Heard the news this week out of Global that they are throwing in the towel totally on the E! network stations in Victoria and Red Deer. The Victoria station, CHEK TV, has been on the air for more than 50 years. Same for the Red Deer operation which began as a CBC affiliate.
Of course, the ill-fated E! Canada experiment is ending in a month, and that whole network is being shut down anyway. CHCH, which was the main E! station in Ontario, has found a buyer, and I notice another affiliate in Kelowna will be switching affiliation to Global this fall.
This news comes shortly after the federal regulators the CRTC ordered the cable companies to cough up more money for the local stations and their local news programs. That was enough to save the A-Channel (CTV-owned) station in Windsor from closing, but no such luck for the stations in Victoria and Red Deer. Of course, their parent company Canwest Global is in far worse shape and possibly going bankrupt.
The thing that gets me is that you don't hear about any local station closures in the United States. And their economic situation is far worse than ours -- and they spend more money for more home-grown TV shows! So what gives here in Canada? Are advertisers here all a bunch of total cheapskates -- more so than in the States? I just don't get it.
All in all, this is a totally depressing situation not just for the people at these TV stations, but for TV fans in general. It just seems as if TV is going straight to heck and there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop it, and we have no say at all in what happens next. All we know for sure is these TV outlets will be expecting us to be shelling out more and more money for stations that continually produce less and less programming that is worth watching. I don't like this situation one bit.