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'USA Today' Expands TV Unit

Gannett Co.'s USA Today is expanding its burgeoning video production unit, USA Today Live, producing new cable programs for Versus, Fuse and Mojo HD, and new seasons of two online video series, one in partnership with TV Guide Network.

The newspaper is looking to partner with broadcast networks and other studios on new projects in 2009, says Lauren Ashburn, managing editor for USA Today Live.

For Versus, it produced City Limits Fishing, a six-part series about secret fishing sites in U.S. cities, premiering Feb. 15.; for Fuse, 10 Great Reasons, an eight-part series paying tribute to musical guilty pleasures debuting Feb. 19; for Mojo HD, Gotta Get Gold, a 10-part series with Gannett Broadcasting that will showcase elite athletes over 10 consecutive days starting July 28.

USA Today Live was founded in 2000 to feed video content to the 22 Gannett stations, and has produced series for Animal Planet, WE and HDNet.

The Web shows getting second seasons are CelebWatch with Will Keck and CelebStyle. Keck, an entertainment reporter for the paper, will also appear on TV Guide Network.

"We're able as a production group to cover so many topics because the paper does," says Ashburn.