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Chesapeake to launch Barnett Shale TV, hires Tracy Rowlett

Chesapeake Energy said Thursday it's launching an online video channel about the Barnett Shale, and it has hired longtime Metroplex TV anchorman Tracy Rowlett to anchor it.

Shale.TV is scheduled to begin airing this fall at and will initially run Monday through Friday evenings.

Rowlett will serve as anchor and managing editor of the program, which will include a live talk show featuring guests and industry experts discussing topics about the production of natural gas in the Barnett Shale.

"Coverage will also include public hearings, town hall meetings, panel discussions, and shows in which viewers can ask and interact with industry experts," Chesapeake said.

"This is not a corporate promotion or public relations initiative,’’ said Julie H. Wilson, vice president of corporate development at Chesapeake. “We have heard repeatedly and consistently from residents, critics, supporters, lessors, city staff, government officials, and civic leaders about the lack of consumer-friendly educational information available to the public about issues and opportunities related to natural gas drilling, production, and pipelines, particularly as they relate to an urban environment."

"We have listened and now we are responding by providing a forum for in-depth, independent discussions and analyses of these complex issues and opportunities," Wilson said. "We will focus initially on the Barnett Shale and later add content on other emerging shale plays throughout the U.S. We approached Tracy Rowlett to be the anchor due to his high level of viewer trust and credibility as a respected journalist."

Rowlett currently anchors the 5 p.m. newscast of CBS-affiliate KTVT Channel 11 and will leave the station this month to begin his new assignment with Shale.TV.

"What's happening in the Barnett Shale is the biggest story in North Texas right now," Rowlett said. "Whether you embrace it or not, natural gas drilling is impacting the lives of all of us in North Texas, if not the whole country. It's huge and North Texans deserve a place where they can turn for focused and informative coverage of what is happening in the Barnett Shale."