Monday, May 26, 2008

Beginning of the End -- Last Week for Akron-Canton News

Well .. the week I dreaded has arrived. This is the final week of the Akron-Canton News, which is being discontinued due to a number of economic reasons. Basically, not enough ads were sold to keep the product on the air, so the last show will be the 10 p.m. broadcast on Friday May 30th.

It's been a slow death since the announcement was made 5+ weeks ago. The stress level has been high in our newsroom as we each deal with the loss in different ways.

The broadcast we launched on June 13, 2001 as "PAX 23 News" has taken a lot of turns in its seven-year run. We began with seven newsroom staffers doing one broadcast each day and then eventually grew to 11 staffers doing two shows each weeknight just before the Iraq war began in early 2003.

When problems at PAX arrived in early 2005, the show moved to Time Warner Cable and a new series of struggles began -- specifically informing viewers in each community where they could find us on the dial. Regular viewers who weren't TWC customers gave us an earful, but moving to cable was our only option so what could we do?

Through attrition and relocating some staff to the Cleveland office, we slowly shrunk from 11 staffers back to seven while still doing two shows each night. As of this writing, we are down to six staffers .. some of whom, unfortunately, will be let go after Friday.

Throughout this week, I'll try to share some of the behind-the-scenes stories of the highs and lows of the last seven years.

It's so hard to know that our community is losing its traditional evening news broadcast -- and in some ways its TV identity -- for a second time.

Losing a program that so many of us loved with all our hearts is just hard to describe. This whole week is just going to be really, really hard.


Anonymous said...

We're all lamenting the loss of "our" newscast. We will miss all the smiling faces of TV 23. God bless.


Ben said...

Good luck with everything this week, eric.

Jill said...

Thanks for keeping a log of this event, Eric. I am sure in some way it's cathartic but it has got to be very emotional too.

Terry said...

What I don't understand is why no one in the community seems to realize what we are losing. It's kind of like when Polsky's and O'Neils left downtown. For years after everyone would comment on how they missed those great old stores, but if you asked them if they shopped there when the stores were open, you just get blank stares and excuses. Good luck to all of you. You'll be missed.

Village Green said...

For all the money I throw at Time Warner every month for various services, you'd think they'd be able to afford a daily local news broadcast.

We will be less of a city after May 30.

Mom2Amara said...

It's hard to believe this is the final week. Good luck to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Electronic memory is something that I seemingly will never have enough of. It's as if megabytes and gigabytes have become a permanent part of my every day existence. Ever since I bought a Micro SD Card for my Nintendo DS flash card, I've been on the constant lookout for large memory at low prices. I feel like I'm going insane.

(Posted on SPPost for R4i Nintendo DS.)