Thursday, May 19, 2011

COCOLA BROADCASTING COMPANIES AND VENTURA TV VIDEO APPLIANCE CENTER LAUNCH Me-TV's NEW DIGITAL CLASSIC TELEVISION NETWORK ON COCOLA'S FULL POWER CHANNEL KGMC-DT CHANNEL 43.6 IN FRESNO, CALIFORNIA




FRESNO, CA MAY 19, 2011 – Me-TV (Memorable Entertainment Television), the new digital classic television network from Weigel Broadcasting Co. and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) is coming to Fresno, California, launching June 1, 2011 on Channel 43.6.

The announcement was jointly made today by Gary M. Cocola, Chairman and CEO of Cocola Broadcasting Companies and Mark Shirin, President of Ventura TV, both of Fresno. The Network programming will air on Cocola’s full power KGMC-DT Channel 43.6 and will be exclusively sponsored by Ventura TV. Viewers will be able to tune in, free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by simply using a basic set-top or outdoor TV antenna.

We've seen a dramatic increase in TV viewership via antenna in the past 24 months as result of the economic recession in the Valley.” stated Cocola. “Many people simply can no longer afford monthly cable or satellite services. ME-TV Fresno will offer viewers a free and viable alternative to paid programming.” continued Cocola.

Ventura TV’s commercials will run in all the local breaks on the Network. Additionally Ventura will produce two 30 minute shows, featuring in-depth explanations of the newest products and latest technologies in Electronics and Home Appliances, Monday through Friday. The weekend schedule will include a one-hour show featuring unique programming on Saturdays and Sundays.

In this age of constant change in the television industry, it is encouraging to find a local retailer with vision who sees value in, and is committed to sponsoring an entire television channel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year”, added Cocola.

Mark Shirin, President of Ventura TV Video Appliance Center stated "My father started this company 60 years ago with the goal of providing his customers with top brand names in home appliances and electronics at affordable prices. Today, his vision still lives true. In celebration of our company's 60th Anniversary, it seemed only natural that we partnered with a network that delivers some of America's favorite, family-friendly, television shows, such as, I Love Lucy which premiered in 1951 – the same year my father started his company.” concluded Shirin.

Me-TV has already surpassed the 45% clearance mark including 14 leading station groups nationwide.

The station groups clearing the Me-TV Network include: Hearst Television, Raycom Media, Cox Television, Newport Television, Media General, Capitol Broadcasting, Bahakel Communications, Gray Television, Quincy Newspapers, New Age Media, MPS Media, London Broadcasting Group, Bonten Media Group, and Titan Broadcast Management.

We expect Comcast will want to offer Me-TV on their digital channel line-up in Fresno in the coming months,” stated Cocola.

Me-TV features a wide range of classic television programming, some of the best programming written for television, that audiences and advertisers find comfortable and engaging. Me-TV’s library includes series from Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution and CBS Television Distribution, as well as, independent series owners and producers. Me-TV’s programs are some of the best television programs ever produced including: M*A*S*H, Perry Mason, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Bob Newhart Show, the original Star Trek and Hawaii Five-O series, in addition to 60 other programs.

We are grateful to the FCC for the creation of digital broadcasting. Without this new digital spectrum and without the creation of new Networks, such as Me-TV from Weigel Broadcasting in Chicago, this concept would not have been possible.” stated Cocola. “Everyday people are discovering new free channels on their sets.” Cocola recommended that viewers use the auto-program function to rescan their digital TVs and converter boxes, as new channels are appearing regularly in the market. There are 40 free-to-the-public channels currently broadcasting in the Fresno market.

Adding Me-TV was an easy choice for us,” said Mark Shirin. “Me-TV’s library of TV classics allows us to provide the Central Valley with some of the most beloved and memorable shows ever on television.”

For schedule highlights, viewers may check their local listings or visit www.metvnetwork.com

About Weigel Broadcasting Co.
Weigel Broadcasting Co. and affiliate companies own and operate WCIU-TV/26.1 “The U”, “UToo” WCIU-TV 26.2, “Me-TV” WCIU-TV 26.3, “Me-Too” WCIU-TV 26.4, “THIS” WCIU-TV 26.5, WWME-CA 23, The U Too/WMEU-CA 48 in Chicago, IL; CBS/WDJT-TV 58.1, WMLW/WDJT-TV 58.2, THIS/WDJT-TV 58.3, Shorewest TV/WDJT-TV 58.4, WMLW-CA 41, WMLW-LD 41.1, Me-TV/WBME-TV 49.1, Telemundo/WBME-TV 49.4, Telemundo/WYTU-LD 63.1, Me-TV/WYTU-LP 63 in Milwaukee, WI; and ABC/WBND-LD 57.1, Me-TV/WBND-LD 57.2, CW/WCWW-TV 25.1, THIS/WCWW-TV 25.2, My Michiana/WMYS-TV 69.1 in South Bend, IN.

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in domestic and international TV channels reaching over 130 countries. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.

About Cocola Broadcasting Companies
Cocola Broadcasting Companies is a locally owned television broadcast company headquartered in Fresno, California. Founded in the early 1980s by Valley broadcasting veteran Gary Cocola, Cocola owns full power digital and low power television stations in California and Idaho. Cocola was one of the first broadcasters in the US to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by low-powered television after the FCC approved such stations in the early 1980s.

About Ventura TV Video Appliance Center
Founded in 1951 by Fresno, California's pioneering businessman, Edward Shirin, Ventura TV Video Appliance Center opened its doors to serve as the 'local choice' for America's favorite brands in electronics and home appliances. Since its inception, Ventura TV has seen 10 U.S. Presidents and at least as many competitors come and go. Today, 60 years later and after having served three generations of loyal customers at their Fresno location at 3619 E. Ventura Ave., Ventura TV is managed by Edward's son, Mark Shirin, carrying on the same tradition of offering expert advise, excellent customer service, and real discounts everyday. As a member of Nationwide Marketing Group, the nation's largest buying group for independent retailers of Electronics, Home Appliances, and Furniture, Ventura TV effectively competes against national Big Box Stores leveraging the group's collective annual buying power of more than $12 Billion Dollars.

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Media Contacts:

Weigel Broadcasting Co.
Molly Kelly, 312-705-2632, mkelly@wciu.com

About Cocola Broadcasting Companies Broadcasting Co.
Gary Cocola, 559-435-7000, garyc@cocolatv.com

Ventura TV Video Appliance Center
Ara Catchatoorian, 559-265-4326 Store, 559-907-7826 Cell, ara@venturatv.com

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