Los Angeles Business Journal

NBCUniversal, Hearst Launch Esquire Network

By Jonathan Polakoff Monday, February 11, 2013

Cable channel G4 is getting a makeover and will be rebranded as Esquire Network, the channel’s owner, NBCUniversal announced Monday.

The revamped channel, headquartered in L.A.’s Miracle Mile, is a strategic partnership between NBCUniversal and Hearst Magazines of New York, which publishes Esquire magazine, and will launch in April.

G4 content previously focused on gaming, gear and gadgets. The new channel will also target men, but will take a greater focus on topics such as style, women, humor, travel and competition. Programming will be both scripted and unscripted.

The channel has a number of series in development including “Knife Fight,” described as a celebration of food, executive produced by actress Drew Barrymore. Another is “The Getaway,” a travel show executive produced by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.

The channel will keep one of G4’s better-performing programs, “American Ninja Warrior,” which pits competitors against one another on an obstacle course. It will also produce original Web content to complement existing offerings on Esquire.com.

NBCUniversal touted the new channel as an avenue for advertisers to reach wealthy young viewers.

“Esquire Network will give advertisers access to one of the most coveted and untapped audiences in the cable entertainment marketplace: the upwardly mobile, educated and highly engaged man,” said Linda Yaccarino, president of ad sales at NBCUniversal.