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Journal Entry. Toronto
January 25th, 2008.

It's been a tough couple of weeks for Commissioning Editors ... Journey's playing on the juke box and the blood moon is rising.

There have been whackings at History at Showcase at Corus at Discovery at City. Food will be next. And wasn't that Paulie Walnuts I saw sipping espresso with Mr. S. down on Front Street last week?

With networks changing owners the way the Bada Bing changes dancers I thought it might be a good idea to spend a couple of days boozing and schmoozing in the Big Smoke to pay my respects and to kiss a few ... er ...rings.

Yea, that's it - rings.

After half-a-dozen lunches and God only knows how many beers, here's what The Family of present and former Comm Eds had to say about the state of their dark art:

1. Pitch whatever you want. But more and more they're quietly "assigning" ideas to Favoured Nation prodcos. Those "ideas" then get pitched back to them with a carefully written "chain-of-title" thus making them eligible for CTF financing.

Why are they doing this ? Fear. Fear of taking a chance. Fear that something unknown (read: original) might tank and the sales guys will come looking for the rat.

2. Choke collars are the order of the day at the Corp. Despite all those p.r. dollars buying all that spin, truth is - internally they think the ratings suck. Mr. S. is about to let Paulie do what he does best. Some strategic whackings. Biggest flop other than Sophie and JPOD and that ridiculous final episode of Intelligence ?

No Opportunity Wasted. Not to say -- I told you so...but...

3. Discovery Dan is dead. Or at least there's a contract out with his name on it. A strategic re-think is underway at Canada's favourite science-lite network.

4. Inshah Allah - trouble at the Mosque ? The LA-based agent for a senior writer has been calling around with a simple message -- "hire my boy, now. Please. Anybody."

5. A merging of leading prodcos is in the wind, one which will surprise many as the axis of power moves west and a giant, new company appears.

Finally ... the relentless turning of the ferris wheel has dunked more than a few old friends in the septic-tank-of-shit recently. One of the living dead (formerly a prominent Comm Ed) confided in me that they find themselves being "unemployable".

After a year of sending out dead-end inquiries my friend was privately told that at -- 54 -- she/he was too old.

Enjoy that plate of onion rings. But look over your shoulder as you do.

1 comment:

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