CourtTV sheds another vestige of its glorious past as a news network for American jurisprudence as it prepares to re-brand as “truTV” in January: The network is shuttering CourtTVNews.com, which carried courts news and was a bit of a Web-video pioneer when it started streaming courts coverage in the late 90s. The site will shut down Jan.
1 and video of trials will move to CNN.com.
Time Warner announced CourtTV’s new moniker in May, months after it acquired the network and integrated it into the Turner stable of entertainment nets, which includes TNT, TBS and TCM. The re-branding was the latest step in the slow conversion of the network from news to reality-based entertainment.
As a legal news channel, CourtTV faced a similar problem as CNBC: What to do in primetime after the core audience of professionals stops watching? CourtTV’s solution was to go heavy into reality shows and infotainment like “Psychic Detectives” and “Ski Patrol.” Under Turner, the net will try to shoe-horn its day-side news and talk with its primetime reality programming under the same brand, hence truTV. (Hey, it’s all true, isn’t it?)
Since truTV’s Web presence will be about promoting the network’s primetime lineup, there’s really no place for courts news, which moves to CNN.com. Case in point: Earlier this year, the net started shifting its courts coverage to the Web at 3 p.m. to make way for Star Jones’ talk show.
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