the opportunities life holds after 45,” said Next Avenue CEO Jim Pagliarini. “We intend for Next Avenue to be a truly interactive venture, designed not merely to entertain and inform but to provoke thought and action. And we plan to provide a rich arena for user-generated content, feedback and interaction.”
Pagliarini is also president and CEO of Twin Cities Public Television, which is leading the initiative in collaboration with American Public Television (APT) and PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), among others.
Next Avenue will target this audience:
•Online through an enormous web content hub of video, information, targeted e-newsletters, customized tools for better living, original content, user-generated content and a huge, aggregated and vetted database of content contributed by public media and such organizations as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Public Health and Science, and Civic Ventures, a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose; mobile device apps will also be developed for Next Avenue’s content.
•On air through multiple public television series, specials and interstitials, many of which will capitalize on well-known and well-regarded public television personalities and brands; and
•On the ground with relevant, regularly scheduled events coordinated through local stations across the country.
Far more than a database or ‘how to’ manual, Next Avenue will be designed as a daily stop to engage visitors and shed light on practical questions such as “What do I need to do to remain healthy?” and “How can I take steps to be financially secure?,” as well as meet social needs such as, “Where can I find people from whom I can learn and be inspired?” What is more, it will serve as a guide along the journey and provide perspective on questions such as “How do I define and live the life I want?” and “How do I ensure that I like this part of my life?”