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New G4 to "capture the essence of" Esquire magazine

The rebranding of G4 is almost complete

NBCUniversal is expected announce the conclusion of the deal that will see G4 Network become the Esquire Network. G4 Network confirmed the shift today in a post on its official website. The new channel was described as "an upscale Bravo for men" by NBC executive Bonnie Hammer, who also runs Bravo. Despite the name, the Esquire Network is not a joint venture between NBCUniversal and Esquire publisher Hearst Magazines; NBC retains full control.

"We own G4," Hammer told the New York Times. "There are no ownership issues here."

"This is not the magazine on TV; that would not work. The idea is to capture the essence of the magazine," said Hearst Magazines president David Carey. "We have a strong interest in this succeeding."

Hammer explained that the drive behind the change was moving away the game-playing demographic towards users more likely to watch television.

"Realistically, guys who are into gaming are not necessarily watching television," she said. "If this was going to come under my portfolio, I'm a little brand crazy, so I said, let's create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for."

"Much of today's programming targets men in a one-dimensional way," said Esquire Network general manager Adam Stotsky, who described the channel as a destination for "the modern man".

The Esquire Network is expected to premiere on April 22. The new channel will broaden G4's tech and gaming focus to include other topics, like politics, travel, and fashion. Early programming includes transplants from other NBC networks, including Parks and Recreation and Party Down, while new unscripted reality television shows, like Knife Fight and The Getaway, fill in the gaps.

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Latest comments (8)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
"Realistically, guys who are into gaming are not necessarily watching television," she said. "If this was going to come under my portfolio, I'm a little brand crazy, so I said, let's create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for."

Oh, really?

That's one absolutely clueless executive who needs to talk to people and stop reading charts and graphs all day. I watch a ton of stuff when I'm NOT playing games (a bunch of popular AMC, HBO and Showtime series you may know of), but I don't watch NBC shows at all and think the bulk of "reality" TV is shit on a stick (and it's not real unless you buy into the nonsense, most of which is conjured fakery), so guess which re-branded channel is losing at least one viewer?

Then again, it's not as if I enjoyed G4's last years of programming as it stopped running regular gaming-themed content and slid into oblivion, but then again... no one I know even reads Esquire, so I think they'll have a tough time at it (especially with executives who make quotes like the above)...
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Harrison Smith Studying Games and Graphics Programming, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology3 years ago
Removing G4 tech related shows for 24 hour marathons of Jersey Shore.
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Josh Meier3 years ago
The only thing that would bring me back to their channel would be reviving TechTV. I stopped caring when G4 took over.
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Benjamin Kratsch Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Games Network3 years ago
@Greg: You are thinking about the viewers, but they care about marketing. You can do a ton of money with such an esquire channel, because you get marketing potential from movies, games, fashion, technology, cars - all that brands. And the games industry doesn`t really need G4, because they have gametrailers as a partner for basically all big reveals.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
Oh, I know Benjamin - isn't it sad that I actually care as a viewer myself what I spend my time watching?

The problem is NOT thinking about the viewers leaves you with a channel ALL about marketing and I hate being marketed to, period. So do a lot of other people who prefer to think for themselves and not see show after show with endless and OBVIOUS product placement.

I watch TV to be entertained, not sold shit. Hopefully someone will figure this out and make a gaming network that's less about hype and spending too much money trying to generate interest and more about games in general.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers3 years ago
It was sad to see some of the oldest gaming related shows on the planet go, but honestly this idea sounds less terrible than some. Trying to appeal to men as men rather than men as neanderthals isn't something channels have done well with - it'll be interesting to see if they succeed.
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Paul Gheran Scrum Master 3 years ago
Get Tommy Tallarico to host it or stfu.
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Jason Pullara Podcaster 3 years ago
"Realistically, guys who are into gaming are not necessarily watching television"
She's right, they're watching Twitch.TV
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