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S-VOX shutters in-house production

S-VOX, the parent company of VisionTV, One: the Body, Mind and Spirit Channel and The Christian Channel, has announced the cancellation of its flagship program, 360 Vision, and the elimination of the in-house production department as of the end of May 2007. Six permanent positions have been declared redundant, and a number of employment contracts will be terminated or not renewed.

The Canadian Media Guild is in the final stages of negotiating a first collective agreement with S-VOX. Although this agreement has not yet been fully implemented, management has agreed to honour the layoff and recall provisions which both sides have agreed to in principle. These provisions provide for rights and benefits which are better than the minimums set out in federal labour legislation.

Some of the affected employees have been with the company for over ten years and 360 Vision is an award-winning program and well-respected within the TV community. The future of the show itself has always been a bit of a question mark from one season to the next, but a lot of people were taken by surprise when the company decided to get out of in-house production altogether.

“It’s disappointing to see that the company is moving more to a distribution model, and away from content creation”, says CMG staff representative Keith Maskell. “But it points out the unfortunate truth of the lack of financing for Canadian programming. Broadcasters alone can’t get funding under the Canadian Television Fund; it only funds programs made by independent producers.”

The Guild has already suggested that the federal government set up a new fund to help broadcasters to create their own news, current affairs, children’s and documentary programs, rather than simply distributing them. To read the CMG’s proposal, go to http://www.cmg.ca/CRTCsep06EN.pdf .

For more information, please contact Keith Maskell at keith@cmg.ca .

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