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That's so Oxygen

April 23, 2008 |  9:16 am

Oxygenlogo NEW YORK--The bubbly cartoon motif is gone, and the exclamation point has been jettisoned.

The new Oxygen logo unveiled at the cable channel’s upfront breakfast today features its full name encircled by a tasteful yellow O.

Jason Klarman, who took over as the network’s general manager in January, shortly after it was acquired by NBC Universal, said his goal was to get Oxygen out of the “pink pastel ghetto” and instead embrace “a more vibrant sense of rich color.” (Think M.A.C. instead of Wet 'n Wild.)

The latest tagline for the women’s network, which has seen its share over the years: Live Out Loud.

“Oxygen is the entertainment brand for women who like to look good, feel good and have fun, living life on their own terms,” Klarman told reporters over a breakfast of scrambled eggs, fruit and sausage.

The library of the Soho House in Manhattan’s hip Meatpacking District was festooned with shiny silver orbs and bright yellows for the occasion. The tables boasted daisies, sparkly fake diamonds and real goldfish swimming in small glass bowls (which seemed inexplicable, until a marketing staffer explained that the fishbowls were in keeping with the Oxygen’s circle motif.)

The makeover is an attempt to reenergize the young women’s network, which has undergone several iterations in the last eight years. A lot is riding on the effort, evidenced by NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker’s attendance at today’s breakfast.

Klarman promised this rebranding campaign would stick.

“You’re going to feel it,” he said. “We are zealous when it comes to branding.... We don’t let go of the bone.”

Oxygen may be changing its look, but the new management is sticking with its current programming lineup, which is heavy on celeb-powered reality shows.

Returning in June: “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” the latest chapter in the life of actress Tori Spelling.

“The Bad Girls Club” will also come back, in the form of a reunion show hosted by Star Jones in May. And the fourth season of “The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency” will air in August.

Later this year, the network will roll out “Coolio’s Rules,” a reality show about the rapper as a single dad.

Shows in development include “Dance Your Ass Off,” a “Biggest Loser”-dance competition hybrid; “Glamazons,” a reality show about four plus-size women in New York; and “Meltdown,” a celebrity scandal show.

The network is aiming to attract viewers it has dubbed “Generation O:” 18-to-34-year-old women who are “trenders,” “spenders” and “recommenders.”

To that end, Oxygen is trying to speak the lingo of its young demographic. Its new values: “DFW (down for whatever),” “for real” and “don’t be a hater.”

Lauren Zalaznick, president of Oxygen Media, said the rebranding campaign will be a success when viewers start saying, “Oh, that’s so Oxygen.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s no coincidence. Zalaznick implemented a similar strategy at Bravo, another NBC Universal cable channel that she oversees, which is aimed at “affluencers.”

The two brands are complementary but distinct, she said.

“We are really, really, really thrilled with the blossoming brand we see before us,” Zalaznick added.

-- Matea Gold

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