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[07/20/10 - 06:14 AM]
USA Network Launches 'Character Approved' Blog Site to Celebrate the People, Places & Things Making Cultural Waves
10 leading writers in Art, Architecture, Design, Fashion, Film/TV, Food, Music, Social Good/Giving, Technology and Writing will contribute weekly updates.

[via press release from USA]

USA Network Launches 'CHARACTER APPROVED' Blog Site to Celebrate the People, Places & Things Making Cultural Waves

Leading Voices in Ten Fields Will Contribute Exclusive, Original Content to the USA Network Site at www.characterblog.com

NEW YORK, July 20 -- USA Network is expanding the scope of its CHARACTER APPROVED multimedia brand campaign with the digital launch of the new CHARACTER APPROVED BLOG, which will celebrate the people, places and ideas that are making a mark on the American cultural landscape. Inspired by USA's Characters Welcome brand and building on the success of the second annual Character Approved Awards held in February, the blog initiative is dedicated to identifying the trailblazers, innovations and ideas that are deserving of the USA Network "character seal of approval." Ten leading writers in Art, Architecture, Design, Fashion, Film/TV, Food, Music, Social Good/Giving, Technology and Writing will contribute weekly CHARACTER APPROVED updates that will create a unique digital platform through which people can learn, share and voice their opinions 24/7, 365 days per year about the latest and greatest in cultural trends. The site can be accessed at www.characterblog.com and will be syndicated to third parties via RSS feeds, Facebook, Twitter and more. The announcement was made today by Alexandra Shapiro, USA's senior vice president, brand strategy and digital.

"The CHARACTER APPROVED BLOG is the next step in the evolution of the USA Network brand in the digital space. We are providing a dynamic social platform for individuals and communities to discuss and debate those people, ideas, entities and innovations that embody the essence of 'character' and have an impact on everything culturally relevant from architecture and design to fashion and food," says Shapiro.

USA Network has assembled a team of some of the most respected and popular thought leaders on the scene to provide relevant and thought-provoking content in ten categories. In an effort to create awareness and generate dialogue, the site will be devoted to showcasing products, trends, services and people that are deemed "CHARACTER APPROVED." Each post will address the cultural impact, legacy, and persona of an entity from the author's point of view through the "CHARACTER APPROVED" lens and will invite feedback from users.

The writers, hand-picked by the network to provide timely and exclusive content, include: Chad Smith (Architecture), the Wooster Collective (Art), Stefan Boublil (Design), Alyse Wax (Fashion), Bags Hooper (Film/TV), Terry Boyd (Food), Matt Jordan (Music), Jerri Chou (Social Good/Giving), Rohit Bhargava (Technology/New Media) and Ann Kingman (Writing). While some authors publish their own blogs and others are contributors to larger sites or print publications, all of the CHARACTER APPROVED bloggers are well-versed in their respective fields and have dedicated followings. Each post will be enhanced by video, music files and much more for an enriched user experience. The CHARACTER APPROVED site will be updated regularly and the network will use its airwaves to generate awareness and promote audience participation in the new digital initiative.

About the Contributors:

Architecture: Chad Smith - Website: http://www.Tropolism.com

Chad Smith has more than 15 years experience designing innovative projects worldwide including unique, award-winning, and sustainable designs for buildings, master plans, public spaces, and landscapes. He is the editor-in-chief of Tropolism.com, a contributor to Curbed.com and the Village Voice.

Art: Wooster Collective - Website: http://woostercollective.com/

Husband-and-wife team Marc and Sara Schiller's mission is to discover and document authentic street art experiences via salons, books, gallery shows and their renowned website. They have celebrated over 2,000 artists worldwide and were the force behind the legendary 11 Spring Street exhibition in 2006, chosen as one of the top art shows of the year by the New York Times.

Design: Stefan Boublil - Website: http://theapt.com/

Born in France, Stefan Boublil became a New Yorker at the age of 20. After studying philosophy, theology, photography, and filmmaking at, respectively, the Sorbonne, Parsons School of Design and NYU, and spending years dabbling in each, THE APARTMENT CREATIVE AGENCY was born. Integrating what he cares about in his own life -- design, imagery, products, love, friendship, music, technology, art, and fashion -- Stefan's goal is to orchestrate a symphony that brings practical and emotional value to the life experience of the user.

