TALKING SHOP: In this edition of Talking Shop, C21 Media talks to Michael Katz, VP of international programming and production at A+E Networks, about the challenges of rolling out the History Channel around the world, and plans for similar extensions of Bio and Lifetime in 2012.
A+E Networks spent 2011 rolling out its History Channel, most recently launching it in six languages in India. Katz speaks about this and also outlines History's position on character-led, more entertainment-based programming. This was a subject that attracted plenty of debate at last week’s History Makers International conference in New York, which he has chaired for the past five years.
Katz says: “The trajectory that we’re on now, for series and hard-hitting current affairs programming, is not something our channel brands would automatically embrace – but never say never. Right now we’re working to our strengths and we seem to be going from strength to strength with factual entertainment shows and series, and also large specials.”