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Almost two years after absorbing Lifetime Entertainment, A&E Television Networks is changing its name to A+E Networks and embracing a new tagline: "Life is entertaining." The huge cable programmer-owned by Walt Disney Co., Hearst and NBCUniversal-is also looking to communicate a broad range of capabilities, networks and platforms.
"At A+E Networks, we've been in the business of reinventing storytelling since 1984. We took history out of the history books and we brought biography to life. For our viewers, we've invented new genres, told inspiring stories and broken barriers," said Abbe Raven, president and CEO of A+E Networks. "For our partners, we offered new networks, new audiences and new ways for brands to connect to customers. We're not just program makers, we are cultural trailblazers. And with a powerful portfolio led by A&E, History and Lifetime, we are incredibly excited for our next chapter."
The new name is being introduced at the company's upfront event on May 4, which Demi Moore, Tracey Gold, Tim Gunn, Catherine Bell, Larry the Cable Guy and Brooke Elliott are expected to attend.
By removing "Television" from its name, the company hopes to emphasize that its brands-including A&E, History and Lifetime-exist beyond the tube. Using the Networks moniker also fits in with the way other companies in the industry identify themselves, such as MTV Networks and Scripps Networks.
The company also has a redesigned logo, created by the New York agency Addiction. The A+E Networks name is designed to be a global entertainment brand, a brand that makes viewer say, "Oh, it's from A+E Networks, it must be good."
In the re-brand, A&E Networks is taking on this new mission statement: "Life is where we find our inspiration-where we look to find our stories, our characters and our ideas. At A+E Networks, we bring human stories to life, knowing that it is in life itself that those stories originate. We shine a light on both ordinary lives and our people so that they engage audiences across the globe. After all, life is entertaining, and entertainment is our life."
The re-brand also offers new mantras for the company's ad sales, distribution and international arms. Those goals include items such as embracing technology, taking more risk and proposing big innovative opportunities, and being a trusted partner.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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