Harbert to Focus on Style Site, G4


Las Vegas -- Comcast Entertainment Group will "redo" Style Network's Web site this year, as well as grappling with how to turn a demographic that has turned G4 into cable's most podcasted network into linear-cable-network viewers, according to CEO Ted Harbert.

As a featured speaker at the National Association for Television Programming Executives’ conference here, Harbert also said 2006 was "the year of the brand polish" at E! Entertainment Television, but 2007 will be the year of the show, fueled by the development of new series such as ParadiseCity, a reality show now filming here and produced by Ryan Seacrest.

Harbert called E!'s affiliation with Seacrest "the best move we've made in the last two years," adding that he's never seen someone work so hard.

E!'s development slate may be boosted by the network’s success internationally. Harbert said the entertainment channel is now seen in 135 countries, calling the international business "the latest growth engine" for the channel. That division is also creating content for the international feeds, some of which -- like a special called Sexiest -- has been repurposed for the domestic network.

Harbert added that that he's happy having a single corporate parent. Although he misses the Disney and ABC executives who served on E!’s board when that company was a co-owner, he noted that "sometimes corporations bicker" and have different objectives for the channels they own.

As a part of Comcast, he was able to go to that company’s headquarters and get a bigger development budget for E!, he said, adding that he will now ask for more money for show creation for G4.