When NBCU’s male-skewing Esquire Network launches later this month, it will replace the Style Network, rather than G4, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The decision to rebrand the network 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% overlap), Bravo (69% overlap) and younger-skewing Oxygen (58% overlap).
By removing Style, the remaining three women’s nets should be able to better serve their respective audiences. For Esquire, the move enables the men’s lifestyle net to launch on a larger platform. Style in more than 75 million homes compared to G4’s 62 million. The move will be made 9/23, said the story.
“In pursuit of that same demo [as Bravo, E! and Oxygen], Style presents brand overlap within our portfolio,” THR reported Hammer saying in an internal memo explaining the decision, which will result in layoffs and an employee reshuffling.
Style president Salaam Coleman Smith will remain with the network through the transition, at which time she is likely to find another role at NBCU. 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, said the story.