Documentary Channel sold

L.A.-based buyer to combine network with North Carolina company

Updated to correctly identify former CEO James Ackerman's status

The Nashville based Documentary Channel has been sold to a major media company for an undisclosed amount and will be rebranded in the near future, according to industry reports.

Participant Media, the production company behind films like Al Gore's Oscar winning An Inconvenient Truth and buzzworthy films Food, Inc. and Waiting for Superman, has acquired the assets of The Documentary Channel as well as Charlotte-based Halogen TV. Participant executives say they will combine the two channels and create an unnamed new one that is expected to launch next summer.

The Documentary Channel features documentary programming, airing independent documentary films from around the world. Halogen TV airs feature-length films, documentaries, short films and original reality programs that center on making positive social changes.

Participant Media, based in Los Angeles, has not announced what will become of its acquired Nashville and Charlotte operations but its leaders say their new channel will have original programming as well as documentaries. Some of those named as content providers are Brian Graden (former president of programming at MTV, VH1, CMT, and the LGBT channel Logo), Brian Henson (chairman of the Jim Henson Co.), Davis Guggenheim (director of An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman), Meghan McCain (daughter of U.S. Sen. John McCain), and Morgan Spurlock (director of Super Size Me).

The Documentary Channel was launched in 2006 as a public interest channel on satellite provider DISH. It relaunched in 2009 as a for-profit entity and with parent Solidus as an investor.

James Ackerman, the former CEO of The Documentary Channel, left the company in October and could not be reached for comment on this story.