LOGO GETS BIRTHDAY WISH: CREDIBILITY BY ATTRACTING 20 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS, GAY CABLE NETWORK TOPS EXPECTATIONS.Byline: GREG HERNANDEZ Staff Writer
As MTV's Logo blows out the candles on its one-year anniversary cake next week, the basic cable channel dedicated to entertainment for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender audience can confidently celebrate a year of solid growth.
Viewership is at 20 million -- up from 13 million at the start -- leading to major advertisers coming on board within the past six months.
``It has exceeded our expectations,'' said Logo President Brian Graden, also president of MTV Networks Music Group Entertainment. ``A lot of this has happened without fanfare.''
The serialized drama ``Noah's Arc'' has been a breakout hit and begins its second season this summer with season one out on DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc
Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology. . A series version of a popular Logo special, ``Coming Out Stories,'' also debuts as does ``U.S. of Ant U.S. of ANT is a gay- and travel-themed series aired by Logo. Hosted by openly gay actor and comedian ANT, the series follows him as he travels to small-town American destinations, speaking with both gay and straight residents of various communities to learn about the spirit ,'' a reality show that sends stand-up stand·up or stand-up
1. Standing erect; upright: a standup collar.
2. Taken, done, or used while standing: a standup supper; a standup bar. comedian Ant across the country to try to find gay life in small-town America. In addition, ``CBS News on Logo CBS News on Logo is the umbrella title of gay-themed news programming airing on the Logo television network. As the name indicates, the show is produced in partnership with CBS as a result of the former ownership of both networks by Viacom. ,'' hosted by Jason Bellini, and ``The Advocate Newsmagazine'' continue and there will be coverage of next month's Gay Games VII Gay Games VII, colloquially called the Chicago Gaymes in Chicago.
In production for an early 2007 debut is ``The Big Gay Show,'' a sketch variety show produced by Rosie O'Donnell.
``I've always been passionate about the shows we make (at MTV MTV
in full Music Television
U.S. cable television network, established in 1980 to present videos of musicians and singers performing new rock music. MTV won a wide following among rock-music fans worldwide and greatly affected the popular-music business. ) but nothing has ever felt like such a personal expression,'' said Graden, who is openly gay. ``There's a great level of vulnerability that goes along with it given the complicated journey that so many of us go on to proclaim who we are. It feels like a privilege beyond what I can even articulate and most days, you just hope to do it justice.''
Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD GLAAD Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ), called the one-year anniversary of Logo on June 30 ``groundbreaking.''
``Clearing this one-year hurdle is a great milestone not just for them but I think for the entire community,'' Giuliano said. ``We work for fair coverage and inclusive representation of our lives in the media. From that standpoint, Logo is a network that gets it right every day. They are sharing stories, talking about our lives.''
Anthony Crupi, a senior reporter who covers the cable industry for the trade publication Mediaweek, said MTV parent company Viacom Inc. appears to be taking its commitment to Logo seriously with the idea that there is an untapped market and an audience with a lot of discretionary income Discretionary Income
The amount of an individual's income available for spending after the essentials have been taken care of.
Essentials are things like food, clothing, and shelter. .
``While it may have been launched as a niche network, Logo has already reached a significant distribution milestone ... passing the 20 million subscriber mark,'' Crupi said.
Viacom already has a roster of popular and highly targeted cable networks, which includes MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Spike TV. But Logo's highly desirable demographic of viewers with disposable income disposable income
Portion of an individual's income over which the recipient has complete discretion. To assess disposable income, it is necessary to determine total income, including not only wages and salaries, interest and dividend payments, and business profits, but also has drawn major advertisers to the channel including American Express, Subaru and General Motors.
``The advertisers on the network are now a higher caliber of national advertisers than in the first three months,'' said Howard Buford, founder and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of multicultural advertising agency Prime Access. ``The desirability of the channel is a function of the pricing of ads and the audience, which has high usage of certain products such as travel, financial services, fashion and other retail.''
``I think their challenge is to develop more original programming and have less dependence on existing material because original content allows for product placement which will bring in more advertisers,'' Buford added.
To that end, Logo has an ambitious development slate of new original programming spanning various genres in the works to complement the more than 300 hours of films and documentaries in the channel's library.
Among the shows in development announced earlier this month: ``The Service,'' an hourlong drama about a group of enlisted gay men and lesbians stationed on a military base; ``Sordid Lives: The Series,'' a half-hour comedy prequel pre·quel
A literary, dramatic, or cinematic work whose narrative takes place before that of a preexisting work or a sequel.
[pre- + (se)quel.] to the cult-hit movie that chronicles the unique lives of an eccentric Texas family; the sitcom ``That Gay Ghost'' about a conservative family that moves to San Francisco and discovers they are living with a gay ghost; and ``Reconnection,'' a reality series in which gays and lesbian disowned dis·own
tr.v. dis·owned, dis·own·ing, dis·owns
To refuse to acknowledge or accept as one's own; repudiate. by family members are given the chance to confront them.
``These projects represent Logo's commitment to investing in high-quality series,'' said Eileen Opatut, Logo's senior vice president of original programming.
They join shows in development: ``The Rules: A Lesbian Survival Guide,'' a comedy about a single lesbian looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. love; ``Slink slink
v. slunk also slinked, slink·ing, slinks
To move in a quiet furtive manner; sneak: slunk away ashamed; a cat slinking through the grass toward its prey. ,'' an animated series about five lesbian cats who inherit a mansion in Malibu; and the drama ``Heartland'' about a college student who expects to make a short trip back home in Iowa but decides to stay after realizing his family is in trouble.
``People thought it would be an urban thing but it is absolutely all over the country -- there are gay people everywhere,'' Graden said.
(1 -- color) ``U.S. of Ant'' -- a reality show that sends stand-up comedian Ant across the country to try to find gay life in small-town America -- will debut this summer on Logo.
(2 -- color) Jason Bellini will continue to host the ``CBS News on Logo.'' The network also plans to cover Gay Games VII next month in Chicago.