Baby New Year
Felicia Minor missed out on her 2006 tax deduction, but the mother of the first baby born in Richmond this year made up for it. Antonio Lamont Teal, introduced into the world at 7:12 a.m., Jan. 1, will receive a one-year university contract through the Virginia Prepaid Education Program. In other words, his first year of college is already paid for.
Antonio, with drowsy eyes and a crown of dark curls, was clearly the star of the press conference held today at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital. Although the first baby of the year always garners news coverage, the other reason for the press conference was the cable launch of BabyFirstTV, which began airing on Comcast digital cable channel 125 today. It’s been showing on DirectTV — satellite — nationally since May 2006.
Richmond (chosen for its demographics) is the first cable market for the channel, which is geared toward newborns through 3-year-olds. Richmond magazine wrote about BabyFirst in August’s Family Matters special section. The channel, which features three-to-seven-minute “programs” (because babies have short attention spans) interspersed with 1-minute intervals geared toward parents, does not show commercials. It costs $9.99 a month, but during January it’s free if you get digital cable.
Critics worry about exposing babies to a great deal of television, but BabyFirst representatives note that they have the approval of several pediatricians serving on the channel’s board. What do you think?