A+E Networks says it plans to rebrand its Bio channel as FYI, a lifestyle network in the summer of 2014.
The new network, which will be available in nearly 70 million homes, will be overseen by Jana Bennett, who joined the company earlier this year and is president of LMN, and is expected to be built around some of the real estate shows now appearing on A&E Network.
The transition of Bio, originally a spinoff of A&E, into a lifestyle network will put it more directly into competition with Scripps Networks Interactive’s channels such as HGTV and Food Network. A&E is a joint venture of Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp. Hearst Corp. is also a partner in publishing magazines based on Scripps Networks brands including HGTV and Food Network.
"The transition to FYI is the next phase in our strategy to bolster the A+E Networks portfolio by evolving and maturing our brands to allow for future growth in the rapidly changing media landscape," Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks, said in a statement. "FYI will be an upscale network with a younger and more modern sensibility than what we've seen on traditional lifestyle networks, in an effort to appeal to an audience that has been underserved on linear but thrives online."
FYI is in development on more than 30 potential new series, the company said.
"FYI is defined by the world we live in today—offering viewers a less prescriptive, more adventurous approach to their taste, space, social life and look," said Bennett. "Gone are the days where consumers are looking for experts to instruct them how to live. Together with our partners and audiences, we are building a new brand that embraces personal creativity and the sharing of the best ideas on air and online."
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