"We think that Middle America has fantastic stories to tell, and we're going to go out there and get them," said Doron Gorshein, chairman and chief executive officer of The America Channel.
The channel, to be formally announced Monday, is aimed at filling a void created by television's tendency to focus on life in New York and Los Angeles, Gorshein said.
"This kind of content is not there," said Gorshein, who as a Turner Broadcasting executive had responsibility for CNN's international licensing.
The 24-hour channel will focus on "real reality and real storytelling" about the nation and its people, Gorshein said.
Among the planned series are "American Stories," highlighting the achievements of ordinary people; "Campus Report," with students documenting college life; and "Faces of America," focusing on the nation's social, cultural and ethnic diversity. "America from Afar" will examine what foreign media are reporting about American leaders, events and people.
Market research conducted for the venture shows that people aren't satisfied with current TV, Gorshein said.
Of the 600 cable and satellite subscribers surveyed nationally, 58 percent said TV doesn't reflect the real America and 63 percent said they would like to know more about people's everyday lives. Nearly half, 47 percent, said it is difficult to find TV content "that really speaks to me," the survey found.
America Channel expects to be available to between 3 million and 6 million cable subscribers at launch and eventually reach more than 50 million homes. By comparison, channels such as CNN, A&E and Fox News Channel each reach 80 million or more U.S. households.
The Orlando, Fla.-based channel is still in discussion with cable operators, Gorshein said.
It will require $65 million in financing to launch, "well below the $100 million to $125 million that nonfiction networks typically need to raise," Gorshein said.
By Lynn Elber