HLN Brand Repositioning

Discussion in 'US Cable News' started by Charles, May 8, 2017.

  1. TriangleTriadMediaNews

    TriangleTriadMediaNews Primary Anchor

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    We have CNN-I on FIOS here, but it's in the very high end package that we don't get, which also includes BBC World News (only SD), the HD feed of Oprah's channel, GSN in SD/HD, Logo, and a few others. Surprisingly, we get OWN in our package, but only in SD.
     
  2. Eyewitness News-man

    Eyewitness News-man N.W.A: News-man With Attitude.

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    I would guess so too; but for better filling of the schedule,
    they should air their originals and CNN original docu-series instead.
    Better shows to air and won't cost them as much money.
    (At least from 9pm to or 1 or 2am, then air Forensic Files after)
     
  3. Charles

    Charles News Director

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    CNNI is available on CNNgo. Even if you don't get it via your cable package on your TV, you can get it through CNNgo. CNNI looks great in streaming on AppleTV.

    And I don't think simulcasting CNNI onto HLN is a serious programming strategy. Let's set aside the huge differences in brand and target demographics between HLN and CNNI for a moment and just look at the logistics. CNNI and CNN USA are much closer than they ever were before, so there would be a fair amount of overlap between the three.

    You couldn't do it after Ashleigh Banfield's show because CNNI simulcasts AC360 and that Don Lemon show. I'm not 100% sure what CNN USA does after their primetime block as it seems to vary from day to day, but they can and often do seem to pick up at least one hour of CNNI's Newsroom from LA and sometimes the Atlanta edition too.

    I suppose you could simulcast CNN Today in that two hour block before Ashleigh Banfield's show, but then you'd have World Sport leading into it. I'd argue that Forensic Files is probably a better match as far as content and demographic go.

    I'm not necessarily saying that airing Forensic Files on a loop is the right way to go. It isn't, but there isn't really any right way to go until they just figure out what they want to do with HLN and how distinct HLN's brand needs to be. I thought this newest rebrand of HLN was supposed to position it a little closer to the mother CNN brand for the first time in a while, so perhaps reruns of CNN originals would be the way to go. On the other hand, would it confuse viewers to see CNN stars Anthony Bourdain et al on a network that is not and has not been called CNN for the last decade?

    What I always thought would be a relatively easy filler show for HLN at night would be an anchorless Euronews-style newscast. Just take all the content that the mothership is producing constantly, slap some cool looking graphics and music to transition between packages, turn vo/sots into something that looks like those Facebook-style videos, and run the whole thing on a loop. You could even add in other things like the Great Big Story features. It wouldn't require too many resources (a few producers/writers and some editors), but at least it would be fresh and could be fully branded as an HLN show. But of course, they probably would never do this as it would cost more than a dime.
     
    #23 Charles, Aug 7, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
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  4. mre29

    mre29 AM Anchor

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    At the very least, they should hold off on Forensic Files till after primetime hours....
     
  5. Myron Falwell

    Myron Falwell Director of Graphic Blandishment and Chroma Cues

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    memnews and Spectrum27 like this.
  6. Myron Falwell

    Myron Falwell Director of Graphic Blandishment and Chroma Cues

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    If they have to run that goddam show, run it on weekend evenings not unlike MSNBC did with their documentaries pre-2017.

    And again, that HLN isn't doing a simulcast of CNN International during the overnight hours - in addition to repeating Ashleigh Banfield so people can see it on the west coast - is ponderous.
     
  7. Robin Red

    Robin Red AM Anchor

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    I think HLN should go full on legal network or become CNN International.

    HLN right now is a lost cause, I have a feeling Erica Hill's show is on the bubble. 1-3pm hours is dead hours on daytime and plus her fill does a better job. Michaela might do okay cause she is in a different part of the country.
     
  8. HulkieD

    HulkieD COUNT ON IT

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    Here are my views on HLN.

    I think the network is in a very hard place. Everyone longs for the days of "Headline News", but those days are long gone. We can access news and information at our fingertips at any time - the concept of an unending "headline service" is obsolete.

