1. The most important challenges for a new television network include advertising, settling on a target demographic, building a distribution system, and market the new brand. With the case of CW, dividing the responsibilities between the former WB and former UPN networks was also a major challenge, in addition to deciding which shows from each network would continue. Distribution is the primary concern, as it’s important for the network, especially a new one, to reach as much of the country as possible.
Finding affiliate stations and distributors was crucial for the CW to start off successfully.
Fortunately for them, they were able to secure many of the former UPN and WB stations and distributors and broadcast to 95% of the country, approximately the same as the other four major networks. Beginning with finding a name and brand and continuing through determining a demographic, marketing and branding determines a great deal about who will be watching the network and also, how advertisers will react to the network.
Choosing CW as the name was an important first step, as many viewers were able to identify its affiliation immediately.
CW decided to use a more specific demographic than the other major networks as a way of attracting advertisers. 2. Upon hearing about the merging of UPN and WB, News Corp. decided to first stop any advertisements that were airing on its networks promoting either of the former stations. Second, they created another network, My Network TV. This second decision seemed to be made in direct response to the forming of CW.
It was created to compete with the network for distributors and stations across the country. While understandable, as News Corp. id not want CW to gain too much of the market share, however, I believe this was misguided. The first step to eliminate any promotions with UPN and UPN affiliates was, if not completely necessary, got rid of a portion of the new networks marketing. Deciding to create a sister network to directly compete with CW did not seem at all necessary and a bit of a waste of resources. 3. For the three available slots, I would have chosen Everwood, Veronica Mars, and 7th Heaven. Everwood, although having a bit of an older audience than the others, had a large, loyal fan base to build on.
The show also received high critical acclaim, allowing for a strong possibility of increasing the number of new viewers. Veronica Mars also had a loyal fan base, albeit somewhat smaller, exemplified by the fan that paid to have an airplane circle the CEO’s office, pleading to keep the show on air. The show also fit with the target demographic of females between 18-34 years old. 7th Heaven, being the network’s longest running show, was also the longest-running family drama in history.
While the show was quite expensive to produce, there were available cuts that could be made to keep the show’s cost on par with the other three. 4. First, Veronica Mars would be placed after Gilmore Girls on Tuesdays due to the similar viewers and also the similarity of the protagonists of the shows. Everwood would be shown on Mondays before Runaway. I think it makes sense to put a well-regarded show like Everwood, which has a strong fan base, before the new show. This would allow viewers to try a new show and continue watching. th Heaven, a very established show, would then be shown Wednesdays after America’s Next Top Model. 5. For an actor or crewmember, hearing that their show may be cancelled or that the network will be merging with another must be extremely stressful due to all the uncertainty surrounding this decision. Everyone is uneasy as the decisions to keep or cut their shows are made. Due to the fact that there are two existing networks merging into one, only about half of the current employees and actors will be needed for the new network.