Channel surfers will soon find a new urban-focused television station, possibly as early as this week, says Delta Media General Manager Chuck Wood. “Soul of the South — Lafayette” could go live on local Channel 32.1 digital and retransmitted on 50.3 digital Monday or Tuesday night. For now, that means it's only accessible to people using digital converters.

chuck_wood2The launch of the new station has been in the works since February, says Wood. Though the station’s launch, according to our initial interview with Wood on Friday, was expected over the weekend, as of this morning he says it should be on air by Tuesday, but adds "we're hoping for tonight."

Headquartered in Little Rock, the Soul of the South Network’s programming is targeted toward Southern African-Americans between the ages of 25 and 54, says Wood.  “The station will feature five hours of news, and we’ll be doing some local programming as well, but right now the schedule isn’t complete as such because we’ve been trying to get the network launched first,” he adds.

The decision to launch an urban-focused network is part of Delta’s recent push to cater its radio and television offerings to the demands of its local viewers and listeners, as seen last month with the simulcasting of the company’s Hispanic radio station “Juan,” which according to Wood, has already  proven “extremely successful.”

“Our aim is to be a local broadcaster for local residents with local and varied programming,” says Wood.

The new Hispanic radio station has prompted speculation that Delta also has plans to launch a Hispanic-focused TV station, but Wood wouldn't bite when ABiz broached the subject: “I’m not at liberty to say anything about Hispanic television at this time.”

Check out this month's ABiz, on newsstands and direct mailed to key decision makers June 17, for more on the developments and plans for Delta's radio and television offerings.

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