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Discovery to take over The Hub

Discovery Communications is set to take control of US kids’ network The Hub, its joint venture with toy giant Hasbro, according to a US report.

The network plans to rebrand The Hub as Discovery Family by the end of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Hasbro will maintain a “large” stake in the channel and control six hours of daytime programming between 09:00 and 15:00 following the changes, which have not yet been confirmed.

Available in nearly 71 million US households, The Hub currently airs programming based on numerous Hasbro brands, such as My Little Pony and Transformers.

However the network has struggled to compete in the ratings with its rivals Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and the Wall Street Journal report states that The Hub and Hasbro execs regularly clashed over the latter’s prioritisation of toy sales over ratings performance.

The channel began a shift in programming strategy earlier this year, commissioning a primetime reality series called Parents Just Don’t Understand.

Discovery Family will continue this focus on programming to encourage co-viewing between kids and their parents, the report says.

Margaret Loesch, who has been at the helm of The Hub since it replaced Discovery Kids in 2010, announced her resignation in June and is due to depart when her contract expires at the end of the year.

The new Discovery-owned channel will sit alongside networks such as Investigation Discovery, Destination America, American Heroes Channel and Discovery Life in a business unit overseen by group president Henry Schleiff, the report adds.

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