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Weigel launching retro cartoon channel MeTV Toons

The channel will debut on free, ad-supported streaming platforms and broadcast TV in mid-June.

The channel will debut on free, ad-supported streaming platforms and broadcast TV in mid-June.

(Graphic by The Desk)
(Graphic by The Desk)

Weigel Broadcasting is developing a 24-hour classic cartoon channel that will feature retro animated series from Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), The Desk has learned.

The channel, called MeTV Toons, is tentatively scheduled to launch in mid-June and will be distributed on free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) platforms and over-the-air broadcast stations across the country.

MeTV Toons will serve as an extension of MeTV, Weigel’s flagship channel that has offered a Saturday morning cartoon block for several years. Programming for MeTV Toons will largely come from WBD’s classic animation library, including shows under the Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera (“The Flintstones,” “The Jetsons”) brands.

Other shows will be sourced from Paramount Pictures, MGM Studios, Terrytoons, Sony’s Columbia Pictures, Comcast’s Universal Studios and Jay Ward Productions, among others.

The development of the channel was made known through a press release that was sent to some entertainment trade publication early Wednesday morning, including Variety, Future’s Next TV and Penske Media’s TV Line. A spokesperson later sent a follow-up e-mail to those outlets in which they admitted the release was accidentally sent without an embargo. An embargo is an agreement between a source and a publication that prevents the disclosure of certain information until a specific date and time.

The Desk does not receive press releases from Weigel Broadcasting or WBD directly, and does not agree to retroactive embargoes once information is disclosed publicly. A copy of the press release was sent to this reporter by an editor at an entertainment publication who asked to remain anonymous because they did not want to jeopardize their editorial relations with either company.

“We are honored to work with the amazing team at Warner Bros. Discovery and others on this network to bring together a truly incredible collection of the world’s best known and most loved classic cartoons, creating a new destination for everyone to discover or rediscover the sheer joy of watching cartoons on TV,” Neal Sabin, the Vice Chairman of Weigel Broadcasting, said in a statement contained in the news release.

Sabin went on to say that the channel will contain “a tremendous amount of variety,” and that the entire programming slate will consist of classic animated series.

“Neal and the team at Weigel have been long-standing and innovative licensing partners of Warner Bros content for decades,” said David Decker, the President of Content Sales at WBD. “Having some of the studio’s most iconic animated characters all available in one place is not only great for fans of classic animation, but also just super fun.”

MeTV Toons is tentatively scheduled to launch on June 25, and will be available on Weigel-owned digital broadcast stations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and St. Louis, among others. Weigel is also working to secure distribution of MeTV Toons on non-Weigel stations in other markets. The company did not say which FAST platforms will carry a streaming version of the channel.

Weigel operates a number of digital broadcast networks, including MeTV, MeTV Plus, Catchy Comedy, Heroes & Icons and Story Television. It operates three other networks through various joint ventures: Dabl and Start TV are programmed in partnership with Paramount Global, while the retro film network Movies! is programmed with Fox Corporation.

Weigel’s digital broadcast networks are carried nationally via two streaming services: Philo and Frndly TV.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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