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Marianne Paskowski



Should Court TV Change its Name?

March 19, 2007 4:28 PM

Should Court TV Change its Name? That’s the bone media junkies have been gnawing at since Court TV’s owner Turner Networks announced that a name change was in store for the cable net that currently airs trial coverage by day and entertainment programming by night. Bipolar yes, but the strategy works for viewers.

Court TV doesn’t have major changes in line for its current programming strategy, with the exception of adding a few new shows, one starring Star Jones Reynolds. Otherwise the slate remains pretty much intact, for now. Court TV’s general manager Marc Juris has said in published reports that this is a case of a brand “outgrowing” its name. What that means is beyond me. He also said that advertisers were turned off by the name, saying to them it meant grizzly court reports. Like the rest of TV isn’t grizzly or violent?

Give me a break. According to Beta Research the brand Court TV has 96 percent recall. Also, the net’s ratings are up, but ad sales remain flat. Juris said the new name will be more generic. Like what Brand X? Personally, I wouldn’t mess with the moniker, but beef up the ad sales staff, whose heads are now working elsewhere.

So what will Court TV morph into? Let’s give Juris some unsolicited help here, since the company is hell bent on renaming this network. Perhaps Crime TV? Probably not, too specific and not generic. So marketing mavens, let’s all play the name game here and weigh in with some suggestions for this exercise in futility.

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Comments (9)

Jeff Mulligan:

Marianne,

I agree with you; a name change doesn't sound, pardon the pun, judicious. Any name change for a cable net is a radical proposition that risks mortal wounds for otherwise fixable franchises. Sure, it worked for Spike, where the name change and a commensurate radical programming strategy change attracted a much more saleable demo than The Nashville Network could gin up. But if Court TV is earning ratings gains and the demos haven't gone out of whack, why mess with success?

I suspect that, when one looks closer, you'll find that turmoil since the sale to Time and an inattention and laziness on the part of sales leaders, is prompting the name change idea. Sales leaders aren't leading, salespeople aren't selling, and a general corporate malaise has people reaching for simplistic solutions.

Jeff

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jeff,

Couldn't agree wth you more. But you didn't gin up a new name for Court TV. Perhpas there is not one.

Marianne

Cruiser:

Yo Blondie,

Gimmie a break! The first thing a lazy salesman complains about is the product that he can't sell. Either it's a lousy product or the price is too high, goes this age-old excuse of wimps. Since Court TV ratings are up, the product can't be half bad. So the finger pointers point to the name. It's a transparent admission by the sales panjandrums that they can't, or won't, sell this puppy. Like, ratings up! Duh!

Okay, rename it. Let's call it the Suit Channel. You can take anything you want from that name, lawsuits or the specter of lazy corporate suits unable to get off their butts and peddle.

Cruisin' not bruisin'

Marianne Paskowski:

Oh,
Cruiser,
At the negotiation table buyers always have a million reasons to say no. And Court TV has just given them another.

Marianne

Jim Forkan:

Hi Marianne
I agree that Court TV shouldn't be renamed, and doesn't need renaming. But how about Crime Time or The Real Deal?
And even though Court may be steering away from trials, it'd seem the Phil Spector murder trial was made for TV. A genius in the music biz, but a weirdo and a jerk otherwise!
Given Marc Juris' music background at Fuse, they could appeal to boomers with vintage music videos to open and close the Spector trial coverage -- videos from his "wall of sound" productions for the Righteous Brothers, the Ronettes, the Crystals, Darlene Love, Tina Turner, etc., etc. He even worked with the Beatles.
Sure, it'd be in bad taste but that's never stopped TV or cable folks before, right?
Jim

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Jim,

The problem with Phil spector is that his murder trail would only attract more old demos to Court TV. It shouldn't be a problem, but the net skews old, ala to boomers with all the bucks.
But that's Madison Ave. for you.

I kinda like CrimesRUs.It seems about as puerile as most media buyers on Madison Avenue actually are.

Back to you all,
Marianne

nosho:

How about JusticeTV, or just Justice? It links the daytime court coverage and the evening COPS/Forensic Files marathons, it's short and snappy, and along with Truth and The American Way, it's what Superman was always defending!

Also, the marketing taglines almost write themselves -- "Justice -- what everybody wants," or "Justice -- it's worth fighting for," or even, "You'll get Justice when you sign up with Time Warner Cable!"

Finally, with all the clutter in listing sections and UI's these days, it's got an easy-to-remember 3-letter abbreviation to display -- JUS. (Unless, of course, people think that it's a new food channel that focuses on gravy!)

Marianne Paskowski:

Nosho,

You are brilliant and hope you are well compensated for your marketing prowess. You know, it kind of resonsates, Justice TV. However, JUS, does havesome downside. Honestly, I thought of gravy too.

Thanks for sharing,
Mariannne

jharris:

Can anyone tell me why CourtTv is changing its programming? It is beginning to go off in los angeles an hour earlier. Does that mean that they are slowly going to stop showing the trials?

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