Stations Branding To Women May Signal The Start Of More Broadcast Narrowcasting

"Men, shut off your TV." Maybe this could be a new promo for some broadcast stations looking for female viewers.

It's been over a year since WOTV in Grand Rapids, Mich., started its new slogan, "WOTV 4 Women." WOTV is one of several stations looking to be upfront about their desires to lure specific sets of viewers.

To the casual observer, looking for niche audiences may seem to be taking a page out of the cable network playbook.  But actually it's an old page. Lifetime, for instance, dropped its long-time tagline "Televison For Women" after 2005. Similarly, AMC Networks' WE TV had been called WE: Women Entertainment until 2006.

Though Lifetime and WE TV’s overt brand tags are gone, viewer brand consciousness can remain. And though a number of other networks don’t label themselves as such, we know they are mostly about attracting women. This list includes Bravo, E!, TLC, Oxygen and OWN. 



To be sure, many broadcast stations already run heavy women-oriented skewed programming with wall-to-wall morning and daytime talk shows -- and to a lesser extent, court shows. Perhaps 65%-70% of their viewers are women, especially the key older 25-54 demo.

Broadcast prime-time programming can also be 55%-60% women-oriented, depending on network.  So you can see why stations might want to brand towards women.

But why stop there? Stations can also skew -- or at least brand -- to other niches. Maybe young women or young men? (Perhaps a few Fox or CW affiliates have already gone this route.)

Presently stations are stuck in limbo. They are still "broadcasters", after all -- catering, in theory, to everyone. Yet we see signs of huge transitions for local programmers -- not just morphing into pseudo-cable stations or networks, but into more niche digital efforts.

Broadcasters becoming narrowcasters?  Stations could plainly be telling remote-holding viewers, "Don't stop here. Keep moving."

4 comments about "Stations Branding To Women May Signal The Start Of More Broadcast Narrowcasting".
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  1. Lisbeth Kramer from Identities, June 4, 2013 at 4:52 p.m.

    Agree, but don't you think some niche targted TV already exists, i.e. spike, and the new Esquire channel deal w/NBC
    but for sure could see more men's devotion especially with the explosion of just mens grooming and fashion...

    and with reality shows now popping up all over with MOMMIES as the stars (boy will this capitalize on the powerful mommy market; especially as they are tech savvy and for sure could catch it across platforms).......could see a mommy/kids channel totally modern w/big advertisors from samsung to J&J

    could for sure see Hearst jumping into young women with networks featuring shows around cosmpolitan, marie claire, elle, etc

    absolutely think the niche network especially way we watch TV on verge....

    nice piece!

  2. Lisbeth Kramer from Identities, June 4, 2013 at 5:39 p.m.

    woops, runnning too fast, and I indeed listed more cable! and you are right on again! :) forgive...........too many screens, lol

  3. Edmund Singleton from Winstion Communications, June 4, 2013 at 5:48 p.m.

    Someone has got to tell Morning Joe to get on broad, this MSNBC show recently had nineteen men on its panel during its three hours and only two women, and one was the're come a long way baby to sit in the back of the set or is it on the side of the male co-host...

  4. Juliette Cowall from Godwin Plumbing & Hardware, June 6, 2013 at 10:54 a.m.

    checking in from GR ... not sure if it makes any difference, but WOTV is the sister station of a much larger GR station (WOOD TV8). Maybe their thinking is that they can afford women-only programming because WOOD TV is the dominant local broadcaster? ... Most of the women on the WOTV 4 Women segments are locals and professionals in their fields, but not necessarily professional broadcasters. Neighbors-talking-to-their-communities sort of thing. (I have no affiliation with either station - other than knowing a couple of the professionals-in-their-fields personalities. Godwin does not advertise on either station, although we do advertise on other local stations.)

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