Gospel Music Channel and MP Network Christian music channels to launch in USA.

TWO CHRISTIAN music video TV channels are set to be launched in the USA before the end of the year. Gospel Music Channel will be headed by Charles Humbard, formerly vice president of Discovery Networks. The Gospel Music Channel will be based in Atlanta with production offices in Nashville and promises to showcase all styles of Christian music including country, rock, rap and children's music. Said Humbard, "One of the things we will do is go really deep into the archives and trace the history of gospel music. We aren't going to limit ourselves just to contemporary music of the moment."

The other channel due to be launched is Charlotte, North Carolina- based MP Network. The CEO of the new channel is Larry Moore. Said Moore, "Our emphasis will be predominantly on urban, rap, rock, contemporary gospel and adult contemporary." In the mid-'90s Z Music Television, a Nashville-based CCM channel, operated for a few years before closing. Humbard said Z Music made the mistake of focussing on only the contemporary Christian genre. "It's important that the entire body of work is part of this brand," he stated.

Moore said Z Music was simply ahead of its time. "Contemporary Christian/gospel music had not reached the popularity it has reached today. Obviously, Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ has brought a tremendous amount of focus on the marketplace." CR

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