Broken Business Model? Broken Promises

There is no local TV morning show in London anymore. 

Not in prime commuting time, anyway.  CTV shut down A Mornings immediately, putting 48 people out of work, one of them, a former colleague of mine at 680 News. 

Some myopic fool wrote on a media message board yesterday that nothing happens in a city the size of London that can’t be covered on an Ontario-wide news program.   An arrogant comment like that could only have come from someone in Toronto and it did, I checked.  One of the best things that’s happened to me since moving from TO (a city I have a lot of love for, by the way) is losing any shred of sense that it’s the centre of the universe.  I’ve lived in enough different cities to know that it truly isn’t but there’s an ego about Toronto and its longtime citizenry that leads it to believe that anything that happens outside of the GTA doesn’t matter. 

One of London’s finest features is that it’s far enough from the GTA to be self-reliant.  By comparison, it has been relatively untouched by whatever you want to call this current economic climate.  But CTV is determined to prove that the “business model for television is broken” and it wants to turn broadcast TV into a paid service.  It’s not for me to analyze from the outside but those are the facts. 

A city of 300,000+ needs local coverage.  It needs its own daily newspaper and its own local broadcasters covering issues that matter locally, not just from a Toronto point of view.  An Ontario-wide newscast wouldn’t give a holler about what’s happening to the local festivals but it matters to those of us who live here.  This city does not live in Toronto’s shadow nor should it be defined by what Toronto thinks is important.    Perhaps instead of revolutionizing the business model, it’s time to return to local ownership because being part of a big network isn’t serving anyone’s purposes right now.