BETs Musical Network Jazzes Up On-Air Look


Just in time for its fall season premieres, BET on Jazz unveiled a new on-air look and updated logo.

The new efforts, created by the Los Angeles-based Haley Miranda Group and introduced earlier this month, were designed to encourage potential viewers to "develop your sense of jazz," said BET on Jazz senior vice president and general manager Paxton Baker.

The network hopes to attract a general audience by reminding viewers that jazz is all around them, like a soundtrack for their lives, Baker added.

Jazz provides the background music for many of today's television commercials, as well as movies and even cartoons from the 1950s and 1960s, Baker said.

"We like to think of the Jazz channel as a lifestyles channel," Baker said. When deciding which networks to add, cable operators should consider jazz enthuisasts' desirable demographic attributes, he added.

This year, BET has added more mainstream programming to its lineup, such as documentaries on jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday.

BET on Jazz will support the new on-air look with print campaigns on a market-by-market basis. Although the new marketing efforts are the channel's most ambitious to date, Baker said a national campaign did not make sense from a manpower or financial-resources standpoint.

This week, Image Entertainment will release a BET on Jazz series of audio and video software for retail distribution. Featured artists include Roberta Flack, B.B. King and Lou Rawls.

The 5-year-old cable network claims about 6 million subscribers in such markets as Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, San Diego, Baltimore and metropolitan Washington, D.C. BET on Jazz has been in ongoing discussions with both DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp., but does not yet have direct-broadcast satellite carriage.

The 24-hour jazz channel has a toll-free hotline, 1-877-SEE-JAZZ, which consumers can call to request the network from their cable or satellite provider.