Back to basics for the Tube

Monday, September 26, 2005
The Tube, a 24-hour music video network, will be available soon on local cable television through the facilities of KFVS12, where Brandon Borgfield operated master control on Sunday. (FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@

If music videos killed the radio star, then the Tube Music Network is now trying to bring music videos back from their own grave.

The new channel, which debuted in select markets in the spring and will soon be available in Southeast Missouri, promises all music, all the time. Sound familiar?

That's because the Tube's creator, Les Garland, also helped create MTV during the 1980s.

"Many music networks, including MTV, went from their roots as a 24-hour music network to games shows, award shows. The idea behind the Tube is 24-hour music videos, no VJs, no game shows, no award shows," said Barry Kluger, former vice president of communications for MTV and now communications director for the Tube.

The Tube will eventually be available nationally through Raycom Media Inc. -- ideally by the end of the year, according to Kluger -- but can be sampled every Saturday at 11:30 p.m. on KFVS12.

Viewers with digital receivers can now pick up the network 24 hours a day on channel 12.3.

Mike Smythe, general manager at KFVS12, said he is currently working on agreements with local cable companies to broadcast the Tube. He believes it could be picked up on cable within the next few weeks.

With music videos and concert clips that go back as far as the 1960s, Smythe said the primary demographic will be people age 35 and older.

While groups such as Duran Duran, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Tina Turner are staples on the network, contemporary music from Dave Matthews, Norah Jones and ColdPlay will also be featured.

Live concerts from acts such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2 will be a significant part of the lineup as well.

"I think it will be very interesting to the community because there are so many choices of videos. When I watched, it went from Rod Stewart to Dolly Parton," said Smythe.

One genre the Tube will not carry, said Kluger, is rap or hip hop.

"It's vintage rock that hasn't been seen since the 1970s but also contemporary music," said Kluger. "It's going to be an interesting mix."

Kluger said Les Garland, who serves as president of the Tube Music Network, also helped create VH1 and the networks that eventually became MTV2 and MTVU.

"This one he's not selling, though," said Kluger.

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