Three Programmers' Approaches to Branding

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Boston -- During the Cable & Telecommunications Association for
Marketing's CTAM Summit's Monday-morning general session, 'It's a Brand New
World,' executives from three cable programmers -- American Movie Classics,
Courtroom Television Network and FX -- touched on their different branding
tactics.

Court TV CEO Henry Schleiff played a current Memento-inspired cinema
commercial themed, 'Join the investigation.' He then described its mission: 'We
are the place, day and night, for investigation.'

At a post-panel press conference, he said, 'The first year or so, we
concentrated on the crime.' But now, he said, 'It's not about the crime -- it's
the investigation.'

When asked by moderator and Multichannel News editor in chief Marianne
Paskowski if Court TV would cover the Adelphia Communications Corp. trial,
Schleiff called that 'an interesting question.'

The main thing, in his view, is 'will it play' to a consumer audience? While
the Adelphia financial scandal is admittedly 'a human-interest story,' he
questioned whether viewers would stick with coverage by, say, the third day,
when the focus may turn to obscure financial documents.

AMC executive vice president and general manager Noreen O'Loughlin described
her network's rebranding as 'an opportunity . The challenge is to move the brand
forward' and target movie fans in their 30s and 40s.'

'TCM {Turner Classic Movies] has the older part of the niche,' she said, but
AMC is out to redefine the genre to encompass newer films like Animal House
and the Indiana Jones franchise.

'Our programming is more the brand-driver than anything,' FX Networks CEO
Peter Liguori said, citing The Shield as a case in point. 'I don't
believe people watch networks.'

When Paskowski wondered if he was worried about sponsor pullouts from The
Shield
in these tough times, Liguori said, 'It's happened previously with
NYPD Blue [on ABC] and others that mined new territory.' He then pointed
out that in replacing those defections, 'We've netted out
positive.'

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