Oct 13, 2006

G4 in the House of E!

I feel kind of bad for G4.

No, bad's not the word. That's not even the phrasing I'm looking for. I think it's the opposite. Why do I feel this way and why do I feel the need to talk about a channel that has been nothing more than a joke since they absorbed a great channel like TechTV a couple of years ago?

Because of the following newsbyte:

E! and Style chief Ted Harbert, the CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group (a guy who could become a very powerful individual if he made the right decisions), adds G4 to his oversight. He will continue to report to Comcast Programming Group President Jeff Shell. G4 President Neal Tiles, who joined the network in September 2005, will now report to Mr. Harbert.

G4's executive staff will move into E!'s Los Angeles offices. Sources said layoffs among the G4 staff are likely, though Mr. Harbert said it's too soon to tell.


In other words, G4, a channel that was once dedicated to video games that bought TechTV only for X-Play and channel space but now wants to be the second coming of Spike TV, has a new overboss and planning to layoff a lot of people. I'm not a guy who like it when people lose their jobs, but I don't feel sorry for G4, a channel that did just that when they laid off nearly everybody at TechTV, especially the guys and gals who actually knew something about technology.

And in the same article, I noticed this quote from Mr. Harbert:

"I do agree with the vision of going after young men more than just going after gaming. Gaming has been demonstrated as being too narrow."

Okay, that's true. BUT the channel that the G4 virus infected, TechTV, was more than just video games. It was the country's first and only technology/internet/computer culture-themed network, and its absence left a considerable void on the channelscape. Now I look at G4 and say, "Star Trek: The Next Generation again? I can watch this on Spike TV. Wait a minute . . . it IS coming on Spike TV in an hour!" There's a reason G4 places 56th out of 64 networks: there's no demand for it. We have Spike TV. We have Adult Swim. We even have some parts of MTV 2. Young men don't need another Spike TV clone. Like I said, we already have Spike TV higher on the listings. What G4 needs to do is refocus on their roots and the roots of the channel they infected, TechTV.

They should relaunch under a new name, become a true neek-friendly outlet because let's face it, neeks rule the world and are cooler than everybody else (we're trendsetters before it becomes a trend). Why do you think the iPod and You Tube evolved into multibillion dollar brands and Google and Tivo are also verbs? G4 had something with TechTV, but that's a memory. The basement dwellers of San Francisco are millionaires themselves with their own projects in nearly all media. Now, G4 is no longer strong enough to stand on its own two feet.

I want to feel bad for G4, but quite honestly, I can't.

1 comment:

Melon which rhymes with said...

Hmmm...I wonder if they will keep X-play? It's the only show I enjoy on the network. I never really got to see Tech tv and only got the channel in it's G4 days. From what I heard it was a truly informative network.

I really hate it when networks focus only on one sex...yes even Oxygen :p Hell, I feel it on children blocks. This reminds me of when Cardcaptor Sakura was edited to aim towards young boys. I diverge too much :D

I do feel sorry for them even if they deserve it. Anything being controlled by E! is pure torture.

Love the plethora of posts Jeff!