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Comedy Central

History and Ownership

Comedy Central was launched in April of 1991 following a merger between Time Warner and Viacom. The merger occurred when HBO, owned by Time Warner, combined its comedy channel with MTV Network's comedy channel "HA!".


Target Audiences

Comedy Central's targets audiences ranging from the ages of 18-49, highly concentrating on adults and men. Viewers are not distracted easily, ranking Comedy Central among the top cable networks in key demos where the viewers are "paying full attention” to its programs. [1]  

Advertising Strategies

Comedy Central uses a variety of platforms including TV, print online, and mobile to get the word out. Back in 2005, Comedy Central was promoting a new show 'Stella,' through the uses of "influencer" mailings from Cornerstone Marketing (New York), street teams, at clubs and bars, and among other places. Comedy Central also gave Verizon Wireless members preview clips of the show and ran text-based tune-in alerts for Sprint PCS users.  Glenn Ginsburg, formal VP of interactive ad sales, said, "Working cross-platform maximizes the reach for an audience, especially with Stella. Hopefully, this will generate a lot of interest." [2]

Branding Strategies

Scheduling & Promotional Techniques

Signature Programing and General Trends

Current Programming

The Daily Show (1996-)

premiered in the summer of 1996 and was initially hosted by Craig Kilbourn. In 1999 Jon Stewart who had previously worked at MTV news took over as the show's anchor. The Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11pm. Episodes are reaired several times during the week during daytime. Even though the show is dubbed "fake news" it has been recognized as an influential political commentary. [3] During the period of the 2008 presidential election the show averaged about 2 million viewers every night. The show fares particularly well with male audiences from 18-34. [4] [5] The show is currently renewed through June 2013.[6]  The show's structure is a mixture of newscast and late night talkshow. Stewart discusses current political events and features "mock" political commentators as well as real pundits. The show also features guests outside the political arena such as actors and musicians.[7]


  1. "Comedy Central: Profile Data" Cable Television Advertising Bureau. Web.
  2. "Comedy Central Stellabration." BrandWeek. 13 Jun 2005. Web.
  3. Baym, Geoffrey: "The Daily Show: Discursive Integration and the reinvention of Political Journalism."
  4. Starr, Michael. New York Post. 25 Sep 2008. Web.;jsessionid=E277DD27FAB42B849582541FC9AB5BED
  5. Gorman, Bill. TV By The Numbers. 8 Sep 2010. Web.
  6. United Press International, Inc. April 2010. Web.
  7. "Official Homepage." The Daily Show.