Yesterday, Will at Cinematically Insane posted about layoffs at Turner Broadcasting. Around ten percent of the workforce across the corporation’s channels will be cut, including at CNN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network…and my beloved Turner Classic Movies (TCM). TCM is basically the only channel I watch on a regular basis and certainly the only one to which I’ve devoted hours and hours of time for more than three years now.
To those who don’t have the classic movie addiction, it may seem crazy that a TV channel showing old movies can make friendships, get people through unemployment and illness, and generally become a way of life. But it can and it does…and that’s why any possible changes make TCM fans a little nervous and a lot protective.
So what are we going to do? How about write a letter to the CEO of Turner Broadcasting, asking him to leave TCM alone, so that it can continue to be the soul-nurturing entity that it is? If you feel the same way about “the channel,” I urge you to do the same.
Yes, write (or copy-paste the letter below, make it look nice and print it), put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and mail it. We want this to look like the letters being delivered to the courthouse in Miracle on 34th Street.
We are being advised to direct letters to:
John Martin, CEO
One Time Warner Center
New York, NY 10019-8016
Please also post to your blog or Facebook if you have one, using the tag #DontTouchTCM
Here is Elise Crane Derby’s letter, I can’t say it any better, and we have her permission to copy it:
To Whom It May Concern,
As a long-time TCM viewer, I am extremely concerned about the recently reported layoffs. TCM has an unheard-of audience of loyal viewers, with the possible exception of PBS. Similarly TCM’s programming is both entertaining and educational, to the point they won a Peabody award last year. Also like PBS, TCM is good for the whole family. Finally, like PBS, it fills a need in television that is not filled elsewhere and must be protected.
Host Ben Mankiewicz has stated that TCM has a fan base like no other. It’s not just one show we love it is the entire channel. What makes us this loyal is the commercial free films, the educational documentaries, the beautiful memorials and mini bio short, the intros telling us about the films,their social media interactions, and the amazing face to face events, including Road To Hollywood, the film festival and the cruise. All of these are executed so masterfully.
I beg you not to remove one of these talented people who have created classic film programming, documentaries, and events that keep these films alive. TCM’s level of excellence promotes, not only film education but film preservation. It is everyone one of TCM’s employees who have earned its viewers fierce loyalty and created a channel that is unparalleled.
Thank you for your consideration,
Elise Crane Derby
Proud TCM devotee