Local programming pushes out oldies at Rogers

To strengthen its commitment to local matters, and 'put the spotlight back on Toronto,' the community channel is adopting a new 'hyper-local' mandate.

The fall line-up for Rogers TV in Toronto, unveiled Thursday, is to stress a strong, local focus as the community channel says goodbye to a host of long-running general fare.

The highlights of the new programming from September include Real Wedding Videos, a showcase of local weddings; The Film Student, a look at how locally produced short films are made; a portrait of local charities in Toronto Cares; and the sex education series Sex @ 11.

Rogers TV, now in its 40th year, is also adding to its local sports coverage with minor and professional hockey game telecasts, including 22 Toronto Marlies’ games, and Game Day, a broadcast of high school sporting events.

All the new shows will be produced in-house, and aim to be relevant to local cable viewers.

To make way for the 11 new shows, the channel will close the book on Carolyn Weaver’s long-running literary review series Fine Print and Reel to Real, the weekly film critics forum, at the end of August.

These cancellations are widely judged a blow to the publicity-starved Canadian film and book industries. But Rogers TV programmers argue the long-running shows were aimed at a broad audience, whereas the community channel has adopted a new ‘hyper-local’ mandate. ‘We’re strengthening our commitment to local matters and putting the spotlight back on Toronto,’ explains Rogers TV vice president Colette Watson.

From Playback Daily