NBCUniversal's video game/technology network G4 will become the Esquire Network, in partnership with Hearst Magazines' brand of the same name.
The niche young male-focused G4 will turn into the broader male-target Esquire, which will be run by ex-NBC marketing chief Adam Stotsky, who will have the title of general manager.
Esquire Network will launch in April 2013 in 62 million U.S. homes, as well as online, mobile, video-on-demand and other platforms. Esquire Network will be owned as a unit of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal.
“There is a vastly underserved audience in cable TV -- today’s modern man -- and by joining forces with Esquire, we will deliver a multiplatform experience to this upscale, engaged, passionate audience -- one that widens the aperture beyond G4’s technology and gaming base,” stated Stotsky. He will work closely with David Granger, editor in chief of Esquire magazine.
Hearst has been involved in TV networks before -- having small equity interests in cable networks co-owned by Disney-ABC and others. Currently, it owns a 20% stake in ESPN and a 50% stake in A&E Networks.
Some shows that will start up the network include 'Knife Fight," described as an underground, after-hours cooking competition "where talented chefs go head to head in front of a rowdy crowd of celebrities, critics and die-\hard foodies."
Another original series, "The Getaway" (working title), is executive produced by veteran food personality Anthony Bourdain and Zero Point Zero. It will follow "travel-loving, well-known personalities -- people deservedly famous for excellence in their fields -- who take viewers to their favorite city on the planet, giving the insiders’ track on their top spots to eat, drink, shop and hang out."
A summer NBC network reality competition show,"American Ninja Warrior," will air on Esquire, as will NBC scripted series episodes "Parks and Recreation" and Starz network's "Party Down."
Esquire won't abandon the G4 territory completely. It will expand on G4’s focus of games, gear and gadgets to include other areas and interests.