INSP Seeks a Broader Audience

The Inspiration Network is
undergoing a major rebranding
to add more faith-themed,
general-entertainment programming
like The Waltons to
the religion-based network’s
lineup, executives said.

Under the theme “It’s a New
Day!” the 60-million-subscriber
network will on Oct. 18 adopt
new network graphics and
refocused programming lineup
that will look to target socially
conservative baby boomers
with an emphasis on women
35 to 54, Inspiration Networks
chief strategy officer Bill Airy

“Our research said there’s
an opportunity to reach baby
boomers that self-identify
themselves as social conservatives
with a new kind of
faith-based programming
service that uses entertainment
programming with a
strong moral underpinning to
it,” he said. “It’s about building
a much broader audience for
the content that we off er while
weaving a faith-based message
throughout the programming

The network, currently
featuring minster-based, religious
music and documentary
programming, will add more
general entertainment-themed
series, specials and movies with
a faith-based message, Airy
said. It has acquired the rights
to the 1970s series The Waltons
and is in the process of completing
deals for several other
shows, although Airy would
not provide specific titles. INSP
currently airs the 1984-89 series
Highway to Heaven

As part of the rebranding,
INSP will eliminate all
late-night and early-morning
infomercials, Airy said. “We’re
also in the process of securing
sponsorships from mainstream
blue-chip advertisers that
have expressed interest in the
channel,” he said, although he
would not disclose specifics.

Airy said INSP will run interstitial
programming throughout
the day to emphasize
faith-based messages. “There’s
no mystery that we’re going
through a very difficult period
given the economy and the
global politics, and people are
looking for a safe harbor — a
channel they can watch and be
entertained and, at the same
time, hear a message of hope
and encouragement.”

Another network in the
company’s stable, i-Life TV, was
renamed Halogen and reprogrammed
last fall.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.