Alpha Mom TV can ease stresses of life with baby
By Katie Byers For The Times
24-hour on-demand cable channel offers trends, tips for many stages
There are thousands of books for new moms. Not to mention magazines and Web sites. Why not a cable channel?
This question, among others, hit new mom Isabel Kallman when she left her Wall Street job to raise her son. Used to a fast-paced lifestyle, Kallman spent months in "mother shock."
"I felt so unprepared as a new mother," she recalls. "But the more I learned, the more I learned to trust myself."
It wasn’t long before Kallman and longtime friend Vicky Germaise started wondering the same thing: With all the information out there, why is there nothing on TV to support new moms?
After months of research, they launched Alpha Mom TV, the first 24-hour parenting channel, in May. The video-on-demand network is free to Comcast Cable’s 9.1 million digital subscribers. It’s billed as a resource for "go-to" moms looking for the "newest innovations, hippest trends and research breakthroughs."
Viewers can select from more than 15 15-minute episodes, arranged in ages and stages, and updated monthly. Topics include everything from maternity fashions to "wee exercise" for newborns to introducing solids and finger foods.
"We are not looking to preach any kind of special antidote or prescription for these issues," says Kallman, a former senior vice president with Salomon Smith Barney who lives in New York City and now calls herself "chief operating mom." "It’s just exposing women to knowledge. If you know better, you do better."
Early on, Kallman and Germaise decided against a typical channel format. It’s just too difficult to find the right programming mix for parents whose schedules change quickly with the ages of their child. The video-on-demand service seemed to be the "perfect platform to watch what you want," says Germaise, a former record label marketing executive.
So far, they’ve landed one major advertiser, Procter & Gamble, and hope to be on other cable systems within 18 months.
Despite recent media backlash toward hyper-parenting, Kallman says better-informed moms will learn to trust their own instincts.
And, if nothing else, she subscribes to the age-old mommy wisdom inscribed on her business card: "Everything will be all right."
Published November 6, 2005.
Last updated November 6, 2005.