Upscale LX.TV Adds Chicago To Show Lineup
The two series, which carry the "LX.TV OpenHouse" and "LX.TV 1stLook" monikers in New York and L.A., focus on high-end real estate and fashion-forward lifestyles, respectively. Time periods on WMAQ (known as NBC5 in the Windy City) have yet to be formalized, but running back-to-back in the Saturday 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. hour--as they do in L.A.--is a possibility.
Morgan Hertzan, senior vice president and general manager for NBC-owned LX.TV, said "vibrant culture, a very active real-estate market, great restaurants--all the things that we cover really thrive in Chicago."
In each market, LX.TV's shows are produced locally and call on local hosts and producers; it is searching for them in Chicago now. Advertising for the two series are also sold locally and the process has begun at WMAQ.
The series have been on NBC's New York O&O for some time and in Los Angeles since April.
In both markets, the "1stLook" franchise--a fast-moving multi-segment show that can jump from an in-depth look at rooftop pools to cameras tagging along on a shopping excursion--airs at 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and then repeats after "Saturday Night Live." (That slot aims to capitalize on a lead-in that could deliver a young, urban audience.) Overall, "1stLook" content palate includes fashion, nightlife, restaurants, shopping and arts.
"OpenHouse" aims to take advantage of viewers' interest in affluent real estate, even if they can't afford it. "The key to 'OpenHouse' is that everybody wants to see how their neighbors live," Hertzan said.
Segments include "The Hunt," where a broker shows a prospective home buyer attractive options. A recent "OpenHouseNYC" segment had a small business owner checking out apartments within his $2 million range. ("OpenHouse" airs first on Sunday mornings in New York.)
Another feature, "Square Feet," offers a tour inside one of the region's most lavish properties. On "OpenHouseLA," a broker recently showed off a $26 million, 14,000-foot Beverly Hills mansion.
Both series include ample product integration, such as a Buick luxury SUV shown each week on "OpenHouseNYC" as it ferries buyers and sellers around. The shows also give sales forces at NBC's O&Os an opportunity to tap into new upscale categories, particularly in real estate. In New York, the series have attracted advertiser-friendly significant audiences with incomes in the $100,000-plus range.
In January, after two LX.TV shows had been on the New York O&O, NBC purchased LX.TV and melded it into its Local Media Division. That unit has been looking for new ways to expand its business in individual markets beyond the slower-growth on-air operations. LX.TV also has a robust Web presence.
With the expansion in Chicago, NBC has shown confidence in the LX.TV luxury brand even during an economic slowdown. The shows will now reach some 15% of the country and more expansion is expected.