Sad news this morning, as PEDESTRIAN.TV confirms that Channel V Australia is officially ceasing operations.
Staff were told that the channel – responsible for launching the careers of Aussie presenters / personalities Osher Günsberg, Danny Clayton, Carissa Walford, Yumi Stynes and a bunch more – was to be no more late yesterday afternoon.
Head of Channels & Operations for the Foxtel Networks, Stephen Baldwin, and the Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, emailed confirmation of the news overnight, blaming a “steady decline” in the way broadcast audiences consume music.
An amalgamation of Channel [V] and [V] Hits, called [V] Hits, will kick off as of this Saturday, according to the email – but, reading between the lines, they’re essentially downgrading the Aussie music TV stalwart to a music video-only 24 hour loop and cutting all physical production.
We received a copy of the email from a now-redundant staff member:
As foreshadowed in my presentation yesterday, we are making changes across our organisation in order to be match fit in an increasingly competitive landscape. One area I discussed with you was channel rationalisation.
Over the past several years music clips have become ubiquitous with availability on services like YouTube, whilst linear broadcast audiences for music channels have been in steady decline.
In order to run the Foxtel music services more efficiently we have decided to merge Channel [V] and [V] Hits.
The new service will be called [V] Hits and we will create a +2 of this channel. [V] Hits will continue to be a clip based channel with no long form content.
This change will begin to take place this Saturday, with the channel branding completed by late March.
I would like to thank the music team for their hard work and dedication in making Channel [V] an integral part of the Australian music landscape throughout the years.
I would also like to thank those team members leaving us today. You leave with our best wishes for your onward journey.
Brian Walsh & Stephen Baldwin
This comes less than 10 months after Channel V announced it was launching five new dedicated music shows, premiering each night of the week at 9pm – what was now, in hindsight, likely a last-ditch effort to boost ratings.
Former and current Vs have already started to lament the news on Twitter, with Osher and Danny leading the charge:
P.TV has reached out to Channel V for comment.
RIP CHANNEL V 🙁
Photo: Oliver Minnett.