Sci Fi Channel changing name, logo

Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:56am EDT
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - After 16 years, Sci Fi Channel is changing its name ... unless you say it aloud.

NBC Universal-owned cable network will become SyFy starting in June.

The phonics-friendly moniker is part of a network-wide rebranding campaign that has been in the works for more than a year. It's an evolution that also includes a new logo and tagline -- "Imagine Greater" -- and will be announced Monday at the network's "upfront" presentation to advertisers for the new programing season.

The changes attempt to address longtime marketing goals at the network, as well as practical challenges that have stemmed from using a generic term as a brand name.

"We love being sci-fi, and we're still embracing that," said network president Dave Howe on Friday. "But we're more than just space and aliens and the future -- the three things most people think of when they think of 'sci fi.'"

Though at first blush more fantastical-looking than the current name, "SyFy" aims to telegraph that the channel is a unique destination without being so different from the current title as to lose the network's core familiarity.

"What this does is hopefully give us the best of both worlds," Howe said. "You keep the heritage, but also open up to a broader range of content."

For years the network has sought ways to expand its image beyond its signature male-skewing space operas such as "Stargate" and "Battlestar Galactica." The network will unveil the branding campaign this summer along with the premiere of "Warehouse 13," a series about two FBI agents who hunt down paranormal objects.   Continued...