NBC Daytime’s Assault

For the past few years, the NBC local stations have been largely out of the daytime game, with only Warner Bros.’ Ellen driving any sort of rating in the sunlit hours once the Today show signed off.

The group hopes to change that with this season’s launch of three new shows: Sony’s The Nate Berkus Show, an Oprah spinoff; NBC Universal’s off-Bravo The Real Housewives, which has been a big hit for Bravo; and Access Hollywood Live, which aims to bring viewers all the day’s news from Hollywood in a fresh format. Nate and Real Housewives will air on all 10 NBC owned stations, while Access Hollywood Live will air in a limited test on six NBC owned stations and six Fox O&Os.

To launch that lineup, the NBC stations are creating brand marketing that captures the flair of the new shows along with the fun of Ellen. “We’re working toward a soup-to-nuts rebranding of our daytime’s identity,” says Brad Soroca, senior VP of marketing for NBC Local Media. “We really feel like having a cohesive brand campaign is important to creating this destination. We want to capture the essence of each of these personalities, from the fun of Ellen’s dancing to Nate’s style and the energy behind all of the Real Housewives. The new campaign is all about color, pace and fun.”

The NBC stations have about a month to accomplish that sizable task, with syndication’s new season launching Sept. 13. While the group is creating an overall brand campaign, Soroca and his team are working with the brand director at each station to create customized promos for that market.

The group also will get an assist from its network and syndication marketing arms. They are partnering to create a cross-promotion featuring the network’s soap opera, Days of Our Lives, and Real Housewives that will rebrand the reality show as a new sort of daytime soap.

“From a network, we see it as a benefit for us,” says Scot Chastain, NBC’s senior VP of affiliate marketing and development. “By pairing the two, we send more of a youth audience to Days, and we expose an older audience to Housewives. There’s a lot of cross-blending potential there.”

The promo will incorporate clips from both shows, highlighting how they are thematically similar. “It’s all about daytime, drama and divas,” says Donna Mills, senior VP of marketing, affiliate relations and communications for NBCU Domestic TV. The promo will air on all 10 of NBC’s owned stations, and on 27 other NBC affiliates.

NBCU also plans to run a radio contest in the top 15 markets in which disc jockeys talk up Housewives with their listeners. In exchange, NBCU is offering daily prizes and a grand-prize girls’ getaway for the stations to give away.

Beyond those efforts, NBC Local Media is buying off-air media and working with partners to promote the new lineup in its entirety. “This is a great opportunity to really inject some life into daytime,” Soroca says. “We have a great story to tell about a fun, energetic, lively group of shows that we think fits nicely into this daytime umbrella we are building.”

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Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.