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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.

Go deeper

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: The Weather Prediction Center said in a storm summary Monday that winter storm warnings are still in effect for portions of the Central Appalachians, Ohio Valley, interior Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, while portions of the Central Appalachians and coastal New England are under high wind warnings.

Colleyville Rabbi credits survival to active-shooter training

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, one of the people taken hostage in a synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, said in an interview with CBS Monday that he initially took in the man because he thought he needed shelter.

The big picture: Cytron-Walker said he spoke to the hostage taker, identified by the FBI as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, for several minutes and made him tea before Akram took the rabbi and three other people hostage during Shabbat services for around 11 hours in Colleyville, Texas.

Book bans are back in style

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

School districts from Pennsylvania to Wyoming are bowing to pressure from some conservative groups to review — then purge from public school libraries — books about LGBTQ issues and people of color.

Why it matters: A pivotal midterm election year, COVID frustrations and a backlash against efforts to call out systemic racism — driven disproportionately by white, suburban and rural parents — have made public schools ground zero in the culture wars.

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