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7/11/2005

 
Gospel Music Channel to Premiere 'Gospel Dream' Series This Fall, Showcasing America's Best Emerging Gospel Music Talent from All Styles of Gospel

ATLANTA & NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 7, 2005
-- Ford Signs on as a Leading Sponsor and Exclusive Automotive Advertiser, with Black Radiance to be Exclusive Cosmetics Sponsor;
-- Actor/Comedian Jonathan Slocumb Named Show's Host;
-- Singer/Songwriter Kelly Price, Music Writer Andy Argyrakis and Zomba Gospel President Max Siegel to be National Judges;
-- Contests to Take Place in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit and Memphis Beginning in August with Television Premiere Set for October 5

Gospel Music Channel today announced audition and programming details for "Gospel Dream 2005," the newest addition to its line-up of inspirational and entertaining programming. The announcement was made today by Charles Humbard, president and CEO and Brad Siegel, vice chairman of Gospel Music Channel, the nation's only 24/7 cable television network dedicated to all styles of gospel music.

"Gospel Dream 2005" will reach out to a broad audience of gospel music fans, bringing performers from all over the U.S. and from all gospel styles - including traditional and contemporary soul, pop, rock, and R&B - to compete for a chance to be signed by a major label. Created and executive produced by Elvin Ross, CEO of SONHO Entertainment, "Gospel Dream" will showcase the best in emerging gospel music talent with auditions in seven cities, culminating in a semi-final round and season finale that will both be held in Atlanta, GA. Beginning in August, auditions will take place in the following markets: Atlanta (August 12-13), Dallas/Fort Worth (August 19-20), New Orleans (August 26-27), St. Louis (September 9-10), Chicago (September 16-17), Detroit (September 23-24) and Memphis (September 30-October 1). These auditions will air exclusively on Gospel Music Channel beginning October 5 at 8 p.m. Eastern, with weekly episodes leading up to the November 30 semi-finals and December 1 finale. On November 23, Gospel Music Channel will televise a marathon, recapping the entire season thus far.

Registration for the talent search will take place online at www.gospelmusicchannel.com. Organizers are expecting hundreds of applicants at each event, and in order to ensure orderly registration, the first 200 registrants in each market will be guaranteed an audition.

The show will be hosted by Jonathan Slocumb, famous for bringing clean, cutting-edge stand-up comedy to venues ranging from a recurring role on "The Steve Harvey Show," to appearances on "Def Comedy Jam" and as an opening act for gospel greats such as The Winans, Kirk Franklin, Aretha Franklin, Take 6 and others. Each episode of "Gospel Dream 2005" will feature Slocumb, as well as three national judges from the music industry: R&B singer/songwriter Kelly Price, whose recordings regularly go platinum, freelance writer/music critic Andy Argyrakis, and Max Siegel, president of Zomba Gospel and senior VP of the Zomba Label Group. These three, along with local judges that will include gospel and Christian radio personalities from each market, will narrow each audition down to three contestants, who will then go to Atlanta to compete in the semi-finals. The 21 semi-finalists will be narrowed down to ten, with the "Gospel Dream 2005" winner being revealed in the season finale.

"'Gospel Dream' offers these talented performers a chance to gain national recognition with fans around the country," said Mr. Humbard. "This entertaining, inspirational series will connect with our viewers on many levels, and we look forward to having this show as an anchor to our fall 2005 primetime line-up."

To capture the excitement of this national event, Tangible Vision (www.tangiblevision.com) has been hired to produce "Gospel Dream." This award-winning film and video production company has produced over 250 hours of national programming to date, including "CMT Outlaws: The Dirty Dozen, with Dennis Hopper," "CMT 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music," and bio-documentary series "Inside Fame."

Gospel Music Channel is establishing a multi-platform marketing initiative to support the show. This initiative will include marketing partnerships with local radio stations and churches, advertising spots during Gospel Music Channel's primetime line-up, a direct mail campaign, and a strategic local and national public relations campaign.

The company has reached a Foundation Marketing Partnership agreement with The Ford Division of Ford Motor Company. As part of this agreement, Ford will be the lead sponsor and exclusive automotive advertiser for "Gospel Dream," and will have a presence during the program's auditions in seven U.S. markets, as well as the Atlanta-based semi-finals and season finale. This will include integration of a Ford vehicle into the programming, with additional opportunities to be announced at a later date. Also part of Ford's Foundation Marketing Partnership with Gospel Music Channel, the company will be the exclusive automotive advertiser for the cable network's Wednesday night programming which features Soul Gospel from 7 to 11 p.m. ET.

