Thursday, October 21, 2010

The more things change...

I've mentioned before that Beck Vass isn't actually the name of a reporter working at the New Zealand Herald; instead, it's a code phrase for a press release that's been jammed into the newspaper. So, from the newspaper that brought you the story about how great Foodtown rebranding to Countdown would be for consumers, here's a page A3 story about how great C4 rebranding to FOUR will be for indiscriminate television watchers aged 18-39.

Fans of America's Next Top Model and The Simpsons, which now screen on TV3, will no longer be pressing "3" on their remotes from early next year.

The channel changeover is part of a rebranding by Mediaworks, which owns TV3 and C4, as the broadcaster tries to attract older viewers.

Ok, so what effect do some big industry players think this will have?

Mediaworks TV chief executive Jason Paris announced yesterday that the network was giving the mostly music C4 channel a shakeup, making its content more mainstream and renaming it "Four".

"Four will be a channel which appeals to anyone looking for great entertainment," Mr Paris said.

"Everything the channel does will be entertainment. No news, sport or information, just pure escapism."

Unlike C4 previously, which was so chocka with news and information there was barely any time for booty-shakin' hip-hop videos. Information such as 'what happened this week on America's Next Top Model'.

At this point, any pretense of actually being a newspaper article stops.

New programmes include Community, in which comedian Joel McHale plays a lawyer forced to go to community college to get a real qualification after his degree was found to be fraudulent.

Also included is drama series The Gates, set in a neighbourhood with a "dark and delicious" secret, and Top Chef: Just Desserts - a spin-off of the Emmy-winning Top Chef series.

Oh good - because I can't wait to see what happens to all my favourite characters from Top Chef.

Anyway, this was actually the second, and least bad, Herald article about this Mediaworks change. The first appeared yesterday on the website. It's allegedly written by the implausibly named 'Hugh Sundae' - nice one - but I'll give you one guess as to who actually wrote it:
C4 will be re-branded as FOUR, in a statement Mediaworks said it would "become broader in its appeal, with programming which attracts a wider, and more mature audience."

[...] C4, which currently targets the 15-39 year-old audience, will refocus on the current TV3 key-demographic of 18-49. In turn TV3 will now target 25-54 - currently TV1's key demographic.

[...] "It's very good news for viewers," according to Martin Gillman, partner at Mitchener Gillman Communications.
Well, except for viewers aged 15-17.


  1. Television is utter shit. Everyone knows that.

    Welcome back, btw. Now where's the fucking dogs?

  2. After the recent changes the Herald has dropped from 4+ and boring to 2 and stupid.
    Sort of like National Radio.

  3. Hey you're back. I love that they explicitly excluded 'information' from the things that will be offered on the channel :) xx J

  4. Pete M... That sounds made up.

  5. While you were hibernating for winter, I've had to go elsewhere to get my fix of Party on Garth.

  6. Bloody hell, you're back. Awesome.

  7. I'm so glad this blog is back. Made my day.

  8. Aw, I know there's only a fine line between having a sense of humour and being lousy (which is what this blog is all about), but I still just had to say that Beck is a great reporter (and, yes, a lovely human)!
    Keep up the good work.