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Lime TV, formerly known as the WISDOM Television, is now defunct as a traditional television network and has instead focused and expanded into new digital media. The current Lime online website offers information and entertainment centered around physical and mental health with a soft focus on organic ingredients, whole foods consumption, mental conditioning through meditation and yoga, and physical fitness. Up until February 2007, Lime's programming was available on certain digital cable and satellite systems (primarily DISH and Comcast Digital). Now, it is available only over the Internet, mobile web, and satellite radio, with a small sampling of Video on Demand features on some cable systems. Like many production companies and internet ventures, Lime also produces several DVD titles. Themes include the Lime Simple Steps. Lime's main slogan is: "Healthy Living with a Twist".

The Lime television network was previously known as "The WISDOM Television and Radio Network". In 2005, the network was acquired by a company led by AOL Co-Founder, Steve Case. The channel was soon renamed and rebranded as Lime TV. The details of Case's acquisition have never been publicly disclosed, but the purchase by Case's company included WISDOM's carriage and distribution contracts with DISH, Comcast, Insight Communications, and Sirius Radio, as well as WISDOM's programming library.

WISDOM Television and Radio was founded in 1999 by William Turner in Bluefield, West Virginia. Turner (no relation to Ted Turner) was an early entrant into the cable and satellite television business. He introduced regional cable television service in the Bluefield, West Virginia, area and then expanded into the C-band service (large dish) business with potential exposure in most major US cities. By the late 1990s, Turner, while considering joining Sirius Radio, was convinced to try and become a "satellite TV network". Wisdom (a name Turner was later sued over, and lost) was born. The tiny network fielded an eclectic mix of quasi-religious, old filler re-runs and "inspirational" shows, that touched on the broad vague notions of personal growth but more often quasi-religious inspiration in the vein of author Wayne Dyer. Turner employed a number of friends, in-laws and local residents from the Bluefield, West Virginia, area and a wide range of outside "consultants" from all over the US, including New York and California. Turner was known as a generous man, and attracted legions of wannabe "television producers" of all levels of skill to him seeking programming deals. His generosity also attracted members of his fifth wife's (Brenda Turner) family. Brenda Turner daughter, Cindy Sheets, was named as CEO, although she had virtually no media experience, no background in internet, television, radio or print media. Her mother, Brenda, declared herself, "CVO", or Chief Visionary Officer. Many of the internal battles developed around these two personalities. Sheets, a fundamentalist Christian, found much of Bill Turner's programming interests offensive and opposed to her beliefs. Sheets steered programming towards bland, quasi-religious inspirational content. Mrs Turner meanwhile, pushed in the other direction, attempting to green-light more progressive projects. But the conflict between the two was so deep, neither prevailed and little in the way of broadly appealing programming came to light.

Programs were generally chosen on whim, were usually one-offs and almost all failed to fit into a broad cohesive content theme. Many programs were simply inexpensive filler shows, 'got on the cheap', while others were old "one-offs" produced by outside producers on an ad hoc basis. Viewership was virtually unmeasured, and understood to be in the hundreds (100's) not thousands or millions. Some thought viewership was in the dozens, perhaps less. Viewership was so suspect, thirty second commercials are said to have sold for as little as $10 a spot. In theory, the programming was intended to help viewers improve their lives and the world. But fierce divisions within the company kept a cohesive programming focus, or brand identity from emerging. Many employees from the Bluefield area, a heavily fundamentalist Christian area, felt anything resembling 'new age' was the "work of the devil," and these factions applied enormous pressure on Mr Turner to exclude these kinds of ideas. They often prevailed. The resulting compromise filled the 'network' with an odd mix of truly boring and often off-point programs. For example, debates raged over whether or not to recognize the mainstream growing organic movement, the fair trade movement or traditional Chinese medicine as legitimate programming subjects. So Mr Turner steered toward the vaguely inspirational themed programs, quasi-religious in feel and look. Overall Wisdom's programming had a decidedly 80's look and feel. The results were twofold: no audience developed and what few did watch, when surveyed, perceived the programming as religious. This perception was an ongoing problem, as the DISH contract forbade Turner from featuring religious programming. It is estimated that William Turner invested $75-$100 million dollars attempting to establish and launch the network before his death in 2002.

Present day Lime TV, combines community and editorial content with streamed video and social networking tools. Lime.com includes features such as The Meditation Room, eco-celebrity gossip in The Green Room, a news feed and articles, tips, and polls. Lime.com is also the home of a feature called Live the Change that offers simple tips that make big changes for living better. Updated weekly, Lime's podcasts offer nine channels of content covering tips and information from Lime Radio and Lime Television hosts, specifically customized for podcast content. Podcast topics include eco-friendly gardening, fighting stress, parenting skills, and relationship advice.

Lime Radio was a 24/7 channel on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 114. It offered 12 daily hours of live call-in shows. Hosts include Andrew Weil, herbal pharmacist Dave Foreman, supermarket guru Phil Lempert, Jesse Dylan, Neale Donald Walsch, Josh Dorfman ("The Lazy Environmentalist"), Mel Robbins and Karen Salmansohn. The channel has been discontinued on February 13, 2008.

Lime Wireless provides mobile phone information on wellness, sustainability and personal growth. It is currently available on Sprint and Verizon Wireless via the On-The-Go Mobile Web 2.0 Community.

Wisdom Media Group was purchased by Steve Case to become Lime

On January 29, 2007, Lime announced they would discontinue the television channel in favor of online content distribution.[1] Both Comcast Cable and Dish Network notified their subscribers that the last day of Lime TV service would be February 25, 2007.

In August 2007, LIME was purchased by GAIAM, a health and wellness company that operates GAIAM.com.

See also

References

  1. ^ Lime TV Going Dark, Multichannel News, January 29, 2007

External links

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