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TV One says with new branding strategy it wants to  'REPRESENT' the best in entertainment

(March 22, 2016) Having introduced its new branding strategy last month, TV One executives are now fully engaged in taking the cable channel into its re-focused future. With eleven years passed since its launching as the nation's second largest network targeting the African-American audience, TV One wants its next decade to be built on the most engaging programming it can offer its 57 million households.

After more than a year of development work, TV One has adopted a single word as the mantra for its strategy going forward -- "REPRESENT." The extensive research and planning resulted in -- among other changes -- a new logo. But there's more to the re-branding than just that new graphics, said executives

"We have a vision of the future that can only be achieved by defying expectations," said Brad Siegel, President of TV One. "Our new brand identity will underscore the importance of re-presenting and re-imagining ourselves to our viewers with a call to action that will catapult us into the future in a fresh new way."

In addition to a comprehensive creative overhaul of the network's on-air and off-air brand elements, such as the tagline, logo, promos and its website, TV One said it is dedicated to producing high-quality, well-rounded Black content across a variety of genres. This includes signature series (Unsung, Unsung Hollywood), popular reality series (Hollywood Divas, Rickey Smiley For Real), highly-rated true crime series (Fatal Attraction, For My Man, Justice By Any Means), original comedies (Born Again Virgin, Here We Go Again), daily news (News One Now), to original movies (The Miki Howard Story, Definitely Divorcing) and specials (47th Annual NAACP Image Awards, Triumph Awards).

"We are committed to delivering on what consumers are demanding and what is missing in entertainment -- a more balanced representation of stories and Black images that exist in today's culture," said Lori Hall, SVP, Marketing. "Distilled into one word, we are able to signal to viewers everywhere that we are authentic, not contrived but honest and real. It is a fresh new brand promise people can believe in because they know what it means to represent as a single-word statement. Within 'represent' is the word 're-present' and this is also a core part of our brand promise."

Another new programming initiative lies with TV One's partnership with American Black Film Festival. Through a screen writing competition held last year, the network received 250 entries. That was pared down to ten choices, then three. Two scripts of the three are in currently production for release later this year.

"We will put great stories first, connecting and entertaining through emotion," said D'Angela Proctor, SVP, Original Programming and Production. "We will be brave with our storytelling, elevating new voices and investing in people who have something to say. We will deliver on programs our audience craves and deserves. Our first-ever Change Agents: History in the Making short films and our American Black Film Festival Screenplay Competition are perfect examples of how we are finding and elevating new voices and talent."

Election year politics and the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement made TV One executives examine the current expectations of its news and information programming. But Siegel says that re-invention of its current events coverage was not necessary as part of the re-branding.

"I would say that TV One was born and built out of the notion that Black lives matter," said Siegel. "I think that TV One is a network that represents those voices, as a place where the Black Lives Matter voices get heard. Starting with New One and Roland [Martin] and his embracing the movement, [he was] covering it on a daily basis way before anyone. Those stories were told first on News One Now on TV One."

"TV One is black content done right," Siegel added."And what does that mean? It means that we elevate voices. And that means that we invest in people who have something to say. And then we make sure that they get heard."

Siegel believes that the new emphasis on authenticity will be of value to more than viewers. "It's also important for marketers and advertisers -- if you are targeting black consumers then being in an environment that represents carries a lot of meaning and that environment becomes a much more connected one for your message to be seen in. Not just in one monolithic sliver of Black culture. And for a marketer, that's a really important place to be."


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