Kids vet Margaret Loesch to run Hasbro-Discovery cable network
Veteran kids programming executive Margaret Loesch has been tapped to run the new cable network being launched by Discovery Communications and toy giant Hasbro Inc.
The unnamed channel, which is set to launch late next year, has already drawn a fair amount of criticism from media watchdogs because of Hasbro's involvement. The well-regarded Loesch, who ran Fox Broadcasting's kids programming unit during its "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"and "X-Men" heyday, says the channel won't be a shill for Hasbro products.
"They understand this can't be a channel devoted to toys. . . . That would not succeed," Loesch said, adding that if Hasbro didn't embrace that, "I would not have taken this job."
The channel, which is taking the slot currently occupied by Discovery Kids, should launch in about 60 million homes. It will face intense competition from already-entrenched networks including Viacom's Nickelodeon, Disney's Disney Channel and its new Disney XD and Time Warner's Cartoon Network.
Loesch, who also ran the Hallmark Channel for Crown Media and most recently has been producing movies, says that while the cable competition is intense, she is just as concerned about all the other media platforms she'll be facing off against besides traditional TV.
"When we built Fox Kids, they were primarily watching television; now we have to make sure we provide an experience on all these different platforms," she said.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: Margaret Loesch. Credit: Berliner Studios/BE Images