The Live Well Network -- seen locally on KFSN (Channel 30.2) -- will come to an end in mid-January. The digital channel has been airing lifestyle programming since 2009, the majority provided by the TV stations owned and operated by ABC. Programming was produced across the country but fed through Fresno for distribution.
In a letter to Live Well broadcasters, Rebecca Campbell, president of ABC Owned Television Stations, and Peggy Allen, Live Well vice president of programming and operations, say that the digital channel is successful, but ending it will allow for more focus on "local news brands."
Dan A. Adams, ABC30 president and general manger, said that means the ABC-owned stations will refocus the resources being directed at making programs for Live Well to production of news and digital content to be used on their own stations.
"I think it was certainly a surprise to us but the strategy of the company has been trying to figure out what makes the most sense," Adams said Wednesday.
KFSN will retain Channel 30.2, but no decision has been made as to what programming it will air on the channel after Live Well ends.
Adams would not comment on whether dropping Live Well will result in layoffs.
Live Well, which reaches 64% of households, was spawned out of the federal requirement that local television stations switch from analog signals to digital. Along with improved quality to the main channel, local stations could also split the signal to have as many as six digital channels where one analog channel existed.
After the national switch to digital broadcasting, the Disney Co. (owners of ABC) decided that the 10 television stations it owned at the time -- including KFSN -- would produce original programs to air on a digital channel. The channel went on the air in late April 2009 with lifestyle and health programs such as "My Family Recipe Rocks" hosted by Joey Fatone and "Live Big with Ali Vincent."
KFSN's contribution to the digital channel, "Motion," was the creation of Jeff Aiello, who was director of creative services at KFSN but soon became part of Live Well after the channel launched. The 30-minute series hosted by Aiello's brother Greg looked at places to go and fun things to do once you get there. More than 100 episodes have been filmed and aired.
Although Disney owns the rights to "Motion," Aiello could do a modified version of the series. Aiello could not be reached for comment on the future of the outdoors series.