May 3, 2001
By David Goetzl
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The new president and CEO of the Game Show Network may roll the dice on a new name for the 7-year-old network.
Rich Cronin, named to the position on Wednesday, said he will consider altering the moniker to make sure viewers don't pigeonhole the network as the home for only traditional "studio, Wink Martindale, three-contestant trivia kinds of game shows." He wants to expand the network's identification -- and programming -- to include newer reality-based competitive shows such as Survivor.
"Is it posisble to have a name that embraces other types of games?" Mr. Cronin asked.
More interactive viewing
Mr. Cronin said any change would be nine months to a year away and would follow extensive research. Also under consideration would be changes in the network's logo and on-air image.
Mr. Cronin takes over the top job at the network after serving as president-CEO for Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids Network. He replaces Michael Fleming, who led Game Show since its launch in 1994. It's the first major move since Liberty Digital took a 50% stake in the network from now co-owner Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Mr. Cronin's other goals include further integration between the network's Web site and its on-air offerings to take advanage of the desire to play along (the Web site is being redesigned) and to work to lower the demographic profile of viewers.
"I've got to find a way to bring in more adults in their 20s and 30s while keeping viewers of all ages because I want to make sure that we don't see a drop in household ratings, but at the same time we do see an increase in younger adult ratings," he said. "I think that's going to be a big goal for us, and I think it's something we can achieve."
Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.