A new digital crime programming network that will include public service messages intended to catch criminals and find missing children will launch in January in about a third of the country. Sports agency CES’s CEO Lonnie Cooper is behind Justice Network. (Cooper also is a founder of Bounce TV, the digital multicast broadcast network created to target African American viewers.)
An initial distribution deal with Gannett broadcasting puts Justice network in about a third of the country’s TV markets — nearly all of the markets in Gannett’s U.S. footprint.
Former National Geographic Channels president Steve Schiffman is CEO of Justice Network. He’s joined by head of distribution Barry Wallach, who is former president of NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution; and head of programming John Ford, who is former president of Discovery Channel. Wendy Brown, formerly of CSE, will serve as Justice Network COO. The network will be launched with 400 hours of Turner Broadcasting library programming, including former CourtTV and TruTV shows Body of Evidence, Masterminds, Psychic Detectives, and The Investigators. Other programs include LA Forensics, Missing Persons Unit, Murder by the Book, Parco P.I., Locked Up Abroad, Alaska State Troopers, Extreme Evidence, North Mission Road, Haunting Evidence, Over the Limit and Dominick Dunne’s Power Privilege and Justice.
In today’s announcement, Schiffman noted that in 2013, half of the top 50-rated prime shows on television were justice-oriented programming, and said the network also is intended as a venue to fight crime and keep communities safer. During every hour, the network plans to air public-service oriented original interstitial segments. Working in partnership with Crime Stoppers USA, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and other law enforcement agencies, the Justice Network will dedicate 90 seconds to public service every hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This includes: 30 seconds to Bad Person of the Week, 30 seconds to help locate missing children, and 30 seconds to providing viewers with safety tips.