Sunday, July 13, 2014

MuchMusic left with skeleton staff after job cuts, source says

The Financial Post reports tha this past Wednesday at 10 a.m., Catherine MacLeod, senior vice president for specialty channels for Much’s owner Bell Media, called a meeting with production teams from Much, MTV Canada, M3 (formerly known as MuchMoreMusic) and the entertainment channel E!, and broke some stunning news, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Eight shows on those channels are ceasing production, which means the loss of 91 jobs. It also means the virtual end of Canada’s music-video-channel era. Save a skeleton staff that will continue to produce the Much and M3 countdowns, Much will accelerate a tactic it had increasingly come to rely on over the last decade: packing its schedule with syndicated content — shows like South Park and Tosh.O — instead of original programming, the source said.
Bell Media confirmed that the Much and M3 countdowns will continue, while eight other shows will cease production, but declined a request for an interview to discuss the company’s broadcast strategy.
Amy Doary, a spokeswoman for Bell Media, also confirmed that hosts Lauren Toyota, Leah Miller and Scott Willats have lost their jobs. Broadcaster and music historian Alan Cross said the news isn’t particularly surprising. In the age of YouTube, sitting in front of the television waiting for your favourite video to come on is an anachronism, he said. “It’s very hard for a lot of these established entities to take the plunge into sophisticated new media ventures when you’re dealing with month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year results demands,” Mr. Cross said. “It’s the curse of the incumbents. You know you have to change, but you still have to service your current business, because you’ve got so much invested in it.”
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