I had a feeling this was coming.
Bringing viewers compelling, real-world stories of heroism, military strategy, technological breakthroughs and turning points in history, Discovery Communications, Inc. will transition its Discovery Wings Channel to the Military Channel on Monday, Jan. 10, 2005.
Despite the fact that D-Wings had an annoying habit of playing the same shows over and over again, it was still better than much of the stuff on television. From a marketing perspective, the switch to a military channel is shrewd. Many folks either have friends or family serving abroad or know someone who does.
There were some interesting series on D-Wings: Learning to Fly, From the Ground Up, Aviatrix, and so on.
I hope Discovery will spread new and existing aviation programming around rather than drop it completely. Few people outside of general aviation appreciate its usefulness or contributions to the economy. Anything that educates the public about GA is a plus, and the Discovery Wings channel was at least a step in the right direction.
That’s too bad, especially since The Military Channel seems to exist already. It’s called The History Channel.
It may be just me, but I think that niche channels like D-Wings may be becoming fewer and further between. Cable ratings are miniscule by network comparison, but these guys are still after dollars, and the sad truth is that they will cater to whatever brings in the most money. This is why D-Wings will be gone soon. This is why Tech TV pretty much gutted all of its techno-geek centered programming. This is why The Learning Channel truncated their name to initial form, hired Paige Davis, and eschewed all learning. As you somewhat alluded to, a move to The Military Channel makes sense, but make no mistake the impetus behind said move.
And another thing…since the Military Channel will exist, can The History Channel start showing other aspects of history more? Personally, I think it would be great to see them delve into more Post WWII history, but I have a feeling that there’s a few people amongst the station’s controlling interests who probably think devoting hours to, say, Nixon’s visit to China or The Chicago 7 would be too pop cultureish due to its historical youth.