Fox-owned stations launch OTT service targeting African-American viewers; Fox 32’s Later With Leon to be featured
In an ambitious move, Fox Television Stations announced Monday the launch of Fox Soul, a over-the-top service targeting African-American viewers between the ages of 25 and 54.
The new streaming service is featuring live-streaming original programming in prime-time and late night, roughly from 8 p.m. to midnight Chicago time, and shows from Fox owned-and-operated stations, including Fox 32’s (WFLD’s) Later With Leon, which airs weeknights at 11:30 p.m., excluding Fridays.
The channel is advertiser-supported and the shows are on-demand when the channel isn’t live streaming.
“We are proud to debut this African American focused channel, created by and for the members of the black community”, said Fox Soul head of programming James DuBose in a statement. “We intend to inform, inspire, and empower our viewers by meeting their needs for authentic conversations on topics relevant to our lives.”
Original programming on the channel includes shows featuring former Hughleys star Elise Neal (Fit and Fab, a weekly series on health and nutrition) and former Dallas radio personality and Deal or No Deal model Claudia Jordan (she hosts Out Loud, a talk show providing a black woman’s view on numerous issues regarding dating, beauty, and relationships.)
Another interview show features R&B singer Keyshia Cole with One On One.
Other original programs include On the 7 With Dr. Sean featuring Dr. Sean McMillian tackling hot topic issues in the African-American community; The Mike and Donny Show featuring Mike Hill and Donny Harrell featuring frank discussions about the issues black men and women face today; and The Tammi Mac Late Show, featuring the KJLH-FM/Los Angeles radio personality celebrating black culture through music, spoken word, and performance through meaningful conversation. Fox Soul is also urging audiences to interact with the shows via by the streaming app, social media, or going the old school route by simply calling in.
The OTT service also is featuring a stable of local shows from Fox’s owned-and-operated stations including Later With Leon, hosted by WGCI-FM’s Leon Rogers and Fox 32’s Tia Ewing. Others include The Q (featuring Quincy Harris from WTXF/Philadelphia); The Isiah Factor: Uncensored (featuring Isiah Carey of KRIV/Houston); and Chicago native Lisa Evers with Street Soldiers, a weekly program airing on New York’s WNYW. Evers is a general assignment reporter for WNYW and has a radio show on Hip-Hop WQHT/Hot 97.
Also airing on the service is Fox’s syndicated Dish Nation.
This is the first time a station group has launched an OTT service. In a statement, Fox Television Stations’ said “Fox Soul represents a unique approach to targeting a specific, passionate demographic and community who can benefit from the original content, format and interactivity that the new digital platforms can uniquely provide.” The launch comes as local stations are seeking to retain many of their viewers as possible as more and more streaming options are taking hold.
So far, reviews haven’t exactly been kind and the branding of the channel feels dated (“Soul”). But it is a work in progress.
Fox Soul is available now at foxsoul.tv and via app through Apple, Android, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.