Tricia Melton: When we were launching Oxygen, it was an incredibly interesting experience because we were launching that network right before the dot.com. Bubble burst, the first one. The company itself was built on this idea of convergence but most people do not remember was that Oxygen launched Oxygen.com before it launched the Linear Network.
Tricia Melton: It was a company that was ahead of its time, really. Social media did not really exist as we know it today. If it had, I think Oxygen’s trajectory would have been a little different. It truly was a company that was ahead of its time. We launched the websites first.
Tricia Melton: Then we had a big launch of the Linear Network, very high profile launched with an ad in the Super bowl. It was the first ad targeted to women, specifically targeted women that ever ran in the Super bowl. Very high profile, very big media, a lot of press attention around that, which strategically and creatively was a smart thing to do.
Tricia Melton: The challenge was the Network was not ready. The premise of Oxygen was that we were going to create twenty-four hours of original programming for women and that it was going to be very different from Lifetime, who really sort of owned the women’s TV and the landscape.
Tricia Melton: The challenge with that is it takes an enormous amount of production, content and operational facilitation to program a twenty-four hour of completely original network. The Network wasn’t ready. The product wasn’t there. You had the front-end, it looked really good but the back-end, not so good.
Tricia Melton: That was a real moment of pivot and for me, the interesting thing in that story was you got to know that your product is ready. I was very focused on the consumer market side of making sure we have a brand vision articulated, that we had the best possible strategy and creative execution of that brand and we did.
Tricia Melton: The creative campaign that we put together won awards. It was incredibly popular from a consumer perspective. The problem was I did not have a product to feed it to. That became a process. That became, as many start-ups have that became a scramble of, “What’s the product? How do we get product that actually fulfills on the mission?” Because the interesting thing was the mission was a good mission, the vision was a good mission, the position was a good position but the product just was not there.