CLASSIC-MOVIE CHANNEL PLANS NEW LOOK

AMC Hopes Modern Movies Means Younger Viewers, More Ad Dollars

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- AMC, the cable network that once purported to be the home of American Movie Classics, has been undergoing a slow transformation and is poised this fall to introduce a new look and new programming -- all in the hopes of attracting new advertisers.

The network, a unit of Rainbow Media, said it will unveil a yet-to-be-determined on-air look, possibly with a logo different from the current diamond-shaped symbol, and attempt to modernize its programming and place the network at the center of what it is calling the "American movie experience."

Looking for advertisers
The makeover comes as AMC continues its transition to becoming more of an ad-supported network. AMC plans to increase its commercial load to about eight minutes an hour starting in October and it is being sold in this year's upfront. The age of AMC's average viewer is 45; the network hopes the alterations will lower that demographic to the 38 to 40 range, making the network more attractive to marketers.

One way AMC will try to do that is with a programming revamp that the network said seeks to update what a classic movie is. An emphasis on mid-20th century classics will be exchanged for a new focus on movies from the 1970s and '80s as the network tries to attract a younger audience. The network is in the process of acquiring the rights to more modern films.

"Our brand was focused on the classic Hollywood from the '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s," said Kate McEnroe, president of AMC. "That was OK 20 years ago, but not when you look at the technology and how Hollywood has changed. We have to change with it."

Taking cue from DVDs
Movie buffs have been increasingly drawn to DVDs, which feature not only the movie but interviews with filmmakers and behind-the-scenes footage of the production process. AMC is hoping to add similar content to augment its roster of movies.

An ad campaign currently running from Red Tettemer, New York, shows photos of a young Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington with the tagline "And everything in between," as in "From 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' to 'The Breakfast Club' -- and everything in between."

AMC plans to hire several agencies to help redo its on-air look and its marketing for the fall.

AMC is in some 83 million homes, placing it in cable's top distribution tier.

Movies are pervasive on cable, but Ms. McEnroe said AMC stands out: "We want to stand for great American film. There's no one that is 24/7 dedicated to the American movie experience."

In this article:
Most Popular