Gay TV shoved back in closet

Plans to launch a gay-themed television network appear to have been stymied just days before the much-anticipated debut, according to SOUTHERN VOICE, a gay and lesbian community newspaper in Atlanta.

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Co-Media, the California company behind the Gay Television Network (GTN), announced last month that it had reached an agreement to distribute the new network’s programming via the Dish Satellite Network. But the Dish Network’s parent company, EchoStar Communications Corp., denied last week that any such agreement had been reached — despite the fact that a Nov. 28 letter from an EchoStar executive referred to initial terms of a one-year agreement and wrote, “EchoStar looks forward to a long and mutually beneficial business relationship with Co-Media.”

After ironing out last-minute details last month, Co-Media had announced its planned Feb. 2 debut. “The press release they put out was in error,” EchoStar’s communication director Judianne Atencio told SOUTHERN VOICE. “We do not have a contract with Gay Television Network.”

“Dish got a case of homophobia,” said Frank Olson, president of GTN and its parent company, Co-Media.