/// Discovery’s The Hub Ponies Up
Under her cardigan, Margaret Loesch is wearing a black T-shirt with a cartoon pony on it. The pony, eyes closed, smile wide, appears to be cheering in a moment of utter bliss. This reflects how Loesch—in Manhattan to prepare for upfront season—feels about producing reboots of Gen X-targeted shows like My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic and the upcoming Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot in her role as president and CEO of The Hub, Hasbro’s joint venture with Discovery. “We know that if there’s a strong parental affection, that affection will serve us,” Loesch said. “The key for us is not to be too sappy about that. Frankly, we’re not after parental approval; we’re after parental introduction.” That strategy has worked to some degree, but there are still challenges. Co-viewing is more than five times what it was at Discovery Kids (the network Discovery rebranded to make The Hub). At the same time, total day viewership continues to grow, but is still under 100,000 for February despite high-profile (and expensive) branded content. Unlike fellow Discovery joint venture OWN , however, the network’s slope is mostly steady. Year-over-year growth in total day viewership among the network’s target 2 to 11 demographic is up 29 percent for the year to date. “We can be pretty aggressive now because we’re on a solid trajectory,” Loesch said.
Discovery’s The Hub Ponies Up