It’s been another interesting week in the world of TV news. The sports headlines were dominated by one man loosing his job at a premiership football club, and media headlines dominated by one woman gaining a new job at ITV. The TVC-backed Lenny Henry campaign for greater media diversity gained more momentum, but prompted a UKIP candidate to suggest on twitter than Lenny should go and ‘live in a black country’. Meanwhile Bear Grylls and Channel 4 are accused of sexism, London Live are struggling, BWNG are expanding, and Lupita is beautiful! Read on for more details.
What we can learn from management failure at Manchester United
We don’t often talk about football at The TVC, but this week is has a special relevance. Not matters on the pitch but matters in the boardroom. Unless you’ve been denied access to all forms of news media over the last week, you will know that the Manchester United Manager David Moyes was relieved of his duties last Tuesday. Recall if you will that Moyes was given the job after being hand-picked by the previous manager and fellow scot Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson and the United board no doubt felt that if they could find a replacement who looked and sounded like a younger version of Ferguson, then continued success would inevitably follow. Unfortunately for all concerned, things didn’t go to plan, and Moyes’ brief time at the club was an abysmal failure. Meanwhile despite all the Black players on the pitch, there is not a single Black manager in the Premiership. ‘What does this have to do with working in the TV industry?’ you are no-doubt wondering. The whole sorry episode only serves to highlight the folly of employing people on the basis that they look and sound like you – common practice not only in football, but also in business, politics and the media in this country. Let’s hope that the failure of the Moyes experiment at Man U will encourage members of the male, stale and pale elite that run things in this country, to widen the pool of potential employees outside of their own social circle. Anybody for the Rooney Rule?
Bear Grylls and Channel 4 accused of sexism
Bear Grylls’ latest television show has been labelled sexist by female survival experts who are angry at the decision to exclude women from the series, which will see 12 men stranded on a desert island. The male volunteers on The Island with Bear Grylls will be stripped of all the comforts of modern life, cast away on a deserted island for four weeks and forced to work for their survival.
But the Channel 4 series, which aims to discover whether modern men have lost the ability to be practical, has been met with disapproval from the TV presenter’s female counterparts, who say it’s ludicrous that the island will be populated by men only.
Survival expert and bush craft instructor Lisa Fenton described the decision as “inherently sexist”, saying it was absurd to think that women weren’t as capable as men when it came to survival skills. “It’s fantastical and ridiculous. Women are every bit as cut out for this stuff as men,” she said. “It is sexism and it’s deeply rooted.”
Seasoned explorer Sarah Outen, who recently rowed solo across the North Pacific Ocean and is about to kayak from the Aleutian Islands in the north Pacific to mainland Alaska, says the new show will promote the view that women don’t go on big adventures.
“It’s a pity that Channel 4 have decided to have a male-only show as if somehow suggesting that women couldn’t cut it – or, more probably, that women wouldn’t make good TV,” she said. “But there is such a male-oriented bias with adventure TV programmes already that it doesn’t surprise me to see this.”
London Live – the ratings are in…..and it’s not good.
London Live, the news-based TV channel launched on last month is struggling to bring in the ratings. Indeed, according to one commentator, Neil Midgely, the first three weeks of ratings have been “a disaster.”
He argues that “almost nobody” is tuning in to the channel’s flagship news and current affairs programmes that account for five-and-a-half hours every weekday.
Roy Greenslade in the Guardian argued that “ London Live could be London Dead within months if it cannot attract more viewers soon”. But London Live’s chief executive, Andrew Mullins, is unconvinced by the Barb figures arguing that the Barb panel within the capital is too small, creating an inbuilt bias.
“If you launch a new ‘London only’ focused TV channel, with a youth bias, where you expect viewing to be linear and non-linear, you are aware that Barb is not going to be very helpful,” he says. “We’re far from the finished article. We are finding this very tough. We are learning every day. We know we can do a lot better in certain areas and we very much intend to do so.” And “we’re only three weeks old.”
So if you want to see that station survive, you know what to do – tune in!
BWNG are expanding their team
Meanwhile in related London Live news, Brothers With No Game, (one of their shows that we at the TVC were championing from its YouTube days) are looking to expand their team, according to their twitter feed.
— Bros With No Game (@TheBWNG) April 24, 2014
Best thing I’ve seen on-line this week
If been a great few months for Lupita Nyong’o. After taking Hollywood, and the fashion industry by storm and winning an Oscar for her role in 12 Years A Slave, last week she was announced by People magazine as The Most Beautiful Woman in the World. But sadly, as this video shows, many newcasters still can’t pronounce her name .
That’s all for this week, but if you just can’t hang on for another seven days to get your next fix of TV industry news, check our facebook page for daily updates.