Philadelphia-area viewers now have a chance to watch Bounce TV, the first broadcast network geared towards African Americans that was founded last fall, thanks to a partnership with Lenfest Broadcasting.
The network was launched in Atlanta by Martin Luther King III and former UN Ambassador Andrew Young and others. Veteran area broadcaster Trudy Haynes, who was Philadelphia's first black television reporter, will host a show on Tuesday and Thursday nights that will feature local human interest stories on the Philadelphia affiliate WMCN -- station 262 for Comcast users and 44.2 for antenna users.
Chase Lenfest, the founder of Lenfest Broadcasting, said, "It is about time that this underserved community gets their own programming. African Americans have a different culture and sense of humor. Unlike the Hispanic market, which has Telmundo and Univision, there is no competition for this market. BET is mostly videos now."
Jon Gorchow, president of Lenfest Broadcasting, believes the network's lineup will appeal to the local black community, which makes up 42 percent of the city's population, and some whites.
"The network, which has a phenomenal film library, plans to air football and basketball games from traditionally black colleges," he said. "On June 18, 'Family Time', a sitcom by the creators of the Jamie Foxx Show, will begin airing."
Gorchow has been in negotiations with Verizon, Dish and DirecTv to air the station. With local businesses expressing interest in hosting shows, the local affiliate will be expanding their lineup.
"Shortly, we will begin airing 'Arts in Color' on Monday nights that will be hosted a former Miss Black Pennsylvania. The show will focus on cultural stories that are of interest to the black community," said Gorchow.
It is no surprise that Lenfest, the son of philanthropists Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest, would be involved in this endeavor. He established the Police Athletic League Center and the SquashSmarts program in Hunting Park.