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Regional publisher questions future of Local TV after £650k loss

Jeff Henry

A regional publisher whose local TV station reportedly posted a loss of more than £650,000 last year has questioned the future of the initiative.

Jeff Henry, left, chief executive of Archant, has predicted mass closures of local TV stations next year, unless more support is given to the sector.

His comments come after Norwich-based Mustard TV, which is run by Archant and was launched in March last year, reportedly posted a loss of £657,000 in 2014.

In a national newspaper interview, Jeff said he thought the route to profitability was “very challenged” and said it was “questionable” whether he could make the channel profitable.

Speaking to The Guardian, Jeff said that in order for local TV to be commercially viable, it needs more financial support from the BBC and for media regulator Ofcom to allow the relaxation of programming regulations.

“I think the route to profitability at the moment is very challenged.  Fundamentally something has to change … the model of local TV has to be re-examined in a way that allows fledgling operations the chance to actually grow. Can I get it to profitability? At the moment that is questionable.” he told the paper.

He insisted that Mustard TV’s losses had been cut significantly because last year’s figure included one-off setup costs and building up the audience.

Both The Guardian and the BBC have reported the £657,000 loss figure for 2014 although the company has yet to confirm this.

In his interview, Jeff said that he thought the BBC’s three-year agreement to buy content from local TV stations needs to be extended beyond March 2017, so that the businesses can become established.

In a further statement issued to HTFP, he said: “The cost of running the licence for a local television channel such as Mustard TV is a significant investment and we are working towards the establishment of both sustainable cost base and commercial revenues.

“The current local television model requires fundamental review – we need the licence fee to continue for longer, or the freedom to expand the channel.

“The results demonstrate the underlying economic difficulty of providing a quality service in a limited broadcast area. Addressing the local TV model is the next important step in enabling media businesses like Archant to thrive and grow.”

46 comments

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  • October 14, 2015 at 8:36 am
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    A staggering £657,000 loss!!
    Read it again slowly to fully take in the magnitude of the incompetence.

    This takes incompetence and failure to new levels and underperformance to an all time low even by Archants own standards but is one that should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following the fall and fall of mustard tv on HTFP or who’s seen it all go off the rails from within the business.

    plenty of warnings, comments and views about this god awful excuse for a local tv station have been aired and ignored about this station launched purely to ring-fence the area and prevent anyone else winning the licence and thus getting a commercial foothold in what used to be Archants territory, what a fool hardy and costly decision they was
    Those of us who work there know it was a pure vanity project by the suits,some no longer around, others still desperately clinging on, and who now need to be made accountable for this latest body blow to an already sinking ship.
    If any individual underperformed so badly or caused a loss to the company on a scale such as this they’d be kicked out of the business straight away so it will be interesting to see who,if anyone, takes responsibility for this damaging loss and what Jeff Henry does about it.
    At a time when there’s growing unrest, dissatisfaction and frustration by the shareholders it will also be interesting to see what action they demand is taken and what the board do to appease growing unrest and concern about the effect mustard tv is having on the finances and stability of the business as a whole.
    For the sake of what’s left of the business,pull the plug now and cut your losses before any more damage is done or money is lost.
    Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse at Archant

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  • October 14, 2015 at 8:58 am
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    It’s chicken and egg really. It can’t become viable without decent programmes which in turn attract high audience numbers, which attract high paying advertising.

    Archant’s apparent refusal to publish any reliable viewing figures for Mustard sends out a message to potential advertisers and the message is pretty clear, that being that hardly anyone is watching it.

    The fledgling station had a chance to get an audience recently when it announced it was to screen Norwich City friendly games. Thousands tuned in to find, you’ve guessed it, a blank screen.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:07 am
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    It’s not the BBC’s job to ”rescue” local TV stations or indeed local newspapers. But this was widely predicted when the whole idea was proposed in the first place. They can’t make it pay in London so highly unlikely they can in Norwich.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:09 am
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    It will be interesting to see who is shown the door when this doomed venture is finally put out of its misery. By that I don’t mean just those on the studio floor.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:13 am
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    Local TV a flawed business model , well who would have thought it !
    Was never ever , ever a realistic venture and never will be.
    A naval gazing venture dreamt up by a naive minister and civil servants who have never done a days real commercial work in their lives.

    Free advice to Archant and others stop now.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:14 am
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    Local TV will never be profitable. Many years ago a “commercial director” of my acquaintance put forward an analogous idea for a personal finance TV channel and spent tens of thousands on pilots, video companies (who couldn’t believe their luck) and all the other hoo-hah that goes with the territory. This was possibly the worst idea in media history – a drama based on ISAs anyone? Luckily, wider heads prevailed and the plug was pulled before the losses became too catastrophic – unlike Archant’s experience with Mustard. Who on earth ever thinks these things up?

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:15 am
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    Sorry. “Wiser” heads prevailed, though I guess wider would do.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:17 am
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    Let’s be clear here. What Jeff Henry, and no doubt other ‘local’ TV companies, is a tax payer funded bail out. They expect BBC, funded by tax payers, to fund them because, as anybody even slightly familiar with the world of media will tell you, broadcasting isn’t that profitable. Expensive lesson for wannbe Murdochs to learn but it should be at the expense of the non-watching tax paying public.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:25 am
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    Local TV is a great idea but there are some real bars to entry to making this work.
    Bosses wanting to wuss out on their local commitments is the biggest one.

    One of the reasons why we all look back so fondly on our old regional ITVs is they enthused and bled the regions in which they served. Some of the regional programmes weren’t glamorous but they were good at shining a light on our communities.

    In my Southern region, we had Out of Town, Fred Dineage presenting sports stuff and Worzel Gummidge. In the TVS days that expanded and included local gardening programmes, Out of Town became the sublime Country Ways (so good Meridian just carried on with it).

