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Viacom tables gay cable network

Viacom tables gay cable network reports that Outlet, the proposed gay and lesbian cable network that was to be backed by Showtime and MTV, has been put on indefinite hold. In November, after a network memo had been leaked on the Web, Viacom confirmed that the channel was being prepped for a second-quarter 2003 launch. Now, however, Showtime says in a statement that "due to the current economic climate, the timetable has been slowed down for the development of a new network dedicated to programming to the gay and lesbian audience. We will keep the media informed of new developments." The proposed network was to have included new and existing gay-themed films, TV series, news, and documentaries. But while Viacom has relaunched TNN as Spike TV, in May the company slashed staff at its Comedy Central channel by 20% and at Showtime by 10%.

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