NBCUniversal is looking to make G4 a little classier.
The company will be rebranding G4 as the Esquire channel after closing a deal with the magazine’s parent company Hearst. NBCUniversal is apparently after metrosexuals, who aren’t currently being served by the History Channel or SpikeTV.
The rebrand is expected to happen during the first half of 2013. There will also be gaming programming, in keeping with the network’s heritage.
Overtures from the Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Wrestling Entertainment to take a controlling stake in the network fell through last year.
The ball was already rolling to make G4 more upscale, as the long- running “Attack of the Show!” and “X- Play” were canceled in October.
NBCU also apparently had discussions with Hearst rival Conde Nast. NBC and Hearst were previously partners as co-owners of A&E Networks until NBC sold its 15.8 percent stake last summer for $3.03 billion. Hearst still has a stake in A&E Networks, which includes A&E, Lifetime, History and Bio.
E! has already begun a makeover towards being more sophisticated.
Longtime NBC marketing executive Adam Stotsky became G4’s general manager about a year ago.
"Esquire" magazine was founded in 1932, and purchased by Hearst in 1986.