The Cable Music Channel (CMC) is an American basic cable channel that is owned by Turner and TimeWarner and operated by BLT Communications. The previous incarnation of this channel was owned by the Turner Broadcasting System. The all-music video channel was created by Ted Turner and launched in 1984, providing the first national competition to MTV. Turner later stated that the channel existed at the behest of the cable industry as a defense mechanism against MTV's unsuccessful attempts to increase the fees that cable providers paid to carry the channel by twofold; Turner offered the channel without any carriage fees. About 32 years after the shutdown of the original network, Turner Broadcasting Systems, now owned by Time Warner, announced plans of reviving the network. Time Warner named BLT Communications as the operators of the network, making it the third network that BLT Communications is operating (BLT also operates Turner South and CNNfn). Cable Music Channel was relaunched on Oct. 26, 2016, being the third network to relaunch, following Turner South (Oct. 12) and CNNfn (Oct. 22).

Original Launch

The idea of music on television was nothing new for Ted Turner. In 1970, Turner's Atlanta, Georgia independent station WTCG-TV (channel 17), aired an all-music program called The Now Explosion at night and on weekends, airing up to 28 hours a week. In 1983, Turner's superstation, which was known as WTBS at that point, launched a late night weekend music video block called Night Tracks. The success of Night Tracks led Turner to take on MTV with the Cable Music Channel.

CMC launched at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 26, 1984 with network president Robert Wussler at a podium in CMC's studios in Los Angeles introducing the network; "The Star Spangled Banner" was then played (which was a tradition whenever a new Turner-owned network launched). Afterwards, Wussler introduced CMC Vice-President and General Manager Scott Sassa to the podium. Sassa quickly greeted the crowd and then introduced 13th District Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson to the podium. Stevenson presented Ted Turner a proclamation from the City of Los Angeles signed by Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and Stevenson declaring October 26, 1984 as "Cable Music Channel Day." Turner gave a brief speech that the network is "gonna play a wide arrangement of music. We're gonna stay away from excessively violent or degrading clips towards women that MTV is so fond of running." Afterwards he pushed a big red button on the wall behind him and exclaimed a defiant "Take that, MTV!", the channel kicked off with CMC VJs Jeff Gonzer and Raechel Donahue introducing the Randy Newman music video "I Love L.A."


MTV focused on album-oriented rock and the VJ segments were pre-recorded; CMC, however, focused on contemporary hit music (which enabled the channel to play soft rock, crossover country, dance and urban hits) and broadcast live VJ segments. CMC also provided news, sports and weather reports. Another difference between Cable Music Channel and its main competitor was that MTV's video jockeys were seen on-air; whereas CMC's video jockeys were just heard via voiceover. MTV's studios and offices were based in a New York apartment; while CMC's studios and offices were located in a Los Angeles house (as opposed to Atlanta, where the headquarters of Turner Broadcasting System are located).

CMC promoted itself as avoiding sexually and violently explicit music videos to capitalize on the perception that MTV actually played those types of videos. In fact, MTV had strict guidelines about the types of behavior that could be shown in videos and frequently returned clips to record labels for re-editing.

As a Money-Losing Venture

It quickly became clear that CMC was losing money fast, due to an inability to reach agreements with cable providers (many of which did not have the space necessary to carry another all-music channel) or secure the rights to play top videos (MTV was accused of pressuring artists not to sell to CMC, citing "exclusivity" agreements). Despite an estimated audience of 2.5 million, on November 29, 1984, Turner decided to sell the assets of Cable Music Channel to MTV's parent company Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment for $1 million, with Warner-Amex agreeing to buy $500,000 worth of advertising for MTV on Turner's other channels in exchange, including CNN. WASEC used the channel (and its space on the Satcom satellite) to help form a new adult contemporary-focused sister network to MTV, VH1 (then known as Video Hits One, which featured a similar format as CMC), which launched just over a month later on January 1, 1985.

