MBC to Change Name

Major Broadcasting Cable Network is expected to announce Tuesday that it is changing its name to Black Family Channel beginning Oct. 1, according to sources close to the network.

The name change will correspond with a revamping of the network to feature more variety and reality programming targeted toward African-American families.

The network last month hired producer and actor Robert Townsend as its president of original productions, and it is talking with former Discovery Health Channel general manager Bob Reid about heading up day-to-day operations.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.