GSN Getting Into the Gossip Game

Jul 31, 2006  •  Post A Comment

GSN has gotten the granddaddy of the tabloid business, The National Enquirer, to play its new celebrity gossip game “Starface.”

The network has formed a brand integration partnership with Enquirer owner American Media that spans TV, print and the Internet. The deal gives the Enquirer exposure on TV and GSN promotion in the tabloid and its sister publication, the Globe.

“Our viewers like to read The National Enquirer, the show is about celebrity tabloid news, and it just couldn’t be more perfect,” said Dena Kaplan, senior VP of marketing for GSN.

The first round of “Starface” will be “The National Enquirer Hot Corner.” It will feature a picture of a celebrity, and questions about that celebrity will be asked.

In return for product placement, GSN will get a “Starface” column in The National Enquirer and advertising in the Enquirer and Globe. GSN will also produce behind-the-scenes video from the show that will be streamed from the Enquirer’s Web site.

“It’s a great match for GSN, for our viewers and a great marketing vehicle to extend our reach for the show’s promotion,” Ms. Kaplan said.

“Starface,” hosted by Danny Bonaduce, the former child actor and recent reality show star, debuts Aug. 1. The show runs Tuesday through Saturday at 9:30 p.m., following another new show, “Chain Reaction,” from Michael Davies. The word game, featuring a team of three men against a team of three women, is a revival of a show that aired on NBC in 1980. Dylan Lane, a Fuse VJ, is the host.

GSN will launch a campaign that features the two new shows plus “High Stakes Poker” and “Playmania.” The campaign uses the slogan “Get in the Game.” The network will also run tune-in spots for “Starface” that will show people trying to remember the name of a celebrity by using gossip as hints about their identity, as in, “What’s the name of the guy who’s married to the girl who had an affair?”

“Everyone can relate to that,” Ms. Kaplan said.

The deal helps give the Enquirer exposure on TV. David Pecker, chairman and CEO of American Media, said the integration “gives us the chance to reach out to a growing market of game-related programming on national network television. We are excited about this deal and believe it will further our effort to promote our publications through new mediums.”

The National Enquirer was the basis for a syndicated gossip show hosted by Mike Walker that was distributed by MGM from 1999 to 2001.

AMI’s Star magazine has a deal with to provide video commentary via TiVo, and the company recently developed a reality show called “One Park” that followed its reporters as they gathered celebrity news.