Beyond Nashville's Limits

With fare like country docu Lost Highway, cable channel Trio builds buzz by catering to critics

A year ago, the Trio Arts Network was a tiny, overlooked cable channel. Today it is a tiny, buzzed-about cable channel. How did it change? By catering shamelessly to people who write about cable channels. It reran "brilliant, but canceled" TV series, catnip for TV critics. It gave an interview show to Kurt Andersen, a media insider with a great following among other media insiders. And Trio's president, Lauren Zalaznick, has said that the network's focus on smart pop culture, through its documentaries and specials, "validates" the work of critics. Purrr!

Trio continues its canny strategy with its upcoming theme week,...

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