Jan 2, 2018

David Bohrman launches Political Voices Network

Political Voices Network

David Bohrman, former Current TV President and former CNN Washington bureau chief and chief innovation officer at CNN Worldwide, is launching a new over-the-top video service that will cater to progressive Americans, called the Political Voices Network.

Why it matters: Bohrman argues there has been a vacancy of progressive voices in the video space compared to the right. On the left, he sees only The Young Turks as being a viable competitor, compared to many more consumer options for video streaming on the right, like Glenn Beck's The Blaze, One American News Network (OANN), Newsmax, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin's CRTV, and more.

From a business perspective, as cord cutting increases, more consumers are looking to streaming options for news and sports, two topics that are mostly still watched live. Bohrman says he is interested in expanding to sports in the future.

The details: The network will be both advertising and subscription-based, offering $10 membership access content across platforms, discounts for live events and more. The effort is currently self-funded, but Bohrman is seeking a seed round in the $3-$5 million range. It plans to launch by the second quarter of this year.

  • PVN will be available on www.leftisright.com, and on the major platforms of Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Prime, as well as on mobile iOS and Android devices.
  • The network plans to air more than 20 hours each day of live political news and insights.
  • On-air talent includes Stephanie Miller and Bill Press, and more to come.
  • Bohrman plans to hire roughly 18 employees for launch. He plans to keep staffing light and utilizing much of the infrastructure that is already built-in with the existing shows.

The founding team includes a handful of high-level media executives.

  • Bohrman produced more than a dozen presidential debates between 2003 and 2008, and he created the YouTube Debates during the 2008 presidential campaign and the "Magic Wall" used by John King during CNN election coverage.
  • Chief Financial Officer Ron Hartenbaum is a media sales and marketing veteran who formally served as vice president of sales for Westwood One, director of new business for ABC-owned radio stations, a founding partner of MediaAmerica and CEO of Jones Radio Networks.
  • Chief Revenue Officer Scott Calka has held senior positions at DirecTV, Fox Sports, Comcast Spotlight, Madison Square Garden and the Florida Panthers.
  • Executive Vice President of Production Terry Baker is a former executive at Current TV, Fox Business Network, CNN, ABC News and WNBC.
  • Chief Technology Officer Jason Odell, the former CTO of Current TV, played a key role in the launch of VICE News for HBO and has been responsible for the engineering and studio operation of YouTube Space in Los Angeles.
  • Advisor Rob Rueckert is the managing director at Sorenson Capital. He was previously an investor for Intel Capital for 15 years.
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