ABC has made the decision to discontinue one of its networks. B&C reports that the broadcaster plans to pull the plug on its homegrown digital Live Well Network in January 2015.
"Focused on food, fashion and travel, Live Well was viewed as an example of what broadcasters could pull off in the multicast space, with original programming and partner stations both within the ABC owned group and outside of it. But the numbers were not working for ABC," B&C reports.
In a letter to their Live Well partners, Rebecca Campbell, president of ABC Owned Television Stations, and Peggy Allen, Live Well VP of programming and operations, said: “Despite Live Well's tremendous accomplishments in distribution and original programming, we made a strategic decision that our priority must be local content, and we want to maximize our investment in our core local news brands in the digital space."
The report notes: "Spearheaded by former WLS Chicago president/general manager Emily Barr, the ABC-owned stations launched Live Well Network, initially known as Live Well HD, in the spring of 2009. In the fall of 2010, five Belo stations began airing it."
The network is distributed to almost 64% of U.S. households.
B&C adds: "Live Well’s shows, which are primarily produced by the owned stations, include 'Sweet Retreats' and 'Let’s Dish.' Partner stations include Allbritton’s WJLA Washington, Gannett’s KING Seattle and Scripps-owned WCPO Cincinnati, along with ABC’s owned group."
ABC has not said what will replace Live Well, nor has the network revealed the number of staff positions that will be cut, the report notes.