Original Shutdown

Cable Music Channel, in its 1st incarnation, officially shut down just before midnight Eastern Time on November 30, 1984; the last chyroned video aired was "Take Me to Heart" by Quarterflash, followed by a sign-off listing the entire crew of CMC interspersed through the video that first launched the network one month earlier, "I Love L.A." by Randy Newman. As the screen faded to black, CMC VJ Raechel Donahue said, "Well, it's not really goodbye you know darlings. We'll always be there somewhere so watch this space. Say goodbye y'all now." A male voice replied, "Goodbye y'all." Three seconds later, the signal was cut off.

CMC's five-week run made it one of the shortest-lived channels in American cable television history. The network's background graphics were recycled for use on Night Tracks for five years after CMC's demise.


By 2016, MTV and VH1 have all but stopped playing music videos, resorting to playing reality television shows and scripted drama. Realizing an opportunity, Time Warner (by now owners of Turner Broadcasting Systems) was looking to relaunch the channel. After careful planning and consideration, it was decided that the network would indeed relaunch on Oct. 26, (ironically the same date the network originally launch), and airs nothing but music videos.


Sticking true to it's promise of airing nothing but music videos, CMC has programming blocks, airing a top-40 weekly list every weekend. Also on the schedule is CMC's version of the VH1 classic "Pop Up Videos."

Programming Schedule








7 AM

CMC's Hit List (A block of brand new music from today's most popular and coming artists)

7:30 AM

8 AM

8:30 AM

9 AM

9:30 AM

10 AM

CMC Max (the latest mix of hits, including rap, EDM, and alternative music) CMC's Top 40 Countdown (A countdown of top music videos voted by the viewers)

10:30 AM

11 AM

11:30 AM

12 PM

12:30 PM

1 PM

CMC Indie (Hear tomorrow's next big names in alternative music while they're still ruling the underground) CMC Pop-Up Videos

1:30 PM

2 PM

Remember the Time (Playing classic music videos from the past)

2:30 PM

3 PM

3:30 PM

4 PM

CMC Rap City

4:30 PM

5 PM

5:30 PM

6 PM

CMC Rock Hits

6:30 PM

7 PM

7:30 PM

8 PM

CMC Music CMC Party (Playing Electric Dance Music) Saturday Night Fever (Playing Disco Music) CMC Gospel (Playing Christian/Gospel Music)

8:30 PM

9 PM

9:30 PM

10 PM

10:30 PM

11 PM

CMC Music

11:30 PM

12 AM

12:30 AM

1 AM

Night Tracks (Nonstop Music videos playing throughout the night)

1:30 AM

2 AM

2:30 AM

3 AM

3:30 AM

4 AM

4:30 AM

5 AM

5:30 AM

6 AM

6:30 AM


If you wish to be an affiliate of Cable Music Channel, feel free and add your station to the list. Keep in mind that the list is in alphabetical order.

Station Channel City State
KBLL 45.4 Great Falls MT
KCDR 45.4 Ruston LA
KEJY 7.4 Grimes LA
KHAT 36.2 Surprise AZ
KJJD 21.4 Longmont CO
KKMG 21.4 Pueblo/Colorado Springs CO
KLOY 8.2 Eloy AZ
KMMX 43.4 Mountain Hero/Branson AR/MO
KMO-TV 17.4 Fife WA
KNLL 40.4 Lubbock TX
KROC 11.4 Mason City IA
KTIE 56.2 McCook/Oberlin NE/KS
KVDH 28.4 Dickinson ND
KWSW 61.4 Eureka CA
WCNLN 29.6 Chicago IL
WBPG 55.4 Mobile/Pensacola AL/FL
WJEM 68.4 Valdosta GA
WLBV 21.4 Ontario OH
WMER 5,4 Meridian MS
WNLND 6.7 Detroit MI
WNLNY 60.6 New York NY
WPNLN 14.5 Philadelphia PA
WPTC 48.4 Macon GA
WSIC 10.4 Wayfield NJ
WSRA 21.2 Moultrie GA
WUSV 48.2 Corning/Elmira/Ithaca NY
WWTU 28.4 Blacksburg VA

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