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Venture cut, new programs introduced to CBC-TV lineup
CBC-TV has cancelled the award-winning business news and current affairs program Venture, with staff of the venerable series learning of the decision in a meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Venture, the acclaimed performing arts series Opening Night and six other shows will not be returning to the CBC-TV schedule this fall, said Jeff Keay, CBC’s head of media relations.
Other cancelled programs are:
Moving On
Country Canada
72 Hours: True Crime
Hatching, Matching & Dispatching
“They’ve been terrific shows. They’ve had terrific runs,” Keay told CBC Arts Online.
“We see the TV schedule as something in a constant state of evolution,” he said, adding that content that had been covered in these programs will “continue in other forms” on the network.
Keay said that for the cancelled shows produced by the CBC, the majority of the staff will be reassigned, but there would be 10 redundancies.
Staff celebrate Venture’s ‘great legacy’
After the announcement, the show’s team headed out to a nearby pub to “drown our sorrows and celebrate the great legacy that Venture leaves,” said Dianne Buckner, the show’s host and one of its producers.
“We’re all very, very sad,” said Buckner, who joined Venture as a reporter in 1991 and succeeded Robert Scully as host in 1997.
“We’re very proud of the show that we did Ö It was a fantastic program.î
A mainstay of CBC-TV since its debut in January 1985, Venture shone a weekly spotlight on the worlds of business and enterprise in a way that showed how they affected regular Canadians.
Over the years, the series has counted a host of high-profile media personalities among its staff, beginning with the first host, Patrick Watson, the former co-host and producer of CBC’s This Hour Has Seven Days and later chair of the public broadcaster.
Other former Venture reporters and producers include media critic Antonia Zerbisias, Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente and B.C. Finance Minister Carole Taylor, the well-known former journalist who also served as chair of the CBC.
Venture’s latest half-hour series, Dreamers + Schemers, began airing last Sunday during a lunchtime slot on CBC Newsworld. The show will remain on the CBC-TV schedule until May 20.
New programming revealed
CBC also announced on Wednesday a handful of new additions to the TV lineup, including the star-studded new Henry VIII drama The Tudors, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers portraying the British king.
Among the programs returning to the schedule will be favourites like Marketplace, Hockey Night in Canada, and the comedy trio This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Rick Mercer Report and Royal Canadian Air Farce, as well as recent hits such as Test the Nation and Little Mosque on the Prairie.
More information about CBC-TV’s upcoming lineup will be announced in late May.
In a management decision unrelated to Wednesday’s programming announcement, Keay added that 31 other CBC staffers across the country involved in business and administration functions have also been declared redundant.