Leisure Time Is Over

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Seeking to better define its brand identity, Discovery Home and Leisure Channel will drop the latter part of its moniker later this month, to place a greater emphasis on the burgeoning home-improvement and entertainment genre.

Discovery Home Channel will bow March 29 with a new on-air look and graphics, as well as several new original series, said David Karp, vice president and general manager of the digital network.

After examining some network-commissioned research on consumer attitudes about its programming and brand, Karp said that viewers wanted more of the network's programming to be based on home-improvement topics, he said.

As a result, Discovery Home will discard most of its travel-related specials and series to focus exclusively on home decorating and remodeling, do-it-yourself content, cooking, entertaining and lifestyle programming.

"We decided to place a focus on the programming and brand to create a service that has a sharp, clear message attached to it," Karp said. "It's a larger effort to be more aggressive in marketing and programming and to grow the network in the digital-cable space."

While sister network TLC offers similar content during its daytime hours, Karp said the network is creating an all-day outlet for the genre targeted to its core female viewers.

"In terms of clearly defining our network and our portfolio of networks within the Discovery family, it made sense to provide a 24/7 home for home and lifestyles programming," Karp said.

Among the new shows that will appear on the network are Houselift, an original series that follows a New England couple as they renovate their 1907 Dutch Colonial home; Friends for Dinner, featuring eight would-be hosts as they prepare a feast for friends with the help of eight star chefs; and Kylie Wong: Cooking With Heart and Soul, a cuisine show starring the famed Chinese-Australian restaurant owner.

Also on tap: a home-repair show created by and for women and an innovative lifestyle makeover series based on photos from magazines.

"What we found was our viewers wanted more of the home and home-related programming 24/7, and that was where we ought to focus our efforts," he said.

Karp said the overhaul of the network — currently in 35 million digital-cable and satellite households — would be accompanied by a major on-air and national marketing and promotional push touting the new name and look.

In addition, Discovery Home will continue to launch new series that further exploit its new positioning, although Karp would not disclose specific programming expenditures.

"This is a much more aggressive investment in the channel across the board," he said. "We'll be launching new series throughout the year."