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Military Channel gets new name, mission

WWE superstar John Cena sights in with an

WWE superstar John Cena sights in with an M-4 rifle on the firing range with soldiers from the 1-38 Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team during a tour of the base operations at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Fort Lewis, Wash. WWE stars were on base to tape the 11th annual WWE Tribute to the Troops holiday show. (Dec. 11, 2013) Credit: AP

The Military Channel, which has long had an image problem (what's on it? shows about the Army? Guns? Soldiers? What!?), set out to correct that this morning with a new name and direction:

The American Heroes Channel, starting March 3, will offer "a rare glimpse into major events that shaped our world and the trailblazers and unexpected advocates who made a difference." Which sort of sounds like the History Channel -- or at least what the History Channel used to be on a regular basis. With THC broadening into dramatic scripted programming -- and successfully so -- Discovery Communications, which owns the soon-to-be-former-Military Channel, may well see an opportunity here.

In fact -- aha! -- that's what David Zaslav, chief of DCI, indicates in this statement: “We see a tremendous opportunity to provide more history-based, narrative-style documentary programming that viewers have come to know and love from Discovery Communications. The American Heroes Channel will be the next great platform for Discovery to engage and entertain an information-hungry audience with a network that provides an exciting intersection of military and history programming."

In fact, while American Heroes will still offer shows about the military, the new lineup offers a documentary series on war cameramen (which is actually a great idea), the CIA and something about "codes and conspiracies."

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