A lifetime ago I worked in early satellite radio. Not the current slick XM / Sirius hegemony we have today, but rather the content delivered via satellite to small stations (mainly AM) across the nation. The format was news/talk with some feature and sponsored programming. We hosted folks like Sonny Bloch, Gary Null, Jack Ellery, Chuck Harder, and others.
Suffice to say I quit when I discovered the network had been bought and was being run by Nazis.
Thus my fascination with the media was truly ignited. I note today, while perusing Ad Age, that one of my few favorite cable outlets is changing its “branding”. SciFi is becoming SyFy. With all reference to syphilis aside, the rebranding is the result of the niche channel’s success. The company, in a terse March 16, 2009 press release poses the usual reasons for making the switch. Most importantly to allow for unique, and enforceable, brand identity as well as a growth towards imagination based programming.
I suspect we will see a change from solid, science fiction / horror / fantasy programming to one more skewed and demographically focused towards females 25-54.
It already is touting more reality shows, Quantum Leap / X-files like programming in its cable guide glossy section in the May 4, Ad Age.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s where the money is, and after all, not everyone like Lifetime, Oxygen and every other “niche” cable outlet.