ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Next Avenue(SM), a new, national public television initiative that will offer comprehensive, multiplatform content designed to super-serve and engage baby boomers, help them navigate a new life stage and unleash their full potential, announced today that it has raised $5 million in grants that will help the initiative to move forward with launch plans for spring of 2011. The grants include $3.5 million from The Atlantic Philanthropies, $1 million from the General Mills Foundation and $500,000 from the Medtronic Foundation.
Backed by three years of research and groundwork, Next Avenue intends to leverage the power of public media – online, on air and on the ground – to support this huge, diverse and influential generation in much the same way Sesame Street and PBS KIDS have supported and engaged young children and their families for many years. Next Avenue will offer a unique blend of authoritative and vetted content, including content from public and non-profit partners as well as user-generated content, focusing on leisure and learning, health, financial security, work and careers, care giving, relationships and giving back to the community.
Next Avenue's Board of Advisors consists of prestigious experts who are contributing their expertise, including J. Walker Smith, Ph. D., executive vice chairman of The Futures Company and president of the Yankelovich MONITOR; and Dr. Fernando Torres-Gil, associate dean of Academic Affairs at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and the first assistant Secretary for aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Bill Clinton.
"We are designing Next Avenue to be a virtual 'life coach' for baby boomers, informing, inspiring, engaging and connecting the nation's largest segment of the adult population. It will also challenge them to see the opportunities life holds after 45," said Next Avenue CEO Jim Pagliarini. "We intend for Next Avenue to be a truly interactive venture, designed not merely to entertain and inform but to provoke thought and action. And we plan to provide a rich arena for user-generated content, feedback and interaction." Pagliarini is also president and CEO of Twin Cities Public Television, which is leading the initiative in collaboration with American Public Television (APT) and PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), among others.
Next Avenue is designed to be the most comprehensive content initiative ever to target this audience:
- Online through an enormous web content hub of video, information, targeted e-newsletters, customized tools for better living, original content, user-generated content and a huge, aggregated and vetted database of content contributed by public media and such organizations as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Public Health and Science, and Civic Ventures, a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose; mobile device apps will also be developed for Next Avenue's content;
- On air through multiple public television series, specials and interstitials, many of which will capitalize on well-known and well-regarded public television personalities and brands; and,
- On the ground with relevant, regularly scheduled events coordinated through local stations across the country.
Far more than a database or 'how to' manual, Next Avenue is designed as a daily stop to engage visitors and shed light on practical questions such as "What do I need to do to remain healthy?" and "How can I take steps to be financially secure?," as well as meet social needs such as, "Where can I find people from whom I can learn and be inspired?" What is more, it will serve as a guide along the journey and provide perspective on questions such as "How do I define and live the life I want?" and "How do I ensure that I like this part of my life?"
"Public media is uniquely positioned to serve this audience, which is an established, loyal public television audience and very active on the Internet," said Judy Diaz, Next Avenue's president and COO. "Because our mission historically has been to serve people of all ages and income levels, we also believe that public broadcasting is uniquely positioned to understand and relate to a generation that is more diverse and complex than any other older generation in American history."
"These generous grants will help us build out and make the most of one of the central components of Next Avenue – our web content hub – as we continue to seek additional sponsors to partner with us in reaching this audience and creating and sharing content," Diaz added.
In addition to grant money, Next Avenue is seeking a limited number of category-exclusive corporate sponsors with whom Next Avenue can potentially build content relationships online (with sponsor content clearly identified).
"We already have had an incredibly positive response from both the advertising community and the non-profit community about our plans for Next Avenue," added Pagliarini. "We are looking for partners who recognize the value of this market and the opportunity to work with us on the ground floor as we build this unique content hub."
The Future Company's Smith commented, "Next Avenue is uniquely situated to build this definitive resource for what I call the 'ageless generation'." The co-author of four books, including Generation Ageless: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Live Today...And They're Just Getting Started, Smith added, "Boomers are redefining life after 45 and have a variety of new and changing needs and priorities as they move into the second half of their lives. A comprehensive resource managed by public broadcasting, which has already gained the public trust, has a good head start in engaging this audience."
Next Avenue(SM) is a service mark of Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.
SOURCE Next Avenue