via press release:
GREAT AMERICAN COUNTRY UNVEILS NEW BRAND IDENTITY
Network Celebrates Uniquely American Lifestyle with Evolving Program Slate
High Definition Broadcast Launches Oct. 1
KNOXVILLE, TENN. – October 1, 2013 – Great American Country today unveiled a new brand identity that reflects the television network’s continuing evolution as an all-American lifestyle viewing destination.
Part of the Scripps Networks family of lifestyle channels, Great American Country celebrates the best of America, reflecting the passions of its viewers with innovative programming about music, family, home, food and travel. Other Scripps Networks channels include HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel.
“The reimagined Great American Country marks a natural evolution for what was previously known as GAC,” said Burton Jablin, president of Scripps Networks. “We’ve long had a vision for this network to be an all-American lifestyle destination. Think of it as a love letter to America, with heart and soul. It represents how we as Americans live and celebrate.”
“This is a significant moment in the evolution of Great American Country” said Sarah Trahern, senior vice president and general manager of the network. “Our roots are in country music, and some of those ever-present themes woven throughout the genre – senses of patriotism, pride in our homes, our families and nation – in many ways embody our network’s spirit and will help guide our programming strategies going forward.”
As part of the brand evolution, the use of the former acronym is traded in favor of the full title – Great American Country. Also, a new, bold red logo inspired by the American flag is introduced.
“It’s important for us to lead by clearly stating who we are and defining our position in the media landscape,” said Jennifer Leitman, senior vice president, marketing and creative services for the network. “We’re celebrating America and want to wave that flag, which we’re actually doing through the playful, modern use of our new flag logo.”
For the new brand design, Great American Country tapped Los Angeles-based Big Block Design Group.
“The project was truly exceptional in that our endeavor was to create an emotional destination that felt like home, warm and comfortable, without feeling old fashioned,” said Peter King, executive producer at Big Block Design Group. “I think we found that feeling in the real people we met and filmed across the country.”
Coinciding with its visual metamorphosis, Great American Country will further venture into lifestyle programming – an arena where the network has enjoyed success in recent years with series launches that exemplify the American way of life. Recent programming successes include:
• Farm Kings, which chronicles the Pennsylvania-based King family as they band together to earn a living off the land and extol the virtues of local agriculture, observe family, home, food and a hard-charging American work ethic.
• Kimberly’s Simply Southern, which marries the sensibilities of travel, food, home and music as host Kimberly Schlapman of country music’s Little Big Town takes viewers on tour to discover interesting ingredients, then back to her home kitchen to cook up southern dishes with her celebrity and musician friends.
• Celebrity Motor Homes, which showcases mobile homes of the stars used to trek the nation, for recreation and for business. Many episodes feature the stars themselves.
“Our viewers have responded enthusiastically to these original series, to the stories we’re sharing and to the viewing environment we’re creating,” Trahern said. “They identify with the values presented on the network and across all Great American Country’s platforms.”
Further supporting the network’s evolving brand identity is its annual coverage of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. For the third consecutive year, Great American Country will broadcast live and expanded coverage of the championship event this December.
“The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is event television,” Trahern said. “It’s not only an edge- of-your-seat sport with an inherent spirit of competition, but also a celebration of the western style of living and of the athletes themselves. We see their journey to championship status and become invested in their personal stories, in their families and their struggles. While the action is exciting and ‘in the moment’ it’s also powerfully real. That’s the heart of Great American Country.”
As the soundtrack to our lives, music is central to how America lives and celebrates, and remains an integral component to Great American Country. Popular series such as Top 20 Countdown offer music video blocks featuring today’s biggest country music stars, while original series like Origins and Backstory give viewers an unfiltered, raw look at the lives of stars in the making and at the top of their game. Great American Country also is the home to musical extravaganzas including secondary runs of popular awards shows, exclusive red carpet pre-show ceremonies, and original concert specials from top artists like Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, and more.
The October rebrand of Great American Country also marks the network’s debut in high definition – an improvement made in response to viewer and market demand.
“GAC viewers are extremely loyal and really value the programming we offer,” Trahern said. “The one thing we keep hearing from our viewers is requests for Great American Country in HD. In anticipation, we’ve been shooting our content in HD for some time in preparation for HD broadcast, and the launch of the renewed Great American Country is the perfect time to initiate our high definition broadcast.”
“Presenting Great American Country in HD is an important part of the network’s evolution,” said Henry Ahn, executive vice president, content distribution and marketing for Scripps Networks Interactive. “Our distribution partners will have access to adopt Great American Country in HD as early as this October, in advance of the network’s live coverage of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.”
About Great American Country
Great American Country invites viewers to see America as they never have before, delivering to viewers original lifestyle programming, music performance specials, live concerts and country music videos. Great American Country is available in more than 63 million households and online at http://www.GACTV.com.
Great American Country is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (NYSE: SNI), the leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet, including HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel. Scripps Networks Interactive is based in Knoxville, Tenn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Chevy Chase, Md. and Nashville.