Nat Geo plus N.Y. Times

The new television channel focusing on all things wild is making nice with an American icon of civility. National Geographic Channel has struck up a content partnership with
The New York Times
. Together, the pair will produce a weekly, hour-long news magazine for the network called
Science Times.

Each episode of
Science Times

will have three long-form stories covering scientific exploits and hijinks and how they impact folks' everyday lives. The two-year deal initially calls for 26 episodes to start airing in prime time in June 2001.

On the surface, the partnership resembles the usual print-television marriage, with the channel pushing the newspaper on the air and the newspaper hawking the channel in print. But for the National Geographic Channel, which is launching T-minus 38 days and counting, the deal is particularly sweet. The network has already spent millions on a studio to produce live daily news, something it hopes will give it an edge over Discovery, the incumbent king of nature content. The weekly science section of
The New York Times

is 21 years old, and sidling up to the newspaper gives the fledgling National Geographic Channel access to about 50 seasoned reporters. Content from
Science Times

will be lifted for
National Geographic Today
, the network's nightly 7 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Science Times

will appear on the network on Tuesday evenings, the same day
The Times

runs it science section, but it won't just be a rehash of the section, said Christian Gwinn, managing director of
The New York Times

television division.