NY Times

One of the Most Successful Cable Channels of the Past Decade Is About to Undergo ‘Radical Rebranding’

Oct 6, 2015  •  Post A Comment

A cable channel that has been a major success story is about to go away. “One of the most successful cable channels of the last decade, ABC Family, will get a new name and undergo a radical rebranding as it stops chasing millennials and pushes toward even younger viewers it calls ‘becomers,'” The New York Times reports.

ABC Family will become known as Freeform beginning in January. The Times notes that the name beat out another contender, “Ink.”

“Freeform,” the story notes, “reflects the ‘fluid’ way that teenagers and young adults — now and tomorrow — consume media, said Tom Ascheim, the channel’s president.”

In a phone interview, Ascheim commented on the channel’s traditional target audience of millennials, telling the paper: “We looked up from our research and said, ‘Oh, golly. They’re turning 40.’ ” The report notes that ABC Family sells advertising aimed mainly at the 18-34 demo.

“Freeform, which was announced on Tuesday, does not yet have a logo, but early marketing materials veer sharply away from the restrained imagery that ABC Family has long used,” the story reports. “A Facebook video created to introduce the new name and look, for instance, relies on a rapid patchwork of fonts and images — appearing much more like MTV than Disney.”

Ascheim commented: “There is a brand opening in the house of Disney, between the kids brands [and] the bigger adult brands.”

Here’s the clip announcing the rebranding:


  1. “Fluid…” God I DESPISE that term.

  2. Great! Since it is officially no longer targeted to me, it can be removed from the required channels on my cable subscription that I have to pay for and never watch?

  3. I suppose that means they’ll dump the Christmas programming next year too as that’s not very hip or 18 – 34.

    I’ll never understand why advertisers spend all that money chasing consumers without money to buy things and as soon as consumers get some money, advertisers abandon them; strange.

  4. One of the stupidest name changes in the history of television. Who ever thought this one up probably did absolutely no research to see what peoples reaction to it would be.

  5. Freeform? Does anyone in the target demo even use that word much less know what it means?

  6. What a good way to confuse people, and lose the viewers the cable channels have.
    I know ABC Family, I will remember ABC Family, but will quickly forget about the Freedom network. How many other cable channels have changed their names, to be renamed something else that people have no desire to watch, and are quickly forgotten in the vast number of cable channels. TruTV comes to mind, or that channel that was once CourtTV.

    Cable channel names aren’t supposed to be like TV shows that only last a few years, then disappear into TV history.

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