Online petitions and social network postings are spooling out as fans of the TVO programs Saturday Night at the Movies seek to save the show from budget cutbacks announced at the public broadcaster.
Fans are rallying to save the popular commercial free movie program have set up a Twitter feed, Save #SNAM, to collect comments and signatures to protest the cancellation of the show.
Newspaper film critic Peter Howell called upon fan to “rise” and protest the decision; a YouTube video, posted by local film critic Richard Crouse, calls the move “shameful”.
"As a publicly-funded organization, TVO has a responsibility to deliver on its educational mission, with the greatest impact, across multiple platforms," said Lisa de Wilde, TVO's Chief Executive Officer. "To do this we must find cost savings in some areas and direct more resources into others.
“When Saturday Night at the Movies began almost 40 years ago, it broke new ground but now entire TV networks and web services are dedicated to movies," she added. "The choices we've made will direct TVO's resources to the kind of high quality educational content that you can't find anywhere else."
TVO is reducing its staff by some 35 to 40 employees as part of the belt-tightening; two other shows, Allan Gregg in Conversation and Big Ideas will also be cut in an effort to save $2 million from its total operating budget of some $64 million.
When, or if, SNAM does go off the air, De Wilde said the timeslot would be filled by documentaries. The public broadcaster also said that some Big Ideas content could find its way onto The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO’s its flagship current events program.
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