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Los Angeles Gets New 'Code' Word

Broadband television firm Code Networks expanded its programming resources and staff to support the launch of content specifically targeting the young and wealthy of Los Angeles, CEO Joseph Varet is set to announce Thursday.

A weekly interview show hosted by SuChin Pak, best known for her work on MTV, will be one of the highest-profile new programs. Among the other new presenters are Tyra Banks' stylist and fashion designer Yaniece Piper Thomas, television correspondent Shira Lazar and actor-host Jonathan Redford.

Code.TV was launched June 12 in New York by a group of such former MTV Networks executives as Varet and Code.TV executive producer Morgan Hertzan. It targets an audience between 25-49 who earn at least $100,000 a year and live in a major metropolitan area.

The network is designed to leverage the economies of broadband to reach this premium niche group, which Varet said numbers about 5 million people in the U.S.

"This luxury audience is so valuable and hasn't been sufficiently served by television," he said. "Fine Living started that way, but they had to go more mainstream because to fill up 24 hours of programming on your grid and extract the monthly sub fees from your MSOs just doesn't make sense."

Hertzan added that the online medium also makes it possible to customize the experience for the viewer's geographic location, something that can't be done on linear channels or with only one programming feed.

The signing with Pak was handled by CAA, who reps both her and Code.TV. It includes a development deal for both broadband and broadcast, which Varet said was important to the network's plans for a multiplatform future that encompasses television, mobile and other platforms.

"Just like their East Coast counterparts, Los Angeles' trendsetters strive to be ahead of the curve," Hertzan said. "Not only does Code.TV provide them with access to the most exclusive things to eat, buy, see and do, it does so with video and enables them to know the places, and the people behind them, in a much deeper, more visual way."

Chris Marlowe writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

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