G4techTV to focus on intersection of technology, entertainment

HOLLYWOOD — Comcast has completed its $300 million acquisition of cabler Tech TV, which it will merge with vidgame cable network G4 as planned at the end of the month.

Merged channel has been christened G4techTV and will be dedicated to the intersection of technology and entertainment, according to net CEO Charles Hirschhorn. Combined net is billed as the only place “plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes.”

Purchase of Tech TV from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Programming almost triples G4’s distribution from 15 million to 44 million homes.

San Francisco-based Tech TV pinkslipped 285 employees last week. Meanwhile, merged net will bulk up its Los Angeles-headquartered operation with 80 new jobs.

To date, only Tech TV senior marketing veep Gaynor Strachan Chun will remain in the new mix at G4techTV. Exec will retain her position and title. G4’s senior VP of programming Vinnie Longobardo and senior vice prexy of ad sales Dale Hopkins will take the helm of the new net.

Details on original programming are still being hammered out, but Hirschhorn said vidgames would be the focal point of the new channel.

“Video games are the epicenter of technology and entertainment, so that’ll be the center of G4techTV,” Hirschhorn said. “We’ll expand into other areas influenced by technology as it relates to entertainment as well.”

G4techTV will target 12-34-year-old males, who cable ops regard as the most receptive to buying digital services such as video-on-demand, high-speed access to the Internet and interactive vidgames.

G4techTV will roll out original skeins in late July. Talkers, news shows and docs are being discussed as possible formats for upcoming originals.

In the interim, G4 and Tech TV will ease viewers into the combined channel by swapping a pair of one-hour blocks until the premiere of G4techTV on May 28.

Shows from Tech TV that will relocate to the new cabler include “Anime Unleashed,” “Body Hits” “Eye Drops,” “Fresh Gear,” “Future Fighting Machines,” “Invent This,” “Nerd Nation,” “Robot Wars,” “The Screen Savers,” “Thunderbirds,” “Unscrewed” and “X-Play.”

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