Tuesday, October 6, 2015

ABC Family to Rebrand Network To "Freeform" in January 2016

The U.S. network ABC Family (often stylized as "abc family") will be renamed and rebranded as Freeform as of January 2016, according to network president Tom Ascheim. The new name “Freeform” reflects the essence of the audience, says Ascheim: “We think that they are indeed in formation so on some level, so it really feels like it invokes the quality of being a 'Becomer'”, a network-coined term defined as those in the life stage spanning ages 14 to 34.

The Becomer audience — a concept ABC Family execs introduced at this year’s upfront presentation— reflects the network’s efforts to keep up with its millennial viewers as they grow up. “The most important question that young people ask themselves as they’re going from high school to their thirties is, ‘Who am I becoming?’ So we call the life stage ‘becoming’ and the people going through it Becomers,” Ascheim explains.

The network was founded in 1977 as an extension of televangelist Pat Robertson's Christian television ministry, and eventually evolved into The Family Channel by 1990. In 1998, it was sold to Fox Kids Worldwide, Inc. and renamed Fox Family. On October 24, 2001, Fox Family Channel and Fox Family Worldwide were sold to the Walt Disney Company and renamed ABC Family.

For more information, read Elizabeth Wagmeister's article in Variety, by clicking here.

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