Ovation Gets Artsy Makeover

Arts channel Ovation TV is rebranding as simply "Ovation" as it heads into upfront meetings with ad agencies sporting a new logo and on-air look and plans for new series and programming stunts.
The new logo features gold, concentric circles and suggests a speaker, a klieg light or a pebble dropping in water, senior vice president of programming Kris Slava said. The color is "Ovation gold," as in the gold standard of arts entertainment programming, senior vice president of marketing Gaynor Strachan Chun said.
The Web site and on-air graphics also change, effective today (March 1). Ovation worked with Oishii Creative on the new look.
Ovation plans a "chunky" increase in its programming budget this year, Slava said, and will do some national advertising this summer (for its "American Revolutionaries" stunt) for the first time, Chun said.
The new look comes as the channel approaches 40 million households and has evolved its programming the past three years Slava, a former Bravo executive, has been with the Hubbard Media-owned service.
A new series, The Scenic Route, a travel show hosted by Los Angeles Times writer David Keeps, premieres Sunday, April 11, as part of a two-week stunt called "Passport Ovation." Keeps goes where photographer Edward Weston and novelist John Steinbeck's worked in California, explores lighthouses and visits the artists' enclave in the Mojave Desert.
Starting March 28, the network looks at religious controversies in a stunt called "Sacred to Profane."
A high-definition version of Ovation launches in July, around the time the network's centerpiece stunt, "American Revolutionaries," returns. This year the theme is American directors, Slava said, and movies such as Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets.
Ovation isn't Nielsen-rated (and has no current timetable for that, Chun said) but has seen "3-digit-growth" in ad-sales every year, according to Slava.
Last year, the network had success with Acura, Hallmark Cards (which just wrapped an online contest seeking new card designs) and Target (which is backing a new musical-instrument museum in Phoenix that Ovation will feature in a special in April).
"We have a great demo," Chun said. "We've got fabulous ways that we can do product integration and we're multi-platform."

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Nexttv.com. Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.