by Luke Jones
Posted 4/18/2013 07:17 am
Updated 8 months ago
A 24-hour regional broadcast network based in Little Rock and targeting southern African-American viewers is set to launch May 27.
The Soul of the South Network will launch in 30 markets throughout the southern U.S. and several northern and Midwestern cities. In Little Rock, the network will be on KMYA-TV.
The network's launch was made possible through a $10 million investment from several entities, including the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Arkansas Capital Corp.
About 150 jobs will be added when the network launches, said former Arkansas Supreme Court Judge Richard Mays, chairman of the network's board. Mays said the jobs will represent a wide range of skills, everything from technical and production jobs to content creators.
Larry Morton, former CEO of Equity Broadcasting Co. and chief strategic officer for Soul of the South, said the network will feature both entertainment and news programming. Most new networks don't do news, he said.
"It gives us a substantial voice everywhere," Morton said. "We will be the only true African-American TV newscast going out on a regular basis every day. It will make a substantial impact on how news is received in the southern communities.
"To me, it's a wonderful opportunity. It's a minority-owned business controlled by African-Americans and it's a chance to highlight a lot of the good things from the south."
The network will be based at a former Equity Broadcasting building in Little Rock and led by Edwin V. Avent. According to the release, the network is expected to reach 30 to 40 million households by the end of summer 2013.