Word arrives of Sun TV’s demise.
I don’t watch TV so this is an abstract blow. I watched enough of Sun to know that I didn’t like it any more than I liked the Sun newspapers. It was certainly a dissident voice in the wasteland of Canadian television. But it missed Marshall Mcluhan’s point about television being a cool media. Worse, it lacked the vision which has driven Fox to the top of the cable heap.
Television is dying. Viewership is dropping, ad revenues are down. It’s dying because no one has time and no one wants to be talked at. Talked with, perhaps. My phone offers me a thousand and eleven news sources, raw video of events:the opinions I can develop myself.
Sun’s critical mistake – other than having the production values of community TV, was to miss how mainstream, lefty, media works. The opinion is embedded not overt.
I love Ezra and Brian Lilley. For five minutes at a time max. Which leaves 23 hours and change to do serious reporting, regional coverage, round tables, celebrity bs, culture, media, books and call ins. Plus serious business reporting when the market is open.
None of that happened. Or,if it did, no one knew about it.
Taking several million dollars and running a conservative flag up a pole is a worthy endeavour. Everyone at Sun deserves a heartfelt pat on the back. But the reality is that marketplaces decide what works and Sun TV never did.
It is encouraging that BCF noted that Ezra was sitting with Moses Znaimer at the Mark Steyn event. Znaimer is the smartest guy in Canadian television bar none.
Sun TV was an attempt to change the channel. It failed. The need remains but it has to be smart, slickly produced and Internet aware. Sun TV, whatever its ideological virtue, was ham handed, as slick as Brian’s do, and Internet poison. These are people from the dying newspaper business trying to revive the dying television business and it showed.
The market is never wrong… On to the next thing.
UPDATE:Lots of smart commentary floating around the Canadian net. Thanks to Blazingcatfur, Five Feet and Mark Steyn for linking.
Creating conservative media one needs to keep a couple of things in mind. Toronto is not Canada. No, really. The Internet is here to stay and it has changed everything. Real news leads, opinion follows. Conservatives are busy people. They will watch smartly packaged news and business reporting. The success of BNN demonstrates this. Television is dying so don’t be television…look to VICE as a model. Fixed costs are your enemy, freelancers your friend. There is a lot of underutilised studio space all over Canada. Slick production is about style, the 70’s are over. Technology let’s you shoot studio quality on a DSLR and edit on your phone. Use it or find someone who can.