Following the blistering negative comments made all over the web about the recent program Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure, the other day I posted the following to my blog on the True West magazine web site, trying to explain why audiences no longer should expect to see bone fide history on what formerly was The History Channel. Some interesting comments were made about both the treasure hunting show and the cable channel. But none was better than a posting by Rio, who offered his rendition of a new logo for History, the re-branded cable channel formerly known as The History Channel. If History can revise factual historyin its programs, why should History viewers not be able to revise History’s new logo?
Don’t go looking for history anymore at what used to be The History Channel. The programming distributor that once wanted to present history, now wants to make history instead.
There’s been little notice that the History Channel has been re-branded simply as History, sometimes identified as History.com. Notice its new logo when tuning in.
Together with the change in re-branding has come a change in focus. Entertainment, and no longer history, is now the focus of History. The distributor now is focused upon attracting the under age 34 demographic. This has come at the expense of losing the above age 35 demographic, which originally was attracted to The History Channel and made it a success.
The subtle change was engineered by Nancy Dubuc, formerly of the A&E network. Dubuc wants to give History a realty based approach to programming. New programs have featured Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars, and a NASCAR based realty program, yet to be released.
Since I wrote that, History broadcast an edition of its new show Cowboys & Outlaws. This focused on Wyatt Earp. While the show was not the unmitigated disaster that Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure turned out to be, the show did meet with widespread disapproval, both by historians and Earp enthusiasts.
With bone fide history receding from broadcast media, good news may come to print media. Seems people are just going to have to return to reading books to get their history.