Premiere Star launches Lettra channel for readers


FRANKFURT, Germany -- A television channel for readers might seem like an oxymoron, but a group of German TV executives are giving it a try with Lettra, a digital pay TV channel that will debut Nov. 24 on German satellite platform Premiere Star.

The channel's management -- former Home Shopping Europe exec Jan Henne De Dijn and ex-CNN Germany correspondent Carsten Meincke -- presented Lettra to journalists for the first time Thursday at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

"Three quarters of the German public are regular readers, but with more than 95,000 new publications every year, they need a source of information pointing them toward what to read," Henne De Dijn said.

Lettra will be only the second channel of its kind in the world -- the other being CTVglobemedia's Book TV in Canada. In addition to book reviews, author interviews, magazine programs and top-seller news, Lettra also plans to air film adaptations of famous novels.

One industry veteran has already thrown his support behind Lettra. BetaFilm head Jan Mojto has agreed to take a minority stake in the channel.