Canadian specialty cable channel seeks kid advice

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TORONTO--YTV, Canada's leading kids' network, has created an ongoing kids' advisory panel called Swat (Stay Weird All the Time). The panel is made up of 13 eight to 11 year olds, and will provide YTV with regular feedback on the cable channel's new initiatives, emerging kids' trends, and insights into kid culture. YTV intends to use the information to keep their programming lineup wacky, edgy, fresh and relevant to kids, according to Paul Robertson, president of YTV.

"The members of Swat are creative, savvy, articulate and plugged in. Their self-proclaimed mandate, "Kids for Weirder YTV", will support our ongoing efforts to enhance the unique experience kids have with YTV," he says. YTV wants to know about the latest school yard slang and get story ideas for YTV's new kids' magazine show, YTV Whoa! that goes on air in June. The broadcaster also wants to know what kids are looking for in contests and other programming.

The Swat kids will have ongoing interactions with YTV through meetings and by e-mail. The panel was created by In-Sync Consumer Insight, a market research company with expertise in the kids' market.

YTV will also continue to do other in-field research, annual surveys on teens, and host a number of grass roots activities across the country. YTV gets over 3.5 million hits per week on its popular Web site, one way its viewers stay in touch.

Copyright May 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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