The Hub's Board Wants Educational Programs, Positive Impact

Margaret-Loesch-B

The Hub, a network targeting kids 6 to 11 and their families, will form an advisory board to help it better develop educational and other programming, while ensuring the proper use of advertising. 

The seven-member board, chaired by a former director of an industry self-regulation body for children's advertising, includes a former Army colonel specializing in "forensic pediatric" and a dietitian. The fledgling network said the board would offer "recommendations that impact the health, education and safety of children and their families."

The network, a joint venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro, launched in October. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has said the ratings have been satisfactory, but expects them to improve markedly. The network, by one measure, is averaging 108,000 viewers in prime time when it encourages co-viewing by parents and kids. The Disney Channel, a seasoned rival, is averaging 2.6 million.

Helen Boehm, a former director of the Children's Advertising Review Unit, will serve as chair. CARU works with trade groups, such as the 4As and ANA, as part of industry self-regulatory efforts on children's advertising. Boehm is a professor at City University of New York, but also held a top role at MTV Networks and Nickelodeon in responsibility and standards.

Margaret Loesch, CEO of The Hub, stated: "Now more than ever children -- and families -- are besieged with the influences of a tech-savvy and high-pressure outside world. As a television network, we realize the enormous influence we exert and the responsibility that this brings. We have a unique opportunity to be a positive influence in children's development and in their lives."

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