It’s official. G4, the channel formally devoted to geek culture and gaming will now become the Esquire Channel.
The writing has been on the wall for the past few months but it’s still disheartening when the news is official. While it was originally thought that the channel would be connected to GQ, tipsters revealed to THR that NBCUniversal has already inked a deal with Hearst Corporation, the parent company of Enquire Magazine, to rebrand the channel to something that would “shift the former gaming network to a destination more in line with the modern male” and would be aimed toward the “untapped metrosexual viewership” not met with other channels such as Spike and History.
Part of the decision to change from the previous gaming and tech format came after offers from the likes of UFC and WWE to become a large part of the channel fell through last year. Some of the new shows to be featured – which will focus on cooking, travel and fashion for the metrosexual male – are already in production to be aired once the rebranding takes into effect.
The directive for the change comes from G4’s General Manager Adam Stotsky who was hired to take the helm of the channel by NBCU cable entertainment chairman Bonnie Hammer. If Hammer’s name sounds familiar, that’s because while she was President of the Syfy channel, she infamously cancelled ‘Mystery Science Theater’ in 1999 and oversaw the transformation of the rebranding of the Sci-Fi channel to the SyFy network that it is now known today.
But it’s not a total loss as the network does plan on adding some gaming shows to their line up in order to keep true to its origin heritage. How that will be accomplished is unknown but considering they have already given the ax to the last two actual gaming related shows, ‘Attack of the Show!’ and ‘X-Play,’ it is anyone’s guess.
The new Esquire channel is expected to be launched sometime in the first half of next year.