New Executive Seeks To Broaden UPN's AppealBy Caillan
January 26, 2002 - 10:32 AM
Incoming UPN entertainment president Dawn Tarnofsky-Ostroff last week said she wants to focus on creating a new identity for the network and expanding its target audience beyond the young male demographic.
The first step will be to unify the network's schedule, which currently encompasses a wide variety of genres. "There are different viewers on different nights," Tarnofsky-Ostroff told Variety. "The idea is to broaden out the viewership [from young men] and really start to string the nights together. The goal is to make sure UPN has its own identity. There's a tremendous opportunity to expand on the audience that's already there."
Tarnofsky-Ostroff, who officially starts her duties on February 11, will report to CBS's Leslie Moonves. The CBS chief executive assumed responsibility for UPN in December when parent company Viacom decided to integrate the two networks (story).
Moonves said he'll be actively involved in UPN, something Tarnofsky-Ostroff is completely at ease with. "I've always been a team-oriented person," she said. "I feel more comfortable with everyone being involved in the process."
The network will continue to target the youth demographic, but try to broaden its appeal to young women as well as men. "Good programmers can develop shows for everybody," Moonves told the New York Times, adding that "we will never be as female-oriented as the WB is."
Prior to joining UPN, Tarnofsky-Ostroff served as executive vice-president for the Lifetime cable channel, which was squarely aimed at the female demographic. But she noted that "even at Lifetime, where the audience was 75 percent women, we did programs that tried to keep men in mind."