Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ME Television CEO and Founder Resigns

ME TV logoME Television, the local music station on Time Warner Cable, is without a permanent leader after chief executive and founder Connie Wodlinger resigned yesterday. The Austin American-Statesman and News 8 Austin are reporting that Wodlinger left to pursue other business interests. Apparently, ME isn't "interesting" enough.

This is a fascinating development on many levels. For one, there hadn't been any new programming on the network all year, until the Latin music-video show Sonido Boombox returned last month in a decidedly minimalistic incarnation. About a year ago, ME laid off all but a few production folks, leaving a skeleton staff in its SoCo studios to keep the reruns going. I'm glad to see some new content airing again, but one show does not a network make. The current schedule is pretty hilarious (HINT: Autopilot is not the name of a show).

And the website! Jeez, don't get me started on the horrible web presence that ME currently has. The most recent multimedia on ME's homepage: South By Southwest 2008. TWO-THOUSAND-AND-GOD-DAMN-EIGHT. A banner on the right says SXSW 2009, but you click it and the pop-up features photos from 2008. It's bad enough to be stale by a year and a half, but to be misleading about it on top of that is ridiculous. I don't care how small your staff is (phallic humor intended), you should always have a web guy who can keep your online presence legit. It's almost 2010, for fuck's sake.

ME TV is sitting on 60 hours of unlaunched video content, according to the Statesman story. I know people who were at some of these in-studio tapings last year. Stuff that never made the airwaves. Admittedly, I'm sitting on a bunch of content myself, dating back to springtime. I spent this summer devoted to video work for Austin Vida, INsite Austin, and Double Stereo. But 'NITES will bring back the original video content soon. Sooner than ME, anyway. And considering that they're a for-profit television network with staff and studios, and I'm just some random Red River rat with a Handycam, I'd say that's pretty damned impressive.

Get on the ball ME TV! This is the Live Music Capital of the World, and yet our hometown music channel is a disgrace. I want to love you, ME, but you make it difficult when mediocrity is the best you can do.

About ME TV: The station (found on channel 15) reaches about 400,000 Time Warner subscribers in Austin and surrounding communities. The network was launched in 2005. An interim CEO is filling in until the network finds a proper replacement.

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DaveTV said...

Some things never change, that's just the way it is. AMN/ME has since the day I pushed the button taking it live 4/1/94 been in a constant state of flux and destruction. Leaders leaving, staffing reduced, shelfed tapings, reruns running. NOTHING NEW. Thanks for bring it to the surface tho AJ, you always rule.

Anonymous said...

Yo Ajay, chill out man.

Now, forget about METV because everybody else has. Sonido Boombox is on it's way out too.

Let's talk Ajay TV, remember "Wayne's World", now you got the idea. It seems businesses in general, just don't get it. Are our business schools failing to prepare our future "successful" business leaders? Look at all the businesses we've had to bail out.

I better stop here before I have to tell myself to "chill out man."

Anonymous said...

So sad...i worked there for a year...most of the people who worked there were just music luvin austinites trying to make it work. music videos don't sell advertising. crappy reality shows do. it was fun while it lasted! i'd like to thank titos for all the free vodka, and i'd like to say f dell, and f wodlinger and her daughter, two of the most clueless airheads with money i have ever met.