NBCUniversal has changed its plans for a new cable network, which was previously announced as a replacement for G4. B&C reports that the new plan for Esquire Network is to replace Style Network.
NBCU Cable Entertainment Group Chairman Bonnie Hammer made the announcement Monday in an internal memo, the story reports. Esquire Network is set to launch Sept. 23.
Hammer cited brand overlap among the company’s portfolio of cable networks in making the decision.
In the memo, Hammer said: "Our goal has always been delivery of compelling content by means of distinct, complementary brands, each in its clearly defined lane. With Bravo, E! and Oxygen, we offer unique takes on popular culture for an ever-broadening audience, including the all-important female demo. In pursuit of that same demo, Style presents brand overlap within our portfolio."
The report adds: "As a result of the rebrand, current Style series like ‘Giuliana & Bill’ and ‘Tia & Tamara’ will remain on Esquire Network or move to one of the NBCU portfolio’s other female-targeted networks likely Bravo or Oxygen. Style Media President Salaam Coleman Smith will stay on through the transition while the company searches for another internal placement for her. Though NBCU will seek to minimize layoffs by moving Style staffers to other networks within the portfolio, some will certainly be laid off as a result of the rebrand."
Additionally, the piece notes that the move will make Esquire Network available to Style’s 75 million households vs. G4’s 62 million.
"Esquire Network general manager Adam Stotsky will remain head of G4 as well, which will remain as-is," the report adds. "The network canceled several of its long-running series like ‘Attack of the Show’ late last year in anticipation of the rebrand."