Note From The Editor: TVWise Announces Editorial Changes Following Recent Re-Launch

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TVWise LogoEven before our unexpectedly rise from the ashes in late-May, there had been many conversations behind-the-scenes about what a risen-from-the-dead TVWise should look like.

Were we coming back to business as usual? Was selling to one of the interested parties to use us as little more than the London desk of their existing publications the right move? To make an informed decision we took a look at the changes that had occurred not just in the six months between December 2015 and May 2016, but in the time since we launched in 2012.

As we went through the data a picture began to emerge. Owing the changes elsewhere, with other existing news services dumping certain sections of coverage and chasing Buzzfeed style traffic, there was an apparent gap for us to move into. That coupled with conversations with leading figures in the industry convinced me that the time was right to re-think what we would be doing editorially.

And so today we’re announcing a number of changes to our editorial positioning, Full announcement is pasted below, but the short of it is that we are embracing the fact that we are a UK based organisation, and will be now focussing more heavily on the UK market, with a heavier focus on trade coverage. That said, as we have spent the past few years earning a reputation as the premier destination for news of U.S. acquisitions hitting the UK, that will still be a key area of focus for us going forward.

Beyond seeing more UK trade coverage, the biggest change will be in how we cover the U.S. industry. One of my first jobs in journalism, pre-TVWise, was covering Hollywood for a Canadian news magazine, so I have no plans to abandon that – especially as our U.S. coverage is a key part of our brand. We will be honing our coverage going forward, however, and will only be bringing news that is relevant to the UK.

What that means is the same unrelenting focus across casting, commissioning and cancellations etc, without bringing news of US Premiere Dates (we will still update the scorecard) or syndication/SVOD deals that only affect the U.S. market (such as Hulu losing their CW contract to Netflix, for example). There will still be room for consumer coverage on TVWise. We will continue with UK Premiere Dates and will be delivering interviews and features on original UK productions, as well as US shows when the hit the UK, going forward.

Having been contacted by a number of readers, I also understand that there is a desire for us to begin reporting UK ratings. I have nothing to announce beyond saying we are in discussions on that front and hope to be able to add this to our coverage soon. We are also looking to expand our team, with the addition of a couple of journalists, well versed in the UK TV industry.

The full announcement that was recently sent out is pasted below. If any of our readers have any comments or concerns, sound off in the comments below and I’ll be happy to respond.

TVWise Announces Editorial Changes Following Re-Launch

London, July 11th 2016 – Following the recent re-launch of TVWise, the news site will be undergoing a number of editorial changes as part of a new expansion effort, it was announced today by Managing Director & Editor In Chief Patrick Munn.

Launched in 2012, TVWise has covered both the US and UK TV industries to varying degrees, featuring an approach that has been described as quasi-trade, with some decided consumer coverage. Much of the focus over the past four years has been on Hollywood, with some very limited original reporting on the UK market, outside of acquisitions coverage.

“Having forged a reputation of being the premier source of U.S. acquisitions news in the UK and having duly surveyed the landscape, now feels like the perfect time to expand our horizons”, Munn said in a statement. “With that in mind, rather than running from it, we are embracing our roots as a UK based news service and will be honing our approach going forward”.

Acquisitions coverage will continue to be a core part of TVWise – especially with an upcoming feature series in which we talk to acquisitions managers and distribution execs from some of the Hollywood majors about the “Last Year In Review” – but moving forward the site will be providing more UK trade coverage, focussing on what’s going on behind the scenes at major broadcasters and indies.

We will provide first rate reporting and analysis of the industry as a whole and deliver interviews with top executives and controllers in the industry to inform our readers about the very latest in commissioning, executive moves, drama, comedy, factual and, of course, acquisitions. We will of course cover other corporate areas, including legal framework, regulatory matters and financials.

The same will be true of the U.S. market to a lesser degree, with TVWise only bringing our dedicated readers news from across the pond when it is relevant to the UK. This will result in a more laser focussed approach, zeroing in on casting and commissioning moves from the major networks; while moving away from stories such as US premiere dates and SVOD deals, which add little to the conversation.

The Upfronts and LA Screenings will continue to be major events for us, which will garner a special level of coverage. We will also be dispatching staff and/or freelancers to key industry markets, such as MIP and Edinburgh TV Festival, to better cover said events, moving forward.

While TVWise will now have a decidedly more trade focus, there will nevertheless be some consumer coverage. We will continue to report UK Premiere Dates for key scripted and unscripted programs and will be expanding what we are doing on the features front. This will see us produce interviews with the writers, directors, showrunner(s) and talent behind big British drama and comedy series; as well as exploring behind-the-scenes, and doing set-visit reports, on a number of productions.

  • Snichy

    Sounds good. I’m hopeful there will still be some US specific TV news as I like to see what’s been commissioned overseas and how popular it is to know what’s possibly coming our way soon.

    Since Digital Spy changed to be all about reality TV nonsence and awful click-bait headlines, (and removing comments to prevent bad press) I’ve been looking for a good site for what matters.

    • I tried to be as clear as possible on this point – it seems I was not. We will still report on ALL commissions from the U.S. networks, including back-orders, script commitments, development, pilot orders, cancellations etc.

      What we’re dropping, for lack of a better term, is news that UK readers in a focus group said was “not helpful” to them – so US premiere dates being one (though we will still update US Premiere Dates page), and another being certain SVOD deals. IE we were told our core UK readers got no benefit from knowing that, for example, Hulu has streaming rights to X show. Or that Netflix now has streaming rights to CW shows after their current seasons end, but
      only in the US.

      It’s about honing our coverage as our readership is largely based in the UK (more than 80%, per recent stats). So we will still very much be doing what you’re asking for in U.S. coverage, especially as it is necessary to be able to adequately cover acquisitions. I hope that clears things up.

      • Declan Byrne

        Iove your website and am very glad you returned. As a Sci Fi geek I’ve enjoyed both Dark Matter and Killjoys, but I’m at an absolute loss as to why no one in the UK has aired by far the best (and most expensive) of SyFys three new space programmes- The Expanse. Do you have any idea why?

  • Popeye13

    Honestly, i can totally understand the changes.
    It doesn’t really impact us to know, as you say, that SVOD rights to the CW shows have changed hands.
    i love the editorials you have done on UK content and content providers, such as the interviews with the team from UKTV and so on.
    Glad to see you’ll continue with some US stuff that is relevant to us here and even happier you are not going down the ‘celeb’ route like some sites have, DigitalSpy being one (As mentioned already by @snichy:disqus)
    I look forward to more great content and stories from TVWise and i know your many many fans will too!
    And incase i haven’t said this enough – WELCOME BACK MATE! 🙂