NBCUniversal‘s fledgling Esquire Network now will launch on the Style Network rather than on G4, as has been planned for months, the company said Monday.
News of the surprise switch came via an internal memo in which Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group, told employees that Style, with 71% of its offerings also appearing on E! and 69% appearing on Bravo, presents brand overlap with other channels within the NBCU portfolio. The strategic move, according to the memo, will let the company’s three remaining female-skewing networks, Oxygen, E! and Bravo, target their respective audiences with greater precision while clearing up a broader launch platform for Esquire—Style reaches more than 75 million homes; G4 only 62 million.
“One of the hallmarks of our success is brand clarity,” Hammer wrote.
In the wake of Style’s dismantling, Hammer said NBCU would seek to retain as many Style employees as possible, either at Esquire or one of the other female-centric networks. However, the move could still result in as many as 100 layoffs.
G4 is expected to remain as is for the time being, with little to no investment in any additional original programming.
Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.
Brief Take: In moving Esquire Network’s launch from G4 to Style, NBCUniversal seeks to clarify the brands of its other female-skewing channels, E!, Bravo and Oxygen, while giving Esquire a broader launchpad.