Fashion: Alyse Wax - Website: http://www.sporkfashion.com

Alyse Wax is both a television producer and writer. Her TV credits include Big Brother, Hell's Kitchen, and Penn & Teller: Off the Deep End. Her articles have appeared in Teen People Magazine, the Weekly World News, 100 Magazine in the Philippines, SporkFashion.com, FEARnet.com, and Hollywood.com. She can't choose between the two careers, so she simply doesn't sleep.

Film/TV: Bags Hooper - Website: http://www.BuzzFocus.com

Bags Hooper graduated from The University of Pennsylvania with a Computer Science degree and spent years working in financial software. He has since left the software business to focus on writing and Voice Over. Bags is now a Senior Editor and Producer at BuzzFocus.com as well as a contributing writer to The Clik on USA Network's Character Arcade.

Food: Terry Boyd - Website: http://www.blue-kitchen.com/

Terry Boyd is the author of Blue Kitchen, a Chicago-based food blog for home cooks. An amateur who simply loves cooking, Terry's recipes have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Red Eye (a Chicago Tribune publication) and on the Bon Appetit and Saveur websites.

Music: Matt Jordan - Website: http://www.youaintnopicasso.com/

Matt Jordan began writing about music in 2004 when he founded the blog You Ain't No Picasso. Originally intended to chronicle his musical discoveries to a few close friends, the site quickly grew to thousands of music fans all across the globe. Matt took up photography to liven up his concert reviews and has since had photos published in Rolling Stone, Spin and Pitchfork.

Social Good/Giving: Jerri Chou - Websites: http://feastongood.com, http://ourfutureistbd.com, http://itsalovelyday.com/

The managing partner of Lovely day and founder of TBD, Jerri is a social innovation strategist passionate about the future of business and creativity. She is also the co-founder of alldaybuffet and The Feast Social Innovation Conference. In a past life, she worked in advertising at Grey Worldwide and development at several New York startups.

Technology: Rohit Bhargava - Website: http://www.influentialmarketingblog.com/

Rohit Bhargava is author of the bestseller, Personality Not Included, a guidebook for businesses on being more human and having a personality. He also writes the award-winning blog, Influential Marketing, focusing on technology, new media, culture and marketing. A tech industry veteran, Rohit teaches Global Trends & Communication at Georgetown University and has been a contributor to Fast Company, Digital Media Wire and American Express Open Forum.

Writing: Ann Kingman - Website: http://www.booksonthenightstand.com

Ann Kingman is the co-publisher of Books on the Nightstand, a blog and weekly audio podcast offering conversation about books and reading. Ann has worked in the publishing industry for more than 20 years, and currently works for Random House, Inc.

The USA Network CHARACTER APPROVED BLOG (www.characterblog.com) celebrates the people, places and things that are transforming the American cultural landscape. They're CHARACTER APPROVED -- worthy of USA Network's "character seal of approval." The blog site is updated regularly and features exclusive content in the following ten categories: Architecture, Art, Design, Fashion, Film/TV, Food, Music, Social Good/Giving, Technology/New Media, and Writing. The CHARACTER APPROVED BLOG is an outgrowth of USA Network's annual Character Approved Awards that pay tribute to the innovators who are influencing our opinions, our style, and our view of the world.

USA Network is the #1 network in all of basic cable and is seen in 98.5 million U.S. homes. A division of NBC Universal, USA is the cable television leader in original series and is home to the biggest hits in blockbuster films, acquired television and entertainment events. Viewers come to USA to find television's best in critically-acclaimed and award-winning original programming, such as BURN NOTICE, ROYAL PAINS, WHITE COLLAR, COVERT AFFAIRS, PSYCH, IN PLAIN SIGHT, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT and WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW, as well as the highest-rated acquired originals, including HOUSE, NCIS and LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT. The award-winning USA website is located at www.usanetwork.com, which is home to the popular new casual gaming site, www.characterarcade.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.





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