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ABC to pull plug on digital Live Well Network

After five years, ABC's Live Well Network will end its run in January
ABC plans to re-focus its digital efforts on local programming

ABC's digital Live Well Network — which offers lifestyle programming including cooking, home decorating and travel tips — won't be around much longer.

ABC announced Monday that it would shut down its ambitious digital effort in mid-January. The TV network was launched in 2009 to exploit the additional spectrum that became available when TV stations switched to digital transmissions from analog.

"Despite Live Well's tremendous accomplishments in distribution and original programming, we made a strategic decision that our priority must be local content," Rebecca Campbell, president of the ABC owned television stations, and Peggy Allen, vice president of the Live Well Network, said in an email.

The notice was sent to staff members and TV station affiliates who carried the network on a subchannel. Live Well Network was available in Los Angeles as a channel affiliated with KABC-TV Channel 7.

"We want to maximize our investment in our core local news brands in the digital space," Campbell and Allen wrote.

Other broadcasters also have struggled to find the best use all the spectrum that became available after the digital conversion. 

NBC experimented with a subchannel devoted to weather. It made the digital service available to station affliates but abandoned the effort several years ago after taking an ownership stake in the Weather Channel.

Live Well, which was developed in Chicago at ABC's WLS Channel 7, was available in about 64% of the U.S. homes with television sets.

It featured more than a dozen original shows, including "Food Rush," starring San Francisco chef Ryan Scott; "My Family Recipe Rocks," hosted by former *NSYNC member Joey Fatone; "Live Big with Ali Vincent," featuring the first female winner of "The Biggest Loser;" and "Mexico: One Plate at a Time," with Rick Bayless.

Live Well on Twitter: Follow me at @MegJamesLAT

 

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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