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Discovery to drop WINGS channel !

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Hope this upsets most of you as it did me this morning..Jan 10, 2005 the Discovery channel will change their "Wings" channel over to "Military channel" and that's not "Military WINGS" just Military. (I'm sure there will be some military aviation shown)JUST at the time when the FAA introduces new ways to get people into GA and Sport flying they do something like this... remove the only real source of civil aviation programming for the masses.I contacted the Discovery Channel and also my local flying clubsto voice my displeasure.....If you every enjoy watching civil aviation programs on the "Wings" channel, you might want to contact Discovery channel and your own local clubs as well.Can you tell I'm angry ? Oh... and nothing against the Military intended here... just support for the so few GA programs on TV !

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Thanks for the heads-up, Tom. Went over and voiced my opinion as well.

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Tom, yeah, that is bad news and am heading over there myself to voice my not so positive opinion on the subject. As my next door neighbor's punk kid would say; "that sucks big time...".

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>Tom, yeah, that is bad news and am heading over there myself>to voice my not so positive opinion on the subject. As my next>door neighbor's punk kid would say; "that sucks big time...".GREAT guys.. ! Thanks for jumping in...Good to hear I'm not alone in this bad news...Tom..Any chance of Avsim as an organization taking a position on this with Discovery channel ? :-) And did the AOPA ever say anything about this that you've seen ? I know they have items on the Wings channel along with the EAA and I have not seen a thing from EAA about it either.Just how did Discovery Channel come up with this "improvement" for everyone ??If I may quote from the Discovery site:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"The Military Channel will represent the highest quality programming across a broad spectrum of military related genres that we believe consumers have a keen interest in learning more about," said Judith A. McHale, President and CEO of Discovery Communications. "In an increasingly fragmented marketplace, the Military Channel will broaden Discovery Communications' offerings and further differentiate our portfolio of emerging networks."~~~~~~~~~~~~~WHAT?

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I just caught this tonight as well. I am very sorry to hear about this. Much to my wife and daughter's chagrin, the #1 most watched channel in the house is Discovery Wings. But to be honest, I've watched it less and less over the past few months as it seems they've ramped up the number of commercials and seem to be carrying less content on GA.-John

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We never had it anyway, just Discovery Europe which is someone's idea of a collection of the "best" shows from all channels.Every show repeated 2-3 times a week for 2-3 months, maybe 1 aviation show per cycle among them (mostly it's "medical detectives", "American chopper" (which is not about helicopters), "time detectives", and shows like that).But with all that I'm happy to finally have it back after the cable company removed it several years ago to make room for a 24 hour shopping channel.Guess the number of cancelled subscriptions (people going satellite...) got them to reconsider.Despite the high number of reruns it's still the best channel we get here by far...

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That's pretty dumb to ay the least. As an ex-pat Canuck in Europe, I can't get Discovery anyway, but it would be nice when I go home to visit. Frankly, as a history PhD candidate I find a lot fo historical and military stuff on TV to be below par anyway, not to mention anything involved with aviation, be it military or civil. We need all the positive coverage possible.

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It's sad indeed.I used to watch SpeedVision as well, and then they got rid of their Aviation Shows once Wings took hold.Now Discovery is getting rid of Wings.While I think it's great to have a Military Channel for us Military Buffs, this is indeed a loss for General Aviation.I've tried looking around to see if the some of the shows would be kept, but haven't seen any statements about that.I used to watch Sport Aviation almost every Saturday Morning when it was on. EAA says it is in negotiations with The Outdoor Channel for a series to show in Summer 2005, so hopefully we will see that.The Outdoor Channel is HQ'ed in my town, so maybe I will call over there and find out when the series will show.EAA has been great about producing shows. AOPA doesn't do too many.EAA has produced some on D-Wings which now such as "From the Ground Up", "Learning to Fly", and the Annual Air Venture Series.I like the Ground Up Show, as I would love to build an aircraft someday.I'm sure EAA will keep making the shows, they just have to keep searching out outlets to air them in.Stay Positive.Regards,Joe

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Hi Joe, what's up? Haven't seen you around, err actually haven' been around myself much.:-shy

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I'm glad to see it go, and here's why:Next time someone starts an aviation channel, maybe they'll get people to watch. All the complaint you read here and elsewhere are nothing but legitimate; Wings appears to have virtually no budget (how many f@cking times are they gonna show the same lady get her first three lessons?!?) and the stuff they should be showing is generally found in the planetarium gift shop DVD section.Luckily our local provider (DirecTV) carries NASA, which at any given moment is exponentially (dare I say billions and billions of times) more interesting.Regarding the Military Channel - or whatever it's going to be - well, I can't help but get the feeling that when we have people in harm's way, people back home want to feel connected.But, in a sense, it's lots of Rah-Rahing; just look for Smithsonian, Boeing, Rockwell, etc. affiliations in the credits.. I'm interested to see whether it's presented as history or pro-military. It ain't gonna show things that will lose support for our current... ah... situation.So in order to do that, I guess they'll be airing the same current war footage Al-Jazeera does, hm? After all, explosions are more sensational than aerodynamics. Bang!While efforts may be in the works to increase GA flying, the fact is that the economy has tanked and many people who could make it to lessons can't anymore. What I feel the govt should do that will -actually- have a positive effect on GA falls back on what things would have a positive effect on the economy, and that goes WAY beyond the scope of this discusson.Anyway, I can't say I'm surprised. P'd off a bit, but not surprised.

