ABC to close Live Well Network

138Turns out Live Well Network wasn’t living well after all.

ABC announced Monday it was shuttering its food, fashion, and travel diginet after nearly six years on the air. ABC carried Live Well on its .2 channel in 720p on its owned-stations, one of the rare digital subchannels to be presented in HD. In a statement, ABC Owned Television President Rebecca Campbell said: “Despite Live Well’s tremendous accomplishments in distribution and original programming, we made a strategic decision that our priority must be local content, and we want to maximize our investment in our core local news brands in the digital space,” according to Campbell. 

Live Well was the brainchild of then-WLS-TV GM Emily Barr, who created the channel in Chicago, and was later named president of Live Well. During her tenure, Live Well’s station count grew. But the network’s momentum stalled when Barr left ABC to run Graham Holdings’ (formerly Post-Newsweek) station group two years ago.

Live Well’s clearance rate stood at 64 percent – short of the 70 percent needed to attract reliable national advertising. “The economics didn’t work”, said Bill Carroll of Katz Media to The Hollywood Reporter. 

Aside from Rick Bayless’ Mexico: One Plate At A Time and the CBC’s Steven and Chris daytime show from Canada, Live Well carried original programming, produced by the ABC O&Os, including Let’s Dish, which was shot at WLS. Despite the shows being original, the quality of the programming was another matter (My Family Recipe Rocks?)

It is not known what would replace Live Well Network once it closes. Even though it is scheduled to close in mid-January, non ABC O&O stations who carried it may choose to drop Live Well early for another digital subchannel.

Networks likely to benefit include the three retro TV networks Antenna TV, Cozi, MeTV and movie channels This, Movies!, and GetTV and African-American targeted Bounce.

Meanwhile, ABC-owned stations are expected to replace Live Well with “local content” as Campbell said, though she declined to elaborate on exactly what it would be.

Live Well becomes the latest diginet to go belly up in recent years, and now joins a list which includes The Tube, Universal Sports (which moved to satellite), and NBC’s Non-Stop Channel as subchannel ventures who failed.


10 thoughts on “ABC to close Live Well Network

    • We really liked the live well network shows Motion, Sweet Retreats, We Owe What?. I hope ABC will transfer those shows to their regular network. We are so sick of watching reruns and garbage on tv.

    • How unfortunate and short sighted on ABC’s part. LWN is a refreshing change to the vampire, zombie and violent crime shows. Many of us like to learn something useful. Perhaps a little advertising on the cable and satellite companies would have given them that 70 percent. Very sad viewer.

    • I agree with the comments posted. Besides, MeTV and Movies! are for those who are retired or do not work. People with active brains and active healthy lifestyles preferred Live Well Network. Some of the shows were better than the regular ABC programming. I am not switching to any of the others mentioned, though. IONLife is my next option. It was already much before Live Well, but I switched looking for better air reception of the channel. And I won’t pay cable to see bad programming.
      Local options? I don’t think so. Even Live Well and IONLife had to find better programs in Canadian TV producers…what a shame! Steven and Chris (my favorites) have a nice way to produce programs with good attractive contents, whether about design, lifestyle or fashion, and apparently at relatively low cost. Kudos to their team. Where’s the local talent that can substitute programs like those, and do not demand cable subscription?

      • More than disappointed to discover that LIVING WELL NETWORK has been REMOVED!!!! It was THE MOST APPRECIATED AND ENJOYABLE OF PROGRAMMING AVAILABLE !!!!! (and now to make matters worse it has been replaced by H&I running old cowboy movies nonstop). Can things get worse??? I’m still stunned today after discovering this on my own last night…please SAY IT ISN’T SO !!!!

    • I dont have cable and livewell have been my hgtv. I stayed up until 2:00am watching this channel every night.knock it off, deals, steven&Chris,downright domestic, I watch them all , please have a heart and leave our channel alone you have already taken” bounce” away are you forcing us to get cable? We cant afford it leave our channel.thank you

    • Hi Steve&Chris beautiful set you have i just cant wait for your show to see it and your floral arrangements are to die for love ,love, love, love your shows .

    • Was just catching on to stevin and chris a little advertisement could of helped ti me they were the best talj show please give them another chance .tired of watching rerun shows

    • I really enjoyed the Live Well Network, especially the Mirror Mirror segments. I think they should try to bring it back. If not , I will not be watching. Sorry.

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