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TBS steps back from creating Women's Network

Facing high costs and stiff competition, Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System has suspended development of a new cable network aimed at women.

TBS will devote the resources instead to two other networks in development, a new cartoon channel and a regional Southeastern channel, as well as promoting its younger networks, including Turner Classic Movies and CNN Sports Illustrated.

TBS, in a statement released Friday, said it was "not in the company's best interest or in the best interests of our affiliates to actively pursue the creation of the Women's Network at this time."

The story was first reported in the Wall Street Journal.

The project, which had been in development for a year but announced just two months ago, would have faced stiff competition for female TV audiences from the already successful Lifetime channel and a new channel from Oxygen Media being developed by veteran TV producer Geraldine Laybourne and talk show host Oprah Winfrey. Oxygen has won backing from several major investors, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

TBS' women's channel would have included the participation of two magazine publishers, Time Inc., which is also part of Time Warner, and Conde Nast, publisher of Mademoiselle, Vogue and Glamour.

TBS had planned to put Pat Mitchell, an award-winning producer at CNN, in charge of the new channel.