We didn’t realize the July 1 column we did exposing our initial awkwardness about interviewing the young, talented and beautiful VJ Marianela of Fuse would lead to a carpet- bombing of requests from other music networks. ‘Hey this guy at CableFAX likes to do awkward. Let’s set him up with one of our people in rock, R&B, soul or other genres that he’s got no clue about.’ Fortunately an interview with hip-hop and blues enthusiast and Music Choice vp, programming/production Damon Williams leaves the awkward stage quickly, partly since he admits he worked with reel-to-reel tape, but mostly because he embodies his company’s viewpoint on music: there are only 2 kinds, music done well or badly. And with Music Choice’s VOD service the consumer decides which is which. An old radio hand, Williams knows piles of discs sit at radio stations waiting for airtime; same thing with videos at cable’s music networks. "But now, with VOD, you’re able to put [many more] things out there and let consumers decide. In fact, we’re can [and do] track [VOD usage] and we’re seeing that new, relatively unknown artists are competing with the big artists because people are using [VOD] as a discovery service." This has led Williams to emphasize the importance of "knowing our consumers." And "it’s obvious people want to take their entertainment with them." So Music Choice has expanded from digital cable audio channels and VOD to provide music, videos and other content for broadband and cell phones; Sprint subscribers can listen to 6 Music Choice’s audio channels and watch a daily music video and an entertainment news clip. "And we’re working on a product called ‘Music Choice Everywhere’ that would enable us to send content to any type of device or devices for whatever platform becomes popular." Another challenge: adapting content for multiple platforms. "We create a benchmark show" with a musician and then slice it for VOD, broadband and cell phones. He’s learned broadband and cell presentations must be relatively short (not more than 2 minutes). The VOD version can include more footage. Will classical music and opera have their day on broadband and cell phones? "Eventually; they’re important markets with a lot of disposable income," he says. Now that’s music choice. Highlights "Inside the War on Cancer," Sun, 8pm, CNN. An emotional look at inventive ways of fighting the disease. — "Karol, A Man Who Became Pope," Mon, 8pm, Hallmark. Excellent story of the Pope’s early years. — "Father & Son," tomorrow, 8pm, HBO. A vanity piece, perhaps, but Michael and Kirk Douglas make it much more. — "LazyTown," Mon, 8pm, Nick. Clever use of entertainment to fight childhood obesity. Worth a Look "Birch & Co," tonight, 8, here! Birch proves to be a good interviewer; she begins with Rosie O’Donnell and tackles Pat Buchanan next. — "Barber Shop," Sun, 10pm, Showtime. Film-based series has promise. — "Battle of the Network Reality Stars," Wed, 9pm, Bravo. Announcer Mike Adamle gets an award for seeming to be interested in this resurrection of the 70’s show. — "Hidden Howie," Thurs, 11pm, Bravo. Mandel’s attempt at being Larry David is creative, but not particularly funny. — "Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts," VOD, Mag Rack. Mama taps into pleasure.

The Daily


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