Veteran television executives Joseph Varet and Morgan Hertzan have acquired Plum TV out of bankruptcy for $1.17 million.
Although Plum is only in five million homes, it is well known among the elite. It is distributed in the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard, Aspen, Sun Valley and Miami and focuses on the culture of those in the summer-home-and-private-jet set.
Varet and Hertzan, who co-founded LXTV, a producer of lifestyle entertainment content that is now owned by NBCUniversal, said they didn't want to limit their channel to only the one-percenters. Their plan is to broaden the channel's programming to include the wealthy along with the super rich.
“Plum offers a great opportunity to build an international lifestyle multimedia business and will provide platforms where advertisers can reach the most desirable demographic in an environment that reflects the quality and excellence of their brands," Hertzan said in a statement.
In an interview, Hertzan and Varet said they wanted the channel to be a television version of upscale magazines such as Architectural Digest, Conde Nast Traveler and Vanity Fair.
"All these magazines are talking to a consumer with disposable income that wants to make educated purchase decisions," Morgan said.
The network may have difficulty getting its distribution to a level where it can compete with other channels. Typically, a cable network needs to reach more than 30 million homes before national advertisers will even consider kicking the tires.
As part of its efforts to build Plum, the network will open an office in Los Angeles and build ties to the creative community here. Creative Artists Agency, which advised Varet and Hertzan on the deal, is also going to consult for Plum moving forward.
-- Joe Flint