×

TV Summit: We TV’s Marc Juris Talks Branding and Brainstorming in Keynote

Cable TV vet Marc Juris kicked off Variety‘s TV Summit on Wednesday with a lighthearted look at lessons he’s learned about branding, programming and creative brainstorming during his 25-plus years in television.

“I haven’t felt such pressure since my Bar Mitzvah,” Juris joked of being asked to give the keynote presentation. “I read Variety as a kid dreaming of one day being a big TV executive.”

In his remarks to the crowd at Century City’s Intercontinental Hotel, We TV prexy-g.m. Juris drew on his past experiences with brand makeovers at CourTV, TruTV, AMC and Fuse while making admittedly shameless plugs for WE’s newly launched rebranding effort.

“Nothing screws people up more than thinking success means you’re smart and invincible,” the exec remarked, noting that changes in the world and the media cannot be predicted, though we can prepare for them. Juris advised the room to pay attention to trends and make an effort to “keep playing,” at a time when it seems there is too much content to handle and new concepts stand as a disruption to remaining relevant.

When saddled with that dilemma, Juris shared that the first idea at the table had been to change the name of WE tv entirely. “People still think of us as Women’s Entertainment,” he commented on the name’s context. “[It] not only feels outdated, but also alienates 150 million potential viewers.” Juris went on to present a hilarious list of poorly-thought-out business names before explaining that the first idea isn’t necessarily the right one.

The options all felt like “’we’ve seen it before.’ Which, incidentally, also describes the new season of ’24,’” he quipped.

“We means ‘us.’ It means ‘you and me,’” Juris said. “It’s this collective community of “us” that ultimately powers the web and turns the word “we” from a preposition into a promise.”

While poking fun Juris delivered a hopeful outlook for the business as technology and viewing habits continue to evolve. The bottom line, according to Juris’ list of secrets: “Great stories make great shows, and great shows build great brands.”

“The secret to success is not looking at things for what they are; it’s looking at them for what they can be,” he said.

More TV

  • 13 REASONS WHY

    Netflix Revises Controversial '13 Reasons Why' Suicide Scene

    Netflix has edited the controversial suicide scene from “Thirteen Reasons Why” two years after the show originally premiered. “We’ve heard from many young people that ’13 Reasons Why’ encouraged them to start conversations about difficult issues like depression and suicide and get help—often for the first time,” Netflix said in a statement Monday. “As we [...]

  • Russell Tovey on His 'Arrogant and

    Russell Tovey on His 'Arrogant and Heroic' 'Years and Years' Character

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the fourth episode of “Years and Years.” Russell T. Davies’ limited series “Years and Years” began with a birth, but it did not wait until the finale to book-end the story with a death. In the fourth episode of the multi-year spanning family drama, [...]

  • Hugh GRant photographed by Shayan Asgharnia

    Listen: Hugh Grant on Why He Would Kill Social Media if He Could

    Hugh Grant has been very active in U.K. press reform initiatives, but he knows the problem is even bigger than the media moguls who control the world’s major news outlets. That’s why Hacked Off, the campaign he’s involved with, is also expanding its scope to include the impact of online propaganda. “It’s particularly terrifying, the [...]

  • Veronica Mars -- "Heads You Lose"

    TV Review: 'Veronica Mars' Season 4

    “Veronica Mars” was a slap to the face of high school dramas when it premiered on UPN in 2004. Creator Rob Thomas took the well-worn “who killed the pretty teenager?” whodunnit and hard-boiled it, following a traumatized girl desperately trying to harden herself to the world’s harsh realities as she tried to solve the case. [...]

  • Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow

    Norah O'Donnell Invokes Edward R. Murrow to Launch New Era at 'CBS Evening News'

    Though Norah O’Donnell had her first turn as anchor of “CBS Evening News” Monday night, she didn’t rely on any attention-grabbing tricks to carry the day. There was no flashy drawing board, no rattling off of unsettling, urgent headlines and no wrap-up of the day with a mawkish end segment calling up some element of [...]

  • Alton Brown

    TV News Roundup: Food Network Announces Premiere Date of 'Good Eats: The Return'

    In today’s roundup, Showtime releases a full-length trailer for “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” and Food Network announces the return of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.”  DATES After taking a break from the series, Alton Brown will bring “Good Eats” back to Food Network’s primetime lineup with “Good Eats: The Return.”  In its first [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    Fox Sees Primetime, Sports Ad Gains As TV Upfront Wraps

    Fox Corporation is the latest to benefit from stronger-than-expected trends in TV ad spending, as the company notched strong gains in advertising commitments for its next cycle of programming – its first since selling off a large chunk of its media assets to Walt Disney. Ad demand was stronger than many executives anticipated, according to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content