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Friday, June 13, 2008

rip speakers corner

Rogers is pulling another cornerstone that made the CITY-TV block. The blabber mouth outlet where everyday locals and even young kids named Mike Myers, and The Barenaked Ladies frequented on a weekly basis is going to be given the gag order.

Speakers Corner is gone.

Just a week fresh after the stations new parent company pulled the plug on longtime CITY crooner, Peter Silverman, Rogers has canceled the longtime motormouth spot that's been on the corner of Queen and John since the late 80's. Just for a loonie, people were able to come and do anything they wanted only to be seen later on that week on Television.

"The (Speakers Corner TV) program will stay on the air till August, so we're not pulling the plug right away. But the plans for Dundas Square were just that, plans. We have nothing committed, nothing announced." stated CITY head Jamie Haggarty. "We like the brand," hinted Haggarty. "It's a great brand. It's just that viewership isn't coming through on TV. Our wireless guys and our digital team are looking at how we can evolve it to the digital media. We may still have the booth, but it'll be more of a Web presence than a television presence."

So will they have a new concept when the station moves to their new digs at Dundas Square? There hasn't been any confirmation from Rogers, yet. Is Rogers doing the exact same thing we all thought they'd do when they took over from the family owned company? Yes.

"I told them, time and time again, that I wanted to do one more year," boasted Silverman, calling in from the cottage to the Toronto Star. "Twenty years of Silverman Helps had a nice ring to it. That would have been August of 2009, which would at least have given us the chance to tell the audience, `Look, he's retiring. He's an old crow now. He's done his bit. Don't write in any more, because the program is ending.'

"That would have been the decent thing for the people who relied on us to help them, and we had about 20,000 requests a year. That would have been the dignified way to go. Instead, we were called downstairs into the boardroom and told that, as of that moment, we were closed down.

"When we asked what the rationale was, we were told, `We don't have to give you a rationale.'"

Thanks, Ted.

While most might think that the CITY-TV we know and love is going to be just a memory Haggarty persists that they're not changing CITY's vision. "We have more user-generated content than ever," persisted Haggarty to the Star. "We're not any less committed to defending the consumer. We're reviewing and relooking at everything. This is all just a part of the process."