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Siegel, Humbard Team Up to Create Gospel Net

Cable veterans Charles Humbard and Brad Siegel are combining their talents to launch a new gospel-music-based service set to bow this fall.

Atlanta-based Gospel Music Channel will feature music videos, concerts and events from a number of gospel-music genres, including rock, country, adult contemporary, praise and worship and inspirational.

The network is hoping to tap into the fast-growing gospel-music business. More than 80 million people listen to gospel music in the United States, and total record sales have grown 62% between 1996-2001, according to the network.

“Gospel music has a large and passionate fan base, which is critical to launching a new service,” said Siegel, formerly president of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.’s entertainment networks.

The network has already signed a digital-basic-carriage agreement with Cox Communications Inc., said Humbard, who most recently served as senior vice president and general manager at Discovery Networks U.S.

He added that the network is offering a licensing-fee-based rate card, although he would not reveal specific details.

Private-equity firms Alpine Equity Partners LP and Constellation Ventures will finance the independently owned network, although neither Siegel nor Humbard would reveal its start-up costs.

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.