Comcast is consolidating its West Coast entertainment networks, bringing G4 management under the E! Networks tent.
E! and Style chief Ted Harbert has been given the newly created title of CEO, Comcast Entertainment Group. He will continue to report to Comcast Programming Group President Jeff Shell. G4 President Neal Tiles, who joined the network in September 2005, will now report to Mr. Harbert.
G4’s executive staff will move into E!’s Los Angeles offices. Sources said layoffs among the G4 staff are likely, though Mr. Harbert said it’s too soon to tell.
Mr. Harbert also said he has not yet decided whether G4’s Santa Monica production facilities will move as well.
Mr. Harbert’s duties for E! and Style will not change. As for G4, Mr. Harbert said he will weigh in on programming decisions but emphasized that Mr. Tiles will continue to run the network.
Since Comcast launched G4 in 2002, the network has had a difficult time gaining traction. Its video game brand attracts demographically desirable young male viewers, but too few of them. During the third quarter, G4 was ranked 57th out of 64 basic cable networks.
In the past year, the channel has tried to expand its brand to a general-interest young men’s network with acquisitions including “Star Trek” and “Arrested Development.”