Major news from The Hollywood Reporter today.
This move will likely result in layoffs it appears.
"In pursuit of that same demo [as Bravo, E! and Oxygen], Style presents brand overlap within our portfolio," Bonnie Hammer noted in an internal memo explaining the surprise decision, which will result in layoffs and an employee reshuffling.When the Esquire Network launches later this month, it will do so not on G4 but rather on the Style Network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.The decision to rebrand the latter — a tightly guarded secret until this morning — comes as NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group chairman Bonnie Hammer looks to better define the brands in her cable portfolio. Of the many female-skewing networks in her purview, Style has been the least distinct, with programming that overlapped with offerings on E! (71 percent overlap), Bravo (69 percent overlap) and younger-skewing Oxygen (58 percent overlap). By removing Style, the remaining three women's nets should be able to better serve their respective audiences without that added level of brand confusion. For Esquire, the move enables the forthcoming men's lifestyle net to launch on a considerably larger platform. Style is not only better situated than G4 on the cable dial but also in more than 75 million homes compared to G4's 62 million. The rebrand will still take effect Sept. 23.
Hammer and her team will look to retain as many Style employees as possible, be it at Esquire or at one of the company's other female networks, but, at worst, the move could result in nearly 100 layoffs. Conversations about where high-level Style staffers, including Smith, could be repositioned will take place over the coming weeks and months. (Given the hush-hush nature of the situation, such discussions have not been able to take place until now.)So where does this leave G4TV you ask?
G4 is expected to remain as is for the foreseeable future, though it's highly unlikely the company will invest in more original programming. Stotsky will remain in charge of that network as well as Esquire, which will remain his primary focus with regard to time, energy and resources.What will happen to G4 is now the big question.
We will have to wait and see.