NBC Universal announced today that it has completed its
acquisition of Oxygen Media, one of the nation’s leading female-focused cable
television networks. The transaction is valued at approximately $875 million
net of financial assets.
The acquisition by NBC Universal is part of the company’s stated
strategy to “transform its portfolio and focus on assets with potential for
rapid growth” (read: make money?). Oxygen will become part of the NBC Universal
Cable group, led by Jeff Gaspin, President and Chief Operating Officer,
Universal Television Group. “We are thrilled to add Oxygen Media to our roster
of high-growth cable networks,” said Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC
Universal. “We look forward to having Oxygen play a key role in the ongoing growth
of our cable entertainment business.”
Oxygen strengthens NBC Universal’s position of leadership in
upscale, female-focused media. Its audience complements the viewers of Bravo
and The Today Show, and visitors to
iVillage, the leading online site for women. These assets across multiple
platforms give NBCU an even more attractive go-to-market position in the
fast-growing women’s entertainment and lifestyle market.
Lauren Zalaznick, President of Bravo Media, has been
appointed by Gaspin to oversee Oxygen Media, adding the network to her current
responsibilities; she will continue to report to Gaspin.
Additionally, she will continue her service as Chair of NBC Universal’s Green
Council. “We believe we can bring great value to the Oxygen brand, with our cross-promotion
opportunities, programming expertise and distribution team,” said Gaspin. “Lauren
has had tremendous success growing Bravo and we know, with her talent and
passion, she will do the same with Oxygen.” Under Zalaznick’s watch, Bravo has
achieved record ratings and critical acclaim, and recently completed the
highest-rated quarter in its history among both adults 18-49 and total viewers.