Ion Media Networks will be the new name for Paxson Communications, whose main asset is that microscopic broadcast network comprised of those funny little UHF stations--the so-called seventh network--that offers up scratch marks for ratings. Pax TV makes the soon-to-be-departed WB and UPN seem like giants.
New leadership at Ion --which comes from NBC Universal Television Group--wants to remove the plaguing brand name of Paxson. The name has been synonymous with home shopping entertainment, other low-rent programs, and financial difficulties.
Though its corporate name is changing, the name of its main network isn't. Last July Pax TV turned into "i"--a network of infomercials and direct response advertising. The move to Ion is a business branding transformation--for the benefit of investors, advertisers, and media business journalists.
Unlike an atom that is a neutral sub-atomic particle, an ion has a negative or positive force. It is an "atom or a group of atoms that has acquired a net electric charge by gaining or losing one or more electrons." All that will be welcome for those that support "i." A positive or negative force is never stable, always moving.
But where? When I was living (and driving) on Long Island, I used to try to avoid the traffic on the L.I.E. by taking the side streets. My father always said that just because I wasn't sitting in traffic didn't mean I was getting anywhere faster. He said that at least the traffic was pointing in a straight line toward Manhattan.
I disagreed. Taking Jericho Turnpike always worked for me--traffic lights and all. Numerous diners, Miracle Mile department stores, and people in cars shaving or putting on makeup always kept me distracted (with some near accidents) and entertained.
That's good advice for "i" and Ion Media Networks. Find ways to keep viewers sidetracked--even if they aren't going anywhere.