G4 To Become… Esquire Channel?!
Back in October, NBCUniversal finally signalled the death of G4’s current incarnation with the cancellations of “Attack of The Show” and “X-Play.” Throughout 2012, rumors have been swirling about an attempt to give G4 a GQ makeover.
That still appears to be in the cards for the network, but with a different magazine title attached.
Deadline is reporting that NBCUniversal is in talks with Hearst to possibly rebrand G4 as Esquire Channel; which would be branded around Hearst’s long running men’s magazine, Esquire.
According to Deadline, negotiations are underway but no deal is currently in place. NBCU and Hearst were previously co-owners of A+E Networks before NBCU sold its stake in the networks earlier this year.
UPDATE: 9:30pm Friday, December 07
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it's a done deal. G4 will become Esquire Channel.
For G4, the demise of the brand itself is only an afterthought. By alienating the geek audience that it had cultivated, the writing was on the wall long before the end of “X-Play” and “Attack of the Show.” G4’s focus had been shifting away from geek centric media and more towards lowest common denominator programming like repeats of “Cops” and “Cheaters.”
Fans of the former Sci-Fi Channel can certainly relate to G4 viewers. And there’s even a common thread between them. As President of Syfy, Bonnie Hammer helped oversee the transformation of that network into whatever the hell it is now, with a mishmash of fake Ghost shows, wrestling, reality series and the occasional light sci-fi show.
Hammer is currently the Chairman of NBCU Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios, so part of the G4 rebranding comes from her directives. And just to bring it home for Geeks one more time, Hammer canceled “Mystery Science Theater 3000” back in 1999.
That’s it… Hammer’s off the Christmas list!