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Tegna Launching Quest, New Multicast Net, With Cooper

Tegna and Cooper Media said they plan to launch a new ad-supported digital multicast network called Quest that will feature adventure and exploration programming.

As Quest’s charter broadcast launch partner, Tegna will get a minority ownership stake in the network.

Cooper Media, founded by Lonnie Cooper, is a new company that runs the Justice Network, another multicast channel that also airs on Tegna stations.

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As part of Tegna’s ongoing content transformation initiative, we are always examining ways to reach new and underserved audiences through entertaining, informative and relevant content across platforms,” said Tegna CEO Dave Lougee. “Quest will do just that. It will offer engaging programming that will appeal to a national audience currently under-represented by multicast networks. Launching Quest across our portfolio is also a cost-effective and advantageous use of our valuable distribution capabilities.”

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Quest is expected to launch in January 2018.

“Quest is a fresh take on a nature and science factual entertainment network designed specifically for the growing over-the-air multicast audience,” said Steve Schiffman, CEO of Cooper Media. “We are thrilled to build on our thriving partnership with Tegna to fill a programming gap in the multicast space and to double down on the growing over-the-air segment.”

The digital multicast business recently got a shot in the arm when the networks run by Katz Broadcasting—Bounce, Escape, Grit and Laff—were acquired by E.W. Scripps for more the $300 million earlier this year.