iaTV cuts 80% of its staff

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Interesting and kind of sad news out on the TV front as reported out by Jeff Yang in his Asian Pop column:

...last week, the last remaining Asian American cable network standing, Imaginasian, laid off the bulk of its employees, prompting some close to the company to wonder about its future -- or even if it has one.

Just a month ago, I'd interviewed new CEO Adam Ware on his plans for rebranding the net -- goodbye ImaginAsian, hello "iaTV" -- and restacking its programming lineup; I spoke with him again to confirm the slashing of 80% of the channel's staff, and to get clarity on what it means for iaTV's continued viability.

"We're on the air, now and for the foreseeable future," he promised. "This isn't like what AZN did, where they eliminated all of the people creating their product and kept a sales and finance infrastructure -- our core programming team is in place, and all of our most senior and experienced people are on board and running the ship...
The article goes on to say that they'll be focusing on reestablishing themselves and building up their core programming and focusing on their Los Angeles infrastructure - and while they're definitely trying to put out the vibe that they'll be O.K. when you cut 80% of your staff it doesn't really give anyone the warm fuzzies and just begs the question to be asked - on the knees in shorts on a floor of razor blades - of what does an Asian American channel need to do to survive?

I have some thoughts myself - but that's for another time and a much longer post.

Here's to hoping they can weather the storm.