    What should the network be then? I'm not sure. Clearly CNN isn't. Four thousand airings of "Forensic Files" is obviously not the way to go. Adding more live shows is a step in the right direction but even those shows seem rather vague.

    Honestly, the way to go would be to take the original documentaries that CNN has been doing and put them there. They're already trying this with John Walsh. (Half the time CNN makes these things and has to change the airdates because the president has a speech, casually threatens nuclear war, farts, etc.) Make it more of a documentary and even history focused channel (since the History channel isn't really doing history anymore), with some news if necessary.
     
  9. WSVNFan

    WSVNFan Station Group CEO

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    My old self makes me want that headline service back. I'm sorry but HLN was known for being a headline service and despite the internet and all that, HLN should become the Get-to-the-Point 24-Hour Nonstop Headlines network.
     
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  10. Myron Falwell

    Myron Falwell Director of Graphic Blandishment and Chroma Cues

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    In theory, CNN could reactivate Headline News by its original incarnation as a streaming video service like CBSN. All it would take is the "video jukebox" automation setup Headline News used in the early 2000s (and still does with Weekend Express). Simple, straightforward.

    Of course that makes HLN even further redundant.
     
  11. Charles

    Charles News Director

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    I think you've articulated HLN's quandary pretty well. But I don't think this would be the right route either. It would give HLN a lot of new content right away, but it would leave a pretty big hole in CNN USA's lineup.

    I would even argue that these CNN originals have sparked much of CNN's current ratings success. Before all of them, CNN USA was often a wasteland of reruns after primetime and on weekends. Their numbers were really low, even on Sunday nights. Now, people actually tune in to CNN on Sunday nights to catch premieres of Bourdain, Lisa Ling, the decades series, et al. I'm somewhat amazed at how many people I know (people under 25, and people who are not hardcore newshounds like me) who end up getting sucked into watching them. I sometimes miss Don Lemon's down-the-middle late night newscast that used to air on the weekends, but otherwise, I think these original series are one of the few things that Jeff Zucker has gotten absolutely right with CNN.

    Moving the newest season of John Walsh's show to HLN was the right move. He's a better fit there. Putting reruns of the CNN originals on HLN may not be a bad idea, though I think it does run the risk of brand dilution and confusing the audience. The decades series may be a good fit for reruns, and maybe Lisa Ling, but Bourdain would not be, as well as a lot of the grittier productions.

    I think the demo that they have identified for HLN — women 25-54 — is the right focus for HLN. I like the idea of making it the mommy news channel that features more regional/domestic news, some crime (but not overboard on crime like the Casey Anthony days) and less international and politics is the right strategy. The big question is how to design programming around that, programming that will catch eyeballs, and how to do it quickly.

    Oh! Oh! And while all these CNN originals were in development, you know what CNN was temporarily filling their overnight and weekend schedules with? Forensic Files.
     
  12. justin2kx

    justin2kx Weekend Anchor

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    Would the legal/crime related shows still fit for the demo a la Nancy Grace or Jane Velez Mitchell? Maybe Lisa Bloom?
     
  13. Myron Falwell

    Myron Falwell Director of Graphic Blandishment and Chroma Cues

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    I keep thinking about how CourtTV couldn't last with an all-legal lineup. Ditto with the 2005-2014 era HLN.
     
  14. Darius22

    Darius22 Managing Editor

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    The real problem with networks showing only 1 or so show almost every hour every day is that their isn't enough originality or variety. another problem is HLN doesnt have its own studio that they can use that's made for Newscast Hours A La NY1 for example.
     
  15. Charles

    Charles News Director

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    Here's the open to Carol Costello's show:



    It finally launched!
     
  16. Myron Falwell

    Myron Falwell Director of Graphic Blandishment and Chroma Cues

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    That only happened for 2-3 weeks in June 2015. CNN aired a two-hour FF rerun block in place of a CNNI simulcast, concurrent with HLN's endless overnight FF rerun loop.

    And it wasn't well-received, to say the least.
     
  17. Drew

    Drew NBCUniversal News Group President

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    I can't believe it took this long to launch her show its just her old one with a new name. Didn't seem to have anything different to it. I understand the whole time moving and settling in for the anchor but they could have started this earlier
     
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