Comcast-owned cable network G4 has named former E! programmer John Rieber head of production.
Rieber, whose title will be senior VP, is the latest hire in an overhaul of top brass at the men’s cabler. Led by Comcast programming prexy Jeff Shell, restructuring began in September when G4 founder-president Charles Hirschhorn was replaced with Shell’s fellow Fox Cable alum Neal Tiles, to whom Rieber will report. Dale Hopkins, meanwhile, was upped to chief operating officer.
Shell has been swiftly building up G4 as a destination for young men — a departure from an initial focus on videogames — recently acquiring “Star Trek” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” as well as Fox drama “Fastlane” and Comedy Central’s “The Man Show.” Last summer, the net also launched a latenight animation block similar to Adult Swim.
Rieber, the exec behind the launch of E!’s signature red-carpet coverage and daily news operation, says ramping up G4’s event coverage is among his top priorities. Among his more recent gigs, Rieber exec produced TV Guide’s coverage of the Golden Globe Awards.
“G4 should own the events that young guys are passionate about,” from E3 to the launch of PSP3, Rieber said. “What E! does for awards shows, we want to do for the topics men go nuts for.” G4 targets a narrow 18-34 male demo.
Rieber will also be in charge of the channel’s inhouse production and programming teams and will oversee development on all original product. He’s already taken steps to create a unit focused exclusively on creating shortform and interstitial content for online and mobile platforms.
Immediate goal “is to differentiate ourselves from the pack,” Rieber said; Adult Swim, Spike and Comedy Central already chase the same male aud.