Gay TV network to launch Thursday

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Brian Graden, the force behind the programming on MTV, VH1, and CMT, is launching a new network on Thursday, June 30. Logo will make history as the first gay-oriented network available without special order, and it will initially appear in about 10 million American homes with digital cable.

Graden grew up in rural Illinois and attended Oral Roberts University, where he struggled to "make it" with his college band, the Ozones. Once it became obvious that the Ozones were not headed for stratospheric success, Graden moved on and earned an MBA from Harvard University. The resulting combination of business and liberal arts education gave him the range of tools necessary to become one of the most creative and accomplished television executives.

When Graden befriended Trey Parker and Matt Stone, he stumbled upon what was to be the springboard for his career--the hit cartoon South Park. Graden helped Parker and Stone to develop the animated show, and within a few years he had moved to MTV and was filling the airwaves with wildly successful shows such as The Osbournes, Newlyweds, and Jackass.

Graden, a gay man himself, is acutely aware of the importance of diversity within the network. Unlike the other MTV networks, Logo will provide a broad scope of programming to appeal to the entire gay community. It will air series, documentaries, and specials populated by characters such as a transgender actress, a gay 22-year-old Latino man, a longtime lesbian couple, and a group of African-American gay men living in Santa Monica.

"We're talking to an audience that has already felt that it has been excluded from the media tapestry for many years," says Graden. "It didn't feel right to create a channel where some people would feel further excluded."

In addition to Logo's original programming, the network will broadcast from its library of more than 200 lesbian and gay films and will cover LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) news stories through a partnership with CBS News.

Logo will be available only to those whose satellite or digital cable providers choose to carry it. Show your support by visiting the Logo Web site and signing in--then Logo will let providers know what you want!

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