"Ford has shown a strong commitment to the future of Gospel Music Channel and understands the power of gospel music's passionate and loyal fanbase," stated David G. Baker, Gospel Music Channel's vice president of national advertising sales.

Additionally, Gospel Music Channel has announced that Black Radiance will be the official, exclusive cosmetics sponsor of "Gospel Dream 2005." As part of this deal, female contestants that make it to the semifinals will receive makeovers prior to their performances. Footage from these makeovers will be integrated into the final episodes, advertising spots will run during the program, and Black Radiance will have a presence on Gospel Music Channel's Web site.

"We are delighted to partner with Gospel Music Channel as the exclusive cosmetics sponsor for this year's Gospel Dream competition," said Shawn Haynes, senior vice president, marketing for Markwins (owners of Black Radiance cosmetics). "Black Radiance is proud to be able to help the semifinalists put their best face forward as they compete to make their gospel dreams come true."

Gospel Music Channel's Programming Line-up
Other programming featured on Gospel Music Channel includes:
-- "It's All Gospel " (Monday through Thursday, 8pm Eastern) -- The best videos of chart topping artists from all categories of gospel music, hand-selected by Gospel Music Channel's programmers.
-- "Faith & Fame" (Monday through Thursday, 8:30pm Eastern) -- Gospel artists tell the stories of their lives and their music - in their own words.
-- "Front Row Live" (Monday through Thursday, 9pm Eastern) -- A front-row seat at some of the greatest gospel concerts in the world.
-- "Hot List" (Monday through Thursday, 10pm Eastern) -- A nightly countdown list that showcases great gospel videos within a specific unique theme - great choirs, sweet voices, southern gentlemen, and many more.
-- "Represent" (Friday, 8-11pm Eastern) -- An eclectic mix of pop, rock and hip hop videos from the Gospel world, a three-hour block of the hottest artists for young viewers.
-- "Gospel Music Channel News" -- a series of original news features that go inside the industry - the events, concerts, and behind-the-scenes happenings that shape the world of gospel music.

About Elvin Ross
"Gospel Dream" Creator and Executive Producer Elvin Ross is CEO of SONHO Entertainment and president of Full Gospel Entertainment. Additionally, Elvin has composed a memorably melodic movie score for what was recently the #1 movie in the country, Tyler Perry's "Diary Of A Mad Black Woman" for Lions Gate Films. He will begin musical composition on the Tyler Perry/Lions Gate follow-up movie, "Mae Dear's Family Reunion". Elvin is currently in the recording studio with "Gospel Dream 2004" Winner Stephanie Dotson, who will soon be touring to promote her new, untitled project due out September 2005.

A NAACP nominated composer (Music Score, Original Songs, Musical Director), Elvin has composed music for an extraordinary number of hugely successful urban theatrical productions, including Tyler Perry's "I Know I've Been Changed," " I Can Do Bad All By Myself," " Diary Of A Mad Black Woman," "Madea's Family Reunion," " Meet The Brown's," " Madea Goes To Jail," Bishop T.D. Jakes' "Woman Thou Art Loosed" and NAACP-nominated "Behind Closed Doors."

About Gospel Music Channel
Gospel Music Channel is the first, advertiser-supported cable television network dedicated to the rich history and contemporary sounds of gospel music, its many styles and artists. Launched on October 30, 2004, the network's program schedule features artists' biographies, music specials, live concerts, and hosted music video blocks highlighting all styles of gospel music targeted to all age groups and demographics. The company was founded by cable television industry executives, Charles Humbard and Brad Siegel in April of 2004. Alpine Equity Partners L.P. and Constellation Ventures, a Bear Stearns Asset Management Venture Capital Fund, are financing Gospel Music Channel. For more information visit www.gospelmusicchannel.com.

Contacts
The Lippin Group / NY
Don Ciaramella / Matt Biscuiti, 212-986-7080
don@lippingroup.com
matt@lippingroup.com
or
The Lippin Group / LA
Jeanne O'Keefe, 323-965-1990
jokeefe@lippingroup.com




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