On Wednesday, free of scrolling listings, the TV Guide Network is relaunching as Pop, a network catering to “enthusiastic fandom” in pop culture. Pop is targeting a 35-45 audience that grew up in the late 1980s and early ’90s, a group that the network’s president, entertainment and media, Brad Schwartz, is calling the “modern grown-up” (Pop has copyrighted the term).
CBS’s new stake in the TVGN basic cable channel could result in a TV network wholly devoted to celebrity gossip, style and red carpet coverage. CBS Corp. and co-owner Lionsgate said this week that they will introduce a new brand and programming strategy for the channel, until recently called the TV Guide Network, but that it will continue its current focus on entertainment. But the assets and ambitions of each owner suggest noticeable changes are in store.
The TV Guide Network, which is up for sale along with its companion site, is drawing interest from potential suitors Discovery Communications and CBS Corp. Lionsgate Entertainment owns the TV Guide channel, brand name and online property TVGuide.com, along with JPMorgan’s private-equity arm, One Equity Partners.
Fresh off its deal to acquire Twilight studio Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Entertainment is now prepping a sale of its TV Guide Network. Lionsgate has hired a boutique investment bank to shop the cable channel and is already talking to several private-equity firms, according to one source.