"This marks the birth of an innovative project that has been in the works for 7 years now,” said Larry Ciecalone, President/CEO of KVCR/FNX. “The FNX Channel launched at 7:00 p.m. in Southern California on KVCR 24.2 digital. It is a TV channel dedicated to the Native American experience and the first of its kind in the nation. We developed this concept with our founding partner, San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians. KVCR is pleased to offer this experience to Southern California viewers and will launch the channel nationally next year."
FNX launched in Southern California, the second largest market in the United States, with a potential audience of 18 million viewers. Within one year, FNX plans to expand and lead the way as a producer (via the Internet and over-the air, satellite and cable broadcast systems) of authentic First Nations storytelling. Programs will include varying genres including documentaries, sports, feature film, drama series, news and comedy.
"Today, Indian Country can take pride in this first major step toward establishing a communications institution to secure a national and international presence utilizing the television medium–a communications medium that all Native and indigenous people can utilize to tell our stories about our cultures and history," said San Manuel Vice Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena.
FNX will initially air six-hour blocks of Native programming repeated daily, and is adding content and new programs over the next few months to expand the schedule. Within a year, the channel will have 24-hour all-Native programs and will be available to Indian country via Internet streaming.
“Native America is the foundation for our nation,” said Charles Fox, FNX executive director and Chief Operations Officer. “Much of our culture, language, laws and place are based on traditional Native American cultures and practice. For the first time in our nation’s history, there will be a place where all people can discover, appreciate and re-examine our common bond and shared values. That place is FNX: First Nations Experience.”
As members of the World Indigenous Television Broadcast Network, FNX is the first multimedia venture in the United States created to accurately educate the general public about Native American realities.
I imagine a lot of organizations would dispute the "the first multimedia venture in the United States created to accurately educate the general public about Native American realities." For instance, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Indian Country Today Media Network, and Buffy Sainte-Marie's Cradleboard Project. Indeed, every Native-themed museum and educational organization is probably multimedia these days.
Other than that, FNX is a nice achievement. With the backing of the wealthy and progressive San Manuel Band, it may actually succeed.
For more on the subject, see San Manuel Launches TV Channel and TV Shows Featuring Indians.
Below: "FNX Executive Director Charles Fox, San Manuel Vice Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena, FNX Operating Board Chairman Tim Johnson, and President/CEO of KVCR/FNX Larry Ciecalone counting down to pressing the button that launched FNX on the air."