The LA Times announced this morning that it will produce documentaries for DirecTV, and the paper's news side followed up with a Company Town story. The first doc to run under the Los Angeles Times Documentaries banner will be based on last year's A Soldier's Wife series by Christopher Goffard and Rick Loomis, which chronicled the return from Iraq of a U.S. soldier and the issues encountered by him and his Orange County family. The film debuts Sept. 13.
Former LA Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein, now non-executive chairman of the paper's parent company, was the first executive of DirecTV.
Here's the flackage from the LAT about its new Los Angeles Times Originals brand. (By the way, the Times' chief flack Nancy Sullivan fails the paper and its journalists big time by omitting LA Observed from routine releases like this and from her staff's outreach to reporters and bloggers with private email nudges to cover personnel moves and stories. Just saying.)
LOS ANGELES – September 5, 2014 – The Los Angeles Times today announced its new Los Angeles Times Documentaries series will air on DIRECTV’s Audience Network and explore a range of compelling social issues. Debuting September 13th with “A Soldier’s Wife” (schedule below), each 20-30 minute film will air exclusively on the satellite service provider for 90 days. The debut of Documentaries is the first stage in the rollout of Los Angeles Times Originals, the new banner under which its distinctive short and long-form video productions will now be created and distributed.
“The Times is renowned for its powerful storytelling in a multitude of forms, including exceptional, award-winning video,” said Colin Crawford, Times deputy managing editor, visual journalism. “Los Angeles Times Originals is a vital extension of our journalistic endeavors and we are excited to have our documentaries presented to DIRECTV’s subscribers.”
“Our relationship with the LA Times allows DIRECTV access to exceptional content from some of the nation’s most respected journalists,” said Chris Long, DIRECTV’s Senior Vice President, Original Content & Production. “We’re proud to present our viewers with a series that will both enlighten and entertain.”
The videography which forms the basis of the films originally accompanied Times special reports and has been edited into documentary presentations. Each will provide DIRECTV’s 20 million subscribers with insight into the issues that impact their lives, their communities and the world at large. Programming is as follows:
“A Soldier’s Wife” (Sept. 13) – her husband came home from Iraq… and brought the war with him
“Beyond 7 Billion” (Part I Sept. 27, Part II Oct. 25) – the coming generation will be the biggest the world has ever known, and its impact has only just begun
“Caught in the Crossfire” (Nov. 8) – after the smoke clears, the pain endures for the victims of gang violence and their families
“Losing Stu & Breaking the Cycle of Abuse” (Nov. 22) – visceral examinations of two families, one affected by Frontotemporal Disease and another caught in a bizarre odyssey of polygamy, torture and mental trauma
“Dying for Relief” (Nov. 29) – the dark underside of the prescription drug world, where for many patients a pill once taken as a necessity had become a trap.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with DIRECTV to find new distribution and cross-promotion opportunities,” said Andrea Nunn, The Times’ vice president of business development and strategic alliances. “Their successful network and unique audience are a perfect fit for Los Angeles Times Documentaries.”
Video has long been an important Times storytelling medium and has garnered multiple honors. The complete library, including the footage that comprises the documentaries, can be found at http://latimes.com/video.