Logo launches weekly newscast


NEW YORK -- Gay-lesbian network Logo is moving into the network news business, planning to televise a half-hour weekly newscast that is produced by CBS News.

The 7 p.m. Mondays "CBS News on Logo" newscast is growing out of a partnership the channel, owned by MTV Networks, has had for two years with CBS News. A dedicated CBS News crew working out of its West 57th Street broadcast center had been producing three-minute interstitials that aired daily on Logo.

These "CBS News on Logo" interstitials will be replaced by the half-hour newscast, which will be executive produced by Court Passant and anchored by Jason Belllini. Passant and Bellini had worked with others on the interstitials.

Brian Graden, Logo president and president of MTV Networks Music Group Entertainment, said Monday afternoon that the network had gotten to the point where it had the distribution and roster of advertisers to take things to another level.

"It seemed like there was enough news to sustain that (half-hour) format and then some, and that the audience had a concentrated interest" a year out from the 2008 general elections, Graden said. He didn't rule out further news programming based on how things go.

The new show will focus on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues including the 2008 election, HIV/AIDs and entertainment, sports and science news. The newscast will be available on Logo as well as streamed at 365gay.com, a Logo-owned Website.

"The opportunity here is that the same team that's been effectively doing a whole new project will have a week to work on it now," said John Frazee, a senior vp at CBS News.