Every day is a play day for Sandy Wax, president of the 24-hour children's channel PBS Kids Sprout.

Sprout, which targets preschoolers, was launched in 2005 and films each weekday in Philadelphia with almost 40 employees. It's a joint venture between Comcast Corp., London-based HIT Entertainment, the Public Broadcasting Service and Sesame Workshop.

Wax, a former senior vice president with Disney ABC Cable Networks, recently sat down for an interview on entertaining children, the YouTube trend among preschoolers and her thoughts on the new Comcast building.

Question:

How many homes get Sprout?

Answer:

We're in 37 million homes in the U.S., which is really unprecedented for a new cable channel launching in this environment.

Q:

I understand you recently moved into the Comcast Center. How did that go?

A:

We're about halfway up. And it's great. It's really a very bright and open and airy building. So we're loving it. We've only been there a week. . . . We shoot our live morning show in the actual building, down on the 24th floor, with our partners at Center City Film & Video.

Q:

You mentioned that you wanted to preserve some of the creative atmosphere from your old office at 2000 Market Street. Were you able to?

A:

When we started Sprout, we didn't fit in the main Comcast building, so they put us down the street. And it's kind of like when you're first married, and your first apartment, and how the furniture's not so great, but you love it because that's where you started. But I think we all know that Sprout is really much more than a place. It's really about the creative team that we're building. . . . It's very clean in the new building. And we like being close to Comcast.

Q:

There's been a lot of criticism of children and teenagers watching too much TV. What do you say to those comments?

A:

Parents rely on television to be a tool in their homes, whether it's to help prompt learning or entertainment, or just a chance to sit on the sofa and cuddle together. . . . And while we're 24-7, our philosophy is . . . to deconstruct half-hour shows into the individual stories. So when kids beg for "One more show, please, please, please," it's only 10 minutes.

Q:

Are there advertisements on Sprout?

A:

We have advertising, but we have very strict policies. All of our ads are parent-directed. So in other words, we're not taking the sugary cereals and things like that. We're taking Huggies Pull-Ups, a lot of travel destinations. Geico. We love the Geico gecko.

Q:

Which channels are your major competition?

A:

We're competing with nap time and snack time as much as we are with other channels.

Q:

Philadelphia isn't a center of entertainment production. Why are you here, and have you found advantages with Sprout in Philadelphia?

A:

There are great advantages to being in Philadelphia. I mentioned our partners are not just Comcast, which is Philadelphia-based, but Public Broadcasting, which is in the Washington, D.C., area, and both HIT and Sesame Workshop have offices in New York. So I consider myself the queen of the Acela. I'm always going back and forth to work with our partners, to really maximize this joint venture.

Q:

Do you hire actors?

A:

We do hire actors. In fact, we just cast two Philadelphia natives for our

Sunnyside Up

show. Kelly [Vrooman] and Sean [Roach] are two of our hosts.

Q:

Any disadvantages of being in Philadelphia?

A:

The main disadvantage is maybe some misperceptions of my coastal friends in L.A. and New York when we try to recruit. They tend to have an image of . . . cheesesteaks and Rocky. . . . So I always lure them down here and take them to a BYOB, and then we hang out at the galleries at Old City.

Q:

Give me a trend that you've noticed or are exploring or fascinated by.

A:

People want to be participating in the media that they're consuming. Even at a young age, like preschool. . . . When you go to our Web site, at

» READ MORE: www.Sproutonline.com

, you can see galleries of arts and crafts that kids and families have contributed to share. . . . So this YouTube nature of what's happening with media . . . is a really important trend, and we shouldn't leave the kids out of it.

Q:

What advice do you give to an aspiring woman in the entertainment industry?

A:

Just believe in yourself. . . . Take risks. Build a good support system, whether it's people that work with you, or your home and family. . . . And try to have some fun. Try to find something that you're really passionate about. . . . Because that makes coming to work every day a lot of fun.

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