Escape and Grit, the country’s first gender-specific broadcast networks, have hired industry vets Bill Cox and Walter Naarr to lead the network’s programming.
Cox has been named the SVP of Programming of Grit, which targets men. Naar will be the VP of programming for Escape, the network for women.
Cox’s experience includes working in ascending programming positions at WFAA Dallas, Gannett’s ABC affiliate. He then moved to Atlanta and spent nearly two decades with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., where he helped buildout TBS Superstation.
Naar has spent 25 years in the industry. He joins Escape after seven years with Turner where he was instrumental in the re-launch of WTBS into Peachtree TV as a local station independent of TBS Superstation.
Grit and Escape also now has the right to air 200 films targeting each of their demos under a multiyear deal with Paramount Pictures.
Under the agreement, Escape, which targets women 25-54, will broadcast crime and mystery movies including, The Accused, Dead Man Walking and the thriller Basic Instinct. Grit will target men in that age group with westerns, as well as war and action movies, such as Escape From Alcatraz and Top Gun.
This is the third major film licensing agreement for Grit and Escape. The two networks just recently acquired the television rights to 135 demo-targeted motion pictures in a multi-year licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and 157 motion pictures in a multi-year licensing agreement with NBCUniversal Television & New Media Distribution, U.S. & Canada.
Both Escape and Grit are scheduled to launch this summer in markets including New York, L.A. Chicago and Philadelphia. Grit and Escape are part of Katz Broadcasting, a new company established by current Bounce TV founder/COO and former Turner Broadcasting executive Jonathan Katz.