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Published: Tuesday, 5/17/2011

eScapes makes its debut on Buckeye

Monroe firm offers soft music on TV

BY LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Officials from eScapes — a new Monroe-based TV network that features passive extended-shot video footage from cities and locales around the world set to soft music — were at One Government Center Monday to inaugurate the channel’s debut on Buckeye CableSystem’s channel 168.

Buckeye is the first cable operator in the nation to carry eScapes, which was the brainchild of Monroe entrepreneur Bob Oklejas, his wife, Kate, and business partner, Roy Radokovich.

Mr. Oklejas said eScapes’ viewing niche is those who like to leave their televisions on but are too busy with other things to engage in a show with a plot. The programming is interrupted only by four minutes of commercial messages an hour.

Mr. Oklejas, who founded Monroe industrial firm Pump Engineering Inc. and sold it in 2009, started eScapes last year and has spent $1 million developing his idea. The company hopes to break even in six months, then be in the black by selling subscription services to cable systems and satellite TV services and one-minute blocks of air time to advertisers.

The network will produce 100 to 150 separate 15-minute segments a month to keep viewers from seeing the same images. Among the initial images carried on the eScapes channel were some from metro Toledo, including shots of the Huntington Center, Promenade Park, and the downtown Toledo skyline.

Buckeye CableSystem is owned by Block Communications Inc., parent company of The Blade.



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