Court TV Adds Five Legal TV Newsers in Preparation for May Launch

By A.J. Katz 

The E.W. Scripps-owned broadcast company Katz Networks announced last month that it’s re-launching Court TV in 2019, including the brand’s trademark, website and 100,000 hours of original content it acquired from Turner Broadcasting.

The network is already building its on-air team in preparation for a May launch, and it announced this morning that Seema Iyer and Julie Grant will join Vinnie Politan at the Court TV anchor desk.

Iyer has served as a fill-in host on the former HLN program Crime & Justice with Ashleigh Banfield, while also appearing on MSNBC and CNN as a legal analyst. She has also worked for ABC and Fox affiliates as an anchor and reporter. Previously, Iyer was a prosecutor in New York. She went on to run her own criminal law practice in Manhattan where she represented the NYPD while also handling constitutional law and civil rights cases.

Grant is currently legal editor, anchor and reporter at KDKA-TV, the CBS station in Pittsburgh. She has also taught at Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law. Prior to joining KDKA, she was an anchor for three years at the Fox affiliate in Winston-Salem. Before that, she served as Assistant District Attorney of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) from 2009-2013.

Joining Iyer, Grant and Politan, Chanley Painter has been named Court TV legal correspondent, and veteran crime and justice journalists Ted Rowlands and Julia Jenaé have been tapped as field producers and reporters.

Painter served as a deputy prosecutor in Arkansas and was also in private practice before working in television, most recently serving as a Legal Analyst for the NBC affiliate in Little Rock, Ark. She studied law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, earning a place on the Law Review Editorial Board.

Rowlands is a crime and justice correspondent with more than 20 years of experience covering such high profile criminal cases as those involving O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Jodi Arias, Scott Peterson, Robert Blake and Phil Spector. He has worked for ABC News, CNN and in local TV, as well as serving as a contributor on crime documentaries produced by ABC, the BBC, Discovery ID and Turner Broadcasting.

A two-time Emmy-Award winning investigative journalist and attorney, Jenaé joins Court TV from the NBC affiliate in Jacksonville, where she was investigative and legal reporter after previously working for the ABC affiliate in Tyler, Texas. Several of Jenaé’s investigative reports have prompted state investigations, policy changes, legislative action and reimbursement of taxpayer money.

Politan was a popular face on the original network, leading coverage of the nation’s most compelling trials. A lawyer and former prosecutor, Politan has been covering the world of crime, trials and justice for more than 20 years, hosting legal and news programs on HLN, Sirius XM and, most recently, for the NBC affiliate in Atlanta.

Former Court TV and CNN producers John Alleva and Scott Tufts have already joined the new network as vice presidents and managing editors.

Adweek’s Sara Jerde reported back in December that the new Court TV “will run 24 hours a day, with coverage and analysis from trials, every day of the week and will be available for cable, satellite, over-the-air and over-the-top carriage.”

The network has secured over-the-air agreements with Tribune, Scripps and Univision, which means Court TV will be able to reach more than half of U.S. TV households at launch, with concurrent cable carriage of 25 percent of U.S. cable homes.

As of now, Tribune will carry Court TV in 22 markets, including New York; LA; Chicago; Philadelphia; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston; Miami-Fort Lauderdale; Denver; St. Louis; Seattle-Tacoma; and Sacramento.

Eight Scripps markets will carry Court TV, including Tampa, Florida; Detroit; Cleveland; Cincinnati; Las Vegas; Tulsa; Green Bay; and Tucson.

Entravision Communications’ 10 Court TV markets include Boston; Orlando; and Wichita.

Univision Communications will carry the network in San Antonio; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Bakersfield.

Citadel Communications will air Court TV in Providence.

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