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Servicemembers in Europe will have more choices later this year when it comes to viewing American Forces Network programming.

Beginning in December, AFN will add two channels — AFN Family and AFN Movies — to its programming, according to an American Forces Radio and Television Service news release.

Additionally, programming on AFN’s Spectrum channel will change as some of its family-oriented programming will be seen on AFN Family.

Those programs will be replaced with general interest programming from channels like Discovery, The History Channel and The Learning Channel, according to the release.

“Audience requests that were reinforced by the result of our recent worldwide audience survey prompted us to pursue addition of two AFN TV channels,” said Lawrence Sichter, chief of Affiliate Relations/Program Operations Division, AFRTS.

AFN Family is designed to air programming most appealing to ages 2-17, but of interest to the entire family, according to the release.

AFN Movies will air movies and specials that take viewers behind the scenes of the entertainment industry.

The movies will have limited commercial interruption.

“[AFN Movies] will be primarily targeted to adults, ages 18 and up,” Sichter said. “We will be refining the mix of movies over the course of the year through audience research. The movies we broadcast on AFN Movies, as well as our other AFN channels, will be a mixture of the most popular American films within the past several years as well as some traditional classics. Movies are generally available to AFN a couple of years after their theatrical release.”

The new channels should begin broadcasting by the 2003 holiday season.

“Assuming fiscal year 2004 funds flow at the beginning of the fiscal year and that we get the infrastructure in place and personnel trained, we’d like to begin delivering these services as a holiday gift to the audience late this calendar year,” Sichter said.

‘Nightline’ special

American Forces Network will broadcast “Viewpoint: Patriotism, Journalism and War” at 9 a.m. CET Saturday on its AFN News channel.

The “ABC Nightline” special will be taped from the National War College at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

The special examines the tension between the media and the military in times of war. It is a moderated discussion between a panel of journalists and military officials who have dealt with the press during military action.

Ted Koppel moderates the discussion, which is filmed in front of an audience consisting of servicemembers, Department of Defense civilians and journalism students.

— From staff reports

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