Services & Software

Oxygen breathes life into women's TV

The company unveils its first lineup of TV programming, a milestone in its plan to build a 24-hour cable and Internet network geared toward women.

Oxygen Media today unveiled its first lineup of TV programming, a milestone in the company's plan to build a 24-hour cable and Internet network geared toward women.

The new programs on Oxygen's See related newsmaker: Geraldine 
Laybourne cable channel take into account that women are busy. The schedule includes a live two-hour program called "Pure Oxygen" that offers information and commentary on issues such as parenting, business, health, style, home and entertainment.

Oxygen is the brainchild of CEO Geraldine Laybourne, who headed Disney-ABC cable networks and Nickelodeon. The company has lured partners such as talk show host Oprah Winfrey and Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner and Caryn Mandabach, the creators of the "Cosby Show" and "Roseanne." It also has received substantial investments from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures, luxury goods retailer LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and America Online.

Other programs debuting on the channel include "Exhale," a talk show hosted by actress Candice Bergen; "Oprah Goes Online"; and others ranging from morning yoga to sports and comedy. "As She Sees It" will air award-winning documentary films by and about women, and "SheCommerce" will offer shopping tips.

For the younger crowd, Oxygen has created programs such as "Trackers," a show that allows girls to express their points of view and advise each other.

In conjunction with the launch, the company also added five new Web sites to its online network. These include WeSweat, which is about sports; for fashion and beauty advice; Trackers, a companion site to the "Trackers" TV show; Womenshands, a site profiling arts and crafts; and a companion site for "Oprah Goes Online."

Oxygen's other sites include several properties acquired from AOL, including Moms Online, Thrive and Electra. These site focus on finance, careers, health and relationships.

"We are so proud to introduce Oxygen: Women at center of 
convergenceOxygen, a network that is for women and by women--a network that women feel they've had a hand in creating," Laybourne said in a statement.

Although cable stations geared toward women are few, the online world is a different story. Oxygen faces considerable competition on the Web from sites such as iVillage,, CondeNet and ChickClick.