MetroLearning Becomes MetroStories “Documentary Television for New York”

Cable Channel Devoted Exclusively to Documentaries About the People, Places, and History of the NY Metropolitan Area

New York, NY – January 7, 2001 – For those who believe that "If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere," for those who've been rocked to sleep by "The Lullaby of Broadway" and for those who are always in a "New York State of Mind," we introduce MetroStories. Created through the redesign of the MetroLearning channel, the cable channel will now focus exclusively on documentary films that celebrate New York. MetroStories launches on Monday, January 14th and can be seen on Cablevision's channel 18 and Time Warner Cable's channel 95 (check local listings).

MetroStories is a channel that rejoices in New York's past, present, and people by revealing the region through the decades. Programs will range from in-depth profiles of the famous and infamous personalities and events that have shaped our region to up-close reports on the legends, landmarks, culture, and celebrities that make New York tick.

Each month MetroStories highlights a particular theme that reveals New York. For January, "Urban Landscapes" focuses on the architectural and cultural history of New York's most recognized landmarks. Kenneth T. Jackson, President of the New York Historical Society and editor of The Encyclopedia of New York City, will serve as host and commentator for the January series. Author of The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915–1930 (1967) and Cities in American History (1972), Jackson is often praised as a leading authority on New York City's dynamic history. "Urban Landscapes" premieres include:

  • "1071 5th Ave: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Story of the Guggenheim Museum." The film examines the development of the building to 1959, the year it was completed; just six months after the death of its architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It not only unfolds all the drama, rivalry, bitterness, and achievement of the seventeen years it took to build but it also brings the story up-to-date with the triumphant re-opening of the museum after a complete restoration.
  • "Broadway: The Great White Way", which looks at the origins of this central thoroughfare through the eyes of Broadway greats like Lena Horne and Jerry Leiber. Famed New York theatre critic Clive Barnes and noted columnist Jimmy Breslin share tales of bright lights and the star-struck from the press perspective.

In February, MetroStories marks "Black History Month," with original documentaries dedicated to New York's African-American community. Premieres include:

  • "M & M Smith: For Posterity's Sake", a film about the exploration of the lives and accomplishments of twin brothers Morgan and Marvin Smith, whose work in photography, painting, and film documented the vibrant beauty of Harlem's Golden Age.
  • "Adam Clayton Powell" offers a compelling portrait at the legendary African-American leader and looks of modern black politics in this country.

Future themes in the months to come include: Gay Pride, New York through Foreign Eyes, Metropolitan Jobs, and Sports Legends.

"MetroStories brings to life the New York region's rich past and illuminates its vibrant and diverse present," said Greg Moyer, President of Regional Programming and head of MetroChannels. "It will do it through the use of documentary films about New York, which have proven to be very popular with our viewers. There never been a time of greater appreciation for the legendary history and culture that makes us say, 'I love New York'."

The re-designed channel will also continue to feature MetroArts/Thirteen, a nightly block of award-winning arts and cultural programs assembled by Thirteen/WNET New York. The two channels have collaborated on programming since the launch of MetroChannels in 1998. For January, MetroArts/Thirteen will also follow the "Urban Landscapes" theme with Thirteen's acclaimed "Walking Tour" series hosted by David Hartman and historian Barry Lewis – with shows featuring 42nd Street, Broadway, Brooklyn, Harlem, Central Park and Greenwich Village. In February, MetroArts/Thirteen will feature two series on the contributions of African-Americans to the arts in this country in the last century. The six part series "I'll Make Me a World" covers the far-reaching contributions made to the visual arts, music, theater, music and literature, and "Free to Dance" explores the influence of African-Americans on modern dance in the U.S.

Each week of MetroArts/Thirteen programming reaches into the local arts community with a notable New York arts personality as host. Past hosts and arts locations have included actor/singer Mandy Patinkin at Yeshiva University Museum, artist Red Grooms at the National Academy of Design, and actor/writer Eric Bogosian at Dia Center for the Arts.

MetroStories also shows its commitment to New York's film community by providing a new outlet for independent filmmakers whose works would not otherwise be seen. The channel also plans to finance selected original works in the coming year.

MetroStories is one of three channels under the MetroChannels umbrella along with MetroTV and Metro Traffic & Weather. Together they form a suite of television networks devoted entirely to the experience of living in the Greater New York area.

About MetroChannels
Rainbow Media's MetroChannels (MetroTV, MetroStories and Metro Traffic & Weather) are the first and only suite of television networks devoted entirely to the experience of living in the New York metropolitan area. MetroTV is the only local channel providing original programs focusing on everything from fashion, comedy, music, and sports to independent features and documentaries about the people, places and history of New York. MetroTV has received numerous accolades for its programming, including three New York Emmy Awards from the 1999 and 2000 competitions, the 2000 Gold Promax Award, the 2000 & 2001 Community Spirit Award, New York Festivals Awards, Omni Awards, and The Communicator Award. MetroStories provides documentary programming devoted to telling the stories of the people and places that make the New York metropolitan area world-famous. Metro Traffic & Weather is the tri-state's first and only 24-hour local traffic, transit, and weather channel.

MetroChannels is owned and managed by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. A subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) and NBC, Rainbow has been at the forefront of innovation in programming for more than 20 years. Rainbow also manages American Movie Classics, We: Women's Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports Networks and News 12 Networks, as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a 50-percent partner in FOX Sports Net.

Press Contacts

  • Lisa Rogen