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>I'm glad to see it goNo comment....You know...for one thing..Perhaps they needed more input from the viewers to improve programming. Gripes OR praise..>Next time someone starts an aviation channel...Yeah, sure..not in my lifetime I'm guessing..Hey...EAA might as well cancel the "Young Eagles" first flight program too, it's just there to TRY and encourage young people to get interested and go on to find solutions to current problems... it might NOT also, but we can't drop the very few things we have that deal with the subject in front of the general public.Yup, economy is bad and many have been gounded because of it.. more reason to keep something going in front of the public. Just bad timing I'm thinking.. we are JUSt starting new with the latest FAA regs, who knows what might come of them. Even a whole new lineup of GA/Sport flying documentary programs on Wings might have been worked out.BTW,Try Typing "Judith A. McHale" into Google and see all the hits..but then see what they are (She's President and CEO of Discovery Communications) not sure where her decisions about what we see come from.

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Hi Tom,>You know...for one thing..Perhaps they needed more input from>the viewers to improve programming. Gripes OR praise..>I've personally contacted them by email a few times inquiring about new original programming, the lack thereof, and when new programming may get on the air - every time I got a canned response suggesting to check the programming guide...>>Next time someone starts an aviation channel...>>>Yeah, sure..not in my lifetime I'm guessing..>If only Ted Turner were really into it!>Hey...EAA might as well cancel the "Young Eagles" first flight>program too, it's just there to TRY and encourage young people>to get interested and go on to find solutions to current>problems... it might NOT also, but we can't drop the very few>things we have that deal with the subject in front of the>general public.Now you're just trying to bum us out. Admit it.>BTW,>Try Typing "Judith A. McHale" into Google and see all the>hits..but then see what they are (She's President and CEO of>Discovery Communications) not sure where her decisions about>what we see come from. Conference speaker at "The White House Conference on Teenagers", hm?:)Guess she knows what those teens need to watch! Hee hee... sorry. She does seem to show up in lots of places in which the context is teen/youth education.Andrew

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Maybe, just maybe, there's no market for a dedicated aviation channel?Even if every FS buff in the US and everyone with a pilot's license would watch every show that would not amount to all that many viewers (especially given that Discovery is wont to do 10+ reruns of every single show over the course of a month or less).A military channel can carry all that heavy stuff about WW2, Vietnam, as well as current military stuff that noone except some militaristic fascist sympathisers (not my words, that's how media types think of people with an interest in military affairs think) want to see.The other channels will then have more room for home and garden shows and true historical programs about interesting things like the porcelain collection of president Jefferson...

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Wonderful (sarcastic), let's just stop flying all together now. It's seems like every time I turn around there's something being taken away from us in the aviation industry. I can see the old days of being able to go down to your local airport are going to be long gone.

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>I've personally contacted them by email a few times inquiring>about new original programming, the lack thereof, and when new>programming may get on the air - every time I got a canned>response suggesting to check the programming guide...That's good Andrew.. I do that also and yes.. get a form Email too.. but, I'm thinking that what they do look at is how many comments they get on a program good and bad as they would equal viewer numbers anyway. So still some good might come of the contact.>If only Ted Turner were really into it!Well, now there's a direction to go.. let's keep that in mind.And no matter what you might think of their acting/singing etc, people like John Travolta (first in my head) could make things happen in the future. Many other famous and wealthy aviation fans out there still.>>Hey...EAA might as well cancel the "Young Eagles" first>>flightprogram too, it's just there to TRY and encourage young>people to get interested and go on to find solutions to current>>problems... it might NOT also, but we can't drop the very>few things we have that deal with the subject in front of the>>general public.>Now you're just trying to bum us out. Admit it.Oh..Absolutely ! Did it work ? Even a little ? Not sure what demographics they would look at for aviation programming these days. I know retail market target age is pretty young teen numbers.Not sure how much strength I collectively have as a 50+ male these days. I always hope the form I see for questions or comments does not ask age, but they most times do. Depends on how much money they want to please most likely.. that would bump the age up a bit.Thanks for the input Andrew..

