- - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kremlin-funded station to broadcast WikiLeaks show

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s new talk show will be broadcast on RT, the Kremlin-funded English-language television station said Wednesday.

WikiLeaks had said in a statement Monday that Mr. Assange’s show would begin airing in March, but there was no word on who would air it or how it would be produced.

RT television stepped forward Wednesday to say it will be broadcasting the show, a series of 10 interviews with what it described as “key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries - figures who in the author’s opinion will be shaping the political agenda of tomorrow.”

The names of the guests are still to be disclosed.

The RT statement said Mr. Assange is filming the series from the location of his house arrest in Britain. He is currently fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on sex crimes allegations. U.S. officials are weighing possible charges linked to the leaks, the biggest disclosures of secret documents in U.S. history.

RT, which also broadcasts in Spanish and Arabic on its cable networks, often takes a critical stance on U.S. policy.

New Weather Channel head to expand overseas presence

The Weather Channel has a new chief executive, and he’s forecasting expansion overseas.

The Weather Channel Co. said Tuesday it was appointing veteran digital executive David Kenny its new chairman and chief executive. Mr. Kenny succeeds Mike Kelly, who will be a special adviser to the company.

Mr. Kenny is on Yahoo’s board of directors and most recently has been president of Akamai, a cloud platform serving mobile and Internet users.

He said he’d like to see the company move more swiftly to establish its websites and mobile applications in overseas market where it is now a small player. That takes precedence over trying to establish a television presence overseas, he said.

The U.S. television network currently has two hours of weather-related reality programming in prime time - high seas rescues and the like - that supplement the live weather coverage it airs at most other times. Expect that direction to continue.

“There will be a real focus on programming,” Mr. Kenny said. “The television channel itself will have more room for long-form [programming] given that we have other ways of giving information about the weather.”

The Weather Channel is owned by a consortium of Bain Capital, the Blackstone Group and NBC Universal.

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