According to entertainment industry reports, MTV and Showtime are in "serious discussions" about launching a gay television network. The new network will air programs including gay-hosted talk and music video shows, relationship game shows, and gay news broadcasts.
MTV and Showtime — both parts of the Viacom media empire, which also includes CBS, Nickelodeon, VH1, Blockbuster Video, and Paramount Pictures — have been at the forefront of homosexual programming in recent years. MTV's hit show The Real World has frequently featured homosexual participants during its ten-year run. MTV also features a recurring series entitled, Undressed, which often deals with homosexual subjects. Showtime's main venture into homosexual entertainment is the show Queer as Folk, which includes graphic language, nudity, and sexual situations.
The success of such homosexual programming coupled with the success of a recently launched Canadian homosexual network called "PrideVision" led Viacom to believe that a homosexual network would prove to be a lucrative venture. According to TV Guide, however, Viacom is not the only big-name media corporation considering a gay network. Reports indicate that HBO, USA Networks, and Rainbow Media (the programming arm of Cablevision, which runs Bravo and AMC) are all considering production of gay networks.
"It's about time somebody had gone after that audience with a network," said Tom Wolzien, senior media analyst of the investment firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Company. "It's an important segment of the audience that has traditionally been under-served. The money is certainly there to support it."
According to Randy Barbato, co-president of World of Wonder, an independent production company that created The RuPaul Show for VH1, "Whoever does this could win big."
TV Guide Online, February 11, 2002
Death From A Bottle
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) says that heavy consumption of alcohol increases the risk of certain types of cancer.
According to the Washington Times, the same chemical that causes hangovers contributes to the destruction of cells and may lead to cancer. The chemical acetaldehyde is produced when the body processes alcohol in beer, wine, and liquor. It has long been known to cause a hangover's worst symptoms including a severe headache. Recently, however, acetaldehyde has been discovered to damage DNA, the genetic material in the nucleus of human cells. This DNA damage can upset normal cell growth and cause unusual cell division that results in cancer.
Small amounts of acetaldehyde are converted into another substance by the body's natural enzymes. NIAAA officials warn, however, that heavy drinking produces such a great amount of the chemical that the body is unable to deal with its toxic effects. Over years of sustained drinking, this excessive acetaldehyde is thought to produce cancer.
Currently, the NIAAA estimates that alcohol causes approximately 4 percent of all cancers.
The Washington Times National Weekly Edition, December 31, 2001-January 6, 2002