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Hello Joe,I hope they do find other outlets for this type programming... at least it will keep aviation on the air and ready for it's own channel or at least a time slot somewhere.I too like the kit building programs and wish there could always be new ones in the works.One thing that just might come of the new FCC rules would be a surge in kits and the companies that make them.. the Sport license is just the key for improved sales in that area. More and more kit companies would think money spent for documentary type "build" shows well worth it. And of course, they would be contacting people to get them on the air/cable.Thanks,

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>Wonderful (sarcastic), let's just stop flying all together>now. It's seems like every time I turn around there's>something being taken away from us in the aviation industry. >I can see the old days of being able to go down to your local>airport are going to be long gone.Jeff,Yes, just my thoughts also..My local airport that I've spent time at since I was a kid now has a tall fence with barbed wire around it and sends the message "keep out". Glad that's not what I first saw when I rode my bike clear out there so many years ago. But, there have been other times when GA has ground to a slow crawl and managed to make a comeback. Like WWII, when you needed a reason to keep flying GA and they kept close tabs on flights, and money was short etc. I do believe that it was the general interest and enthusiasm of the people that gave it rebirth and made it grow to what we have now. And that's still an important thing to safeguard. Keep a good thought..Thanks,

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We can only hope so. I think it's going to up to all of us to do our part and re-market flying again. :-)

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>Maybe, just maybe, there's no market for a dedicated aviation>channel?Hi Jefferson,No doubt... for those in the position of programming, it's all about money. But they would be happy to make "X" amount of money no matter what the suject as long as it was a good bottom line. I think aviation from here on in COULD produce some big money. Not in a few multi-million dollar super deluxe aircraft owned by the rich, but with a much larger group of "Sport", flying for fun, affordable aircraft that don't just transport people & goods, but gives them the thrill and enjoyment that they have been searching for all their lives. That "thing" they have read about and seen in aviation documentaries and movies on early flight and aviators. That adventure & romance they thought was long gone and impossible to achieve any longer ! >Even if every FS buff in the US and everyone with a pilot's>license would watch every show that would not amount to all>that many viewers (especially given that Discovery is wont to>do 10+ reruns of every single show over the course of a month>or less).Well, in my mind I'm hoping for an ever increasing number :-) A dreamer perhaps, but that's always what flight was about and it's done some great things in only 100 years.The media makes money on ads.. increase the sales of kit builders and you'll have the media chasing the money, rather than a small group of flyers chasing them for attention.Lots of the old "Catch-22" stuff at the moment..>A military channel can carry all that heavy stuff about WW2,>Vietnam, as well as current military stuff that noone except>some militaristic fascist sympathisers (not my words, that's>how media types think of people with an interest in military>affairs think) want to see.>The other channels will then have more room for home and>garden shows and true historical programs about interesting>things like the porcelain collection of president>Jefferson...I hear you..Perhaps we also need to speak our mind to them about each crap show that we just hate as well.. there are plenty of them on the air now.Maybe enough "hate that show" mail and they would be looking around for the next direction to go. Maybe in OUR direction by then ??You can tell they are willing to produce programs that people will watch, people just need to be pushed away from this insane JUNK that they fill up on. They're watching "reality programming" while "reality" slips away from them... scares me to death.Keep a good thought,

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I was just about to order digital tv for one reason, Discovery wings. We don't see enough war on the news. Now we need a whole chanel devoted to it. SAD.Dave Fisher

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Over 90% of military operations is humanitarian relief and peacekeeping these days.OK, in the US maybe not at current as you're involved in the aftermaths of 2 fullscale wars but even there a lot of the work your people do is training locals, building infrastructure, etc..But yes, I somehow doubt that will make good TV. If it did you'd hear all about it on CNN and read all about it in the NYT.

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I'm another person that paid extra to my cable provider to get Discovery Wings. For many years, they didn't carry that channel.Then when I finally got it, I honestly was a little disappointed in the programming. It's one of the few cable channels that presents the same shows over and over so that you can literally see a whole week's schedule in a couple of evenings. That's assuming you don't drift off to other channels during the 12 minutes of advertising every half hour. I know they have to overdo the ads to make up for the limited audience share.What really confuses me is why switch to a military theme? Isn't the History Channel really the Military Channel? Even people in the media call it the "######" channel because of the excess programming presenting WWII events. True, it's presented in a historical sense, but doesn't it also carry current military programs? Is there really room on cable for two military channels?I think this switch would have happened sooner if it wasn't for the centennial of flight. I'm sure Discovery thought they would get more viewers with the added publicity of aviation during the end of 2003 and into 2004. They certainly featured many historical aviation shows.I wish Wings would stick around, flaws and all. I could get my aviation viewing fix in a few evenings and have the rest of the week to play with Flight Sim. :-)Bruce

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Be sure and let them know how you feel Bruce :-) Might not be able to help THIS time, but might get them looking to the future for GA progrrams.http://www.discovery.com/

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More Than Slightly Disappointing!As a recently minted pilot and life long aviation fan, I have been a fan of wings since I found it in the late 90's. I always searched for a way to get it from my provider and than 2 years ago I had my chance and it was ALWAYS on. Sure I also love to watch a good military documentary, but the wings channel was unique. It was one of my favorite channels. I always thought it could have been better, however now that I think about it I would be happy for it to be as it was and stick around. I emailed Discovery, but that hardly will do much I thinkglsimpilotPP-ASEL

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This is only happening in the US.Discovery Europe has no plans to do any rebranding of Wings in the immediate future...Dear Ben,Thank you for contacting Discovery Wings.Discovery Networks Europe does not have any plans to rebrand the Discovery Wings channel in the up coming future.Kind Regards,Discovery Networks Europe Viewer Relations TeamE001334

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