“Issues” Working For HLN’s “Niche-Target” Strategy

By SteveK Comment

velez_3-3-.jpg“Jane Velez-Mitchell is a true-crime author, a television talking head, a lesbian, an animal activist, a recovering alcoholic and a vegan. She was until recently a glorified freelancer for Headline News, the sister channel of CNN.”

This is how the New York Times’ Brian Stelter begins his profile today of HLN’s newest star and host of “Issues,” which is setting ratings records for the network despite being initially created in “less than 24 hours.”

The program averaged 241,000 viewers in the A25-54 demo in February, as opposed to 157,000 from Glenn Beck’s program the previous year.

With “Issues” and Nancy Grace’s show at 8pmET (which has topped CNN and MSNBC at 8pmET for the past three months in the demo), HLN’s streamlined strategy has worked. “The advantage of having two fully distributed TV networks is that we can niche-target,” says CNN Worldwide EVP in charge of HLN, Ken Jautz.

(photo by Yana Paskova for The New York Times)