Blogtv, staffers axed by AAC

More change is afoot at Alliance Atlantis.

CanWest Global Communications is shutting down, Alliance Atlantic Communications’ foray into online social networking, which launched just six months ago. One full-time employee and an undisclosed number of contract and temporary employees running the site will be axed. ‘This decision is based on business realities,’ says AAC spokesperson Jennifer Bell.

A memo to staff notes, ‘When the site first launched back in March, initial traffic surged but then declined, and over the past quarter we’ve seen a steady decline, indicating that high usage is not likely. Moreover, the site has not produced the sales interest we expected, and as such we felt that winding the site down was the most fiscally responsible option.’

AAC was purchased by CanWest Global and Goldman Sachs for $2.3 billion in a deal that closed in mid-August. Until the broadcast portion of the deal is examined and either greenlit or nixed by the CRTC, that part of the business is being held in trust. The CRTC has a hearing to examine the deal scheduled for Nov. 16. Taking its turnaround time for the purchase of CHUM by CTVglobemedia as an example, a decision on AAC could come as early as mid-January.

And more staffers are being let go (see MiC‘s August 20 story). Norm Bolen, AAC’s VP of content, confirms that the new owners at CanWest have told him that once the trustee status of the company finishes, he’s moving on. AAC also says public affairs topper Heather Conway is exiting at the end of September, and that sales and HR executives Errol Da Ré and Jackie Saad are being terminated.

Bolen, who plans to take some time off, says there are no hard feelings. ‘I wish them all the best. I’m trying to do everything I can to help the transition work smoothly.’ He says that in his time at AAC he’s ‘accomplished almost all of my professional goals, and the business is running on all cylinders.’

From Playback Daily