by Jordan Robinson
A&E Television Networks
235 E 45th St
New York City, NY,
United States 10017
A&E Television Networks (AETN), LLC is an American media company that offers a variety of television channels via cable and satellite in both the U.S. and overseas. As a joint venture between Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company, AETN channels include A&E, Crime and Investigation Network, fyi, History, H2, History en Español, Lifetime, LMN, Lifetime Real Women, and Military History.1 Spanning across multiple platforms, A&E Television Networks offers content in a variety of media forms including television programming, websites, music, and video content. Their principal competitors include the Discovery Channel, AMC Networks and Public Broadcasting Service.1, 2
Nancy Dubuc has resided as President and CEO of A&E Television networks since June of 2013. Under her charge, the network has seen rapid growth. In September 2014, Dubuc oversaw A+E Networks’ acquisition of a 10% stake in Vice Media. Dubuc has received multiple Emmy awards and nominations throughout her 15 year tenure at A+E Networks as network executive, programmer, and producer. According to Dubuc, “Great content should create an experience beyond the TV, across every platform our audience uses.” As such, she has been an integral part of the company’s convergence across multiple platforms as they try to reach a wider audience. 6
Abbe Raven was appointed chairman of A&E Television Networks in June 2013. Under her charge, A&E Networks tripled their earnings as she has overseen the company’s expanding global portfolio since April 2005. She currently serves as vice chairman on the board of directors of the NCTA and is on the boards of the NAMIC Foundation and the CTAM Educational Foundation. She also serves as vice chairman of the advisory board of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. 7
Derived from humble beginnings, A&E Television Networks started out with a lone channel, A&E, which offered a mixture of cultural programming including jazz performances, symphonic concerts, celebrity interviews, classic movies and documentaries. After striking a deal with BBC in its first year, two thirds of their programming came from first rights to BBC content. By it’s third year of inception, A&E Television Networks was already receiving high acclaim as the greatest producer of quality arts and entertainment media in America. After widening their range of content in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, historical documentaries and off-network sitcoms were introduced along with higher ratings. ²
By the mid 1990’s, Biography and the History Channel have rapidly become the most respected and widely viewed of the Network’s programming. Grossing over 35 million subscribers by 1996, the Network decided to enter into the international market to promote their programming in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, The United Kingdom, and Canada. Currently their international networks are comprised of A&E Networks UK and A&E Networks Asia, operating over 6 channels in each market in countries such as England, Norway, Sweden, India, and Malaysia. ¹
After merging with Lifetime Entertainment Networks in 2009, A&E began to revamp their channels under the guidance of A&E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc. As a result, the Bio channel has now merged under the fyi channel, and many stagnant shows have been dropped from their line up. 6
Early this fall A+E Networks aquired 10% of Vice Media in exchange for $250 million dollars. Similar to A&E’s objectives, the partnership and investment will fund Vice’s expansion into a wider array of global programming about news, fashion, sports, culture and more. “They are a very powerful brand, and it cannot be underestimated their ability to reach a very hard-to-reach audience,” said Nancy Dubuc, chief executive of A&E Networks. ³
As of September 2014, A&E Networks has formed a new partnership with the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association to televise “The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards” and “The Critics’ Choice Television Awards” for 2015 and 2016. The 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, January 15, 2015, and will be broadcast live on A&E from The Hollywood Palladium officially kicking off film award season. 5
Currently A&E Networks are producing content specifically tailored toward different markets using the same shows but incorporating them into African, Asian, European, and Australian markets. Shows include Pawn UK, Pawn South Africa, Aussie Pickers, Italian Pickers, and Dance Mums. This move demonstrates their outreach to underdeveloped areas as well as areas that have never before seen such content. 9
The University of Oklahoma and A+E Network’s HISTORY Channel is partnering to offer the very first TV Network-branded online course for transferable college credit. The course is offered to students or for the lifelong learner. The course will be instructed by award winning teacher, OU professor, and renowned historian Steve Gillon. As HISTORY Channel’s first academic course, United States, 1865 to the Present is shattering the barracade between education and entertainment.
Set to last 4 months, the interactive course will be offered during the Spring Semester, officially begining on January 12, 2015. Offering a collaborative learning experience to a wide range of students, the program combines professionally-produced and intriguing video lectures with quizzes, tests, discussion groups and social interactions between student and professor. The course also integrates multimedia resources from the HISTORY Channel’s website.
At a cost of $500, the value-priced course for college credit targets current college students looking to meet their graduation requirements, as well as high school students who wish to get a jumpstart on their college education. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive three transferable college credits that will apply to any regionally accredited school. 4
A+E Studios has signed a three-year, first-look development agreement with prolific producer, writer, and two-time Emmy winner Carlton Cuse. This partnership marks A+E Studios’ first overall production deal with a creator/writer-producer since its inception.
Currently working as a writer/producer on five active series, Cuse has been named one of today’s most prolific producers. Currently, he works as executive producer of both “Bates Motel” and the upcoming series “The Returned” for A&E Network, in addition to “The Strain” for FX. Cuse is also in pre-production on “Colony” for USA Network. Perhaps best known for his work on “Lost,” Cuse served as executive producer, co-showrunner, and head writer with Damon Lindelof for a total of six seasons on ABC. Having received a total of 10 Emmy nominations and 2 wins for his work, Cuse continues to amaze audiences of all ages. 8
1.) “A & E Television Networks History.” History of A & E Television Networks – FundingUniverse. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. <http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/a-e-television-networks-history/>.
3.) Steel, Emily. “Vice Lands 2nd Investment, to Fuel Expansion.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 03 Sept. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/business/media/vice-lands-2nd-investment-to-fuel-expansion.html?_r=0>.
Critics’ Choice Movie Awards: http://pmcdeadline2.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/critics-choice-movie-award__120113100547.jpg