Business

Goodbye Hub Network, Hello Discovery Family

It was fun while it lasted: the underperforming Hub Network, an equal partnership between Discovery Communications and toymaker Hasbro is shutting down.

Discovery will become a majority owner in the channel, which it intends to rebrand as Discovery Family, a “family network” aimed at both parents and children. Hasbro will still have six hours of programming on the new channel between 9am-3pm daily, according to the Wall Street Journal which broke the story on Wednesday evening.

The changes were widely expected after Margaret Loesch resigned as the Hub’s president last June. According to the WSJ report:

The Hub was a source of tension between Discovery and Hasbro. Hub executives often clashed with Hasbro over programming strategy. Hasbro regarded the partnership with Discovery as a way to drive toy sales, and that often led the toy maker to balk at supporting shows that had good ratings but weren’t moving product, current and former Hub executives said.

“There are fewer and fewer channels out there where children and parents can watch together,” Andrew Warren, Discovery’s chief financial officer, said at a recent conference. “Our objective, and our programming imperative, is to continue to think about daytime for children and nighttime for family.”

Warren wants to differentiate Discovery’s family programming strategy from competing networks, like Disney’s ABC Family, which he feels is aimed primarily at tween girls.

Hasbro, meanwhile, has reportedly been in discussions with Cartoon Network as an outlet for its toy-based shows.

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