    And in the early days of Meridian, they made the most of being a regional ITV by producing something every day at 6.30pm that was local. A revival of What’s My Line, Ridgeriders with Chris Packham, a series about life at a local zoo, a Watchdog style show…

    Yep, lots of variety and enough to make you feel that your local station cared about the region it served.

    Local TV companies have a big opportunity to champion, shout and celebrate the area they serve. It’s not a licence to screen decades old repeats of London’s Burning and Black Books. It’s a chance to screen pub sports, concerts from local bands, dance contests and profile local people.

    Done well it can be engaging television. Modern technology means it can be filmed using a skeleton crew and forward planning means editing things together can be done quickly. Cheap doesn’t mean rubbish.

    So to the stations looking to cut back on their public service commitments, you are looking to make cuts in the wrong places.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:27 am
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    Is anyone, apart from execs involved, surprised that local TV is a failure and Archant’s Norwich-based offering fails to cut the mustard?
    It sounds like Alan Partridge without the comedy element – or the audience.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:37 am
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    “Fundamentally something has to change … the model of local TV has to be re-examined in a way that allows fledgling operations the chance to actually grow. Can I get it to profitability? At the moment that is questionable.”

    Did nobody think to ask this before Mustard was set up? What business plan did Archant have? Anyone could see what was going to happen, yet the suits somehow didn’t.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:41 am
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    The mere mention of local TV has always induced pound signs to revolve around the eyes of regional newspaper executives; doubtless yearning for the return of the glory days when the regional press was a veritable licence to print money.

    This, of course, flies in the face of all reason. The Manchester Evening News poured hundreds of thousands into the late unlamented Channel M, trying to take it from a student experimental station into a money-making mainstream concern.

    What makes the new tranche of stations any different? Well, judging from this report, nothing at all.

    Local TV is just another clueless ploy to find an easy revenue stream to prop up the decline of print revenue.

    The history of regional newspaper management since the 80s is a very sorry tale indeed. Featherbedded by large profits, management failed to heed the warning signs. They allowed their classified revenue streams to be hijacked by far nimbler opposition, who reacted far more quickly to the benefits offered by the web.

    Even when they did belatedly spot those benefits, they took far too long to exploit them, leaving most web stratagies in the muddle we see today. In the ten years or so since I left the industry, the situation has hardly improved.

    If there is any point to management, then in must be the leadership it offers. For the last 30 years, that leadership has been so woefully inadequate, that the indistry we all loved and cherished for so long is passing slowly, but surely, into the shadows.

    The flicker of local TV will do nothing to lessen the length of those shadows.

    Let us not forget that the saddest thing of all is that many clever, talented and hard-working journalists have lost their livelihoods on the back of this lack of real leadership.

    There are no easy answers to the plight of Britain’s regional newspaper industry, just a torrid tale of squandered opportunities by successive leaden-hooved managements.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 10:00 am
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    At last a modicum of transparency – a £675,000 loss in one year.
    Now can we have:
    a breakdown of these costs
    audience viewing figures
    ad revenue figures
    Let’s all see Mustard for what it is
    An ill-conceived vanity project built on the shakiest of foundations.
    It’s tragic that so many loyal, decent hard-working journalists were shown the door to pay for it.
    What a waste of money! £675000 could have paid the wages of up to 30 journalists, at Archant rates.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 10:10 am
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    The quoted loss is of course £657,000 – but my points remain the same.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 10:12 am
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    …“The results demonstrate the underlying economic difficulty of providing a quality service in a limited broadcast area.” Says Jeff Henry,
    err didn’t they realise this when they went for the licence ? Or was the blind determination to secure the license before any other media group got it the sole objective with a ‘we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it ‘ mentality.
    They should have been aware as enough of the staff voiced these self same concerns yet were branded ‘negative’ by the yes men at the time but as usual no one listens to anything other than the pre determined company line and now the tie less wonder wants the license fee payer to prop up a station that few people can get, fewer want and even less could care less about either way.

    As for his definition of ‘quality’ his and most people’s is poles apart if he feels the output of the station and the scruffy appearance and ability of the presenters is ‘quality’ then he clearly hasn’t watched it for any length of time and has low expectations of how presenters should look and dress.
    I wonder if he would be happy to have his dinner party guests sit through an evenings output without feeling the need to turn it off or apologise?
    I think we all know the answer to that one.
    It’s also both telling and incredible that it’s taken him over a year to realise that they need to have a proper sustainable commercial plan in place?
    I find that staggering
    Without the quality programmes and audience figures that biter rightly says are noticeable by their absence, no advertiser will part with hard earned money to use a medium that no ones watching and that has the kiss of death associated with everything it does.
    Maybe he should meet with the many competitors that have sprung up and are thriving all over the area if he wants to know how to run professional and profitable media businesses within budget and keeping control of costs, these magazines and papers are stealing share and taking vast numbers of Archants ex clients,
    but worse,having seen this dreadful station,convincing businesses to part with ad revenue now will be nigh on impossible.

    As we head into the traditional ‘culling season’ at Archant I firmly feel action needs to be taken now before this albatross of a station drags the whole company down to a level from which it cannot recover.
    Be interesting to see what the worried and dissatisfied shareholders have to say about a loss of this magnitude and what the ceo actually does about it as he will be judged on his results and actions rather than his boasts and claims.

    A staggering £657,000 loss will take some recovering of it can recover at all

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  • October 14, 2015 at 10:56 am
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    Channel M News – The Dream That Died: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7ExcScF5A0
    Worth a watch if only for the achingly beautiful soundtrack, “Spiegel im Spiegel” by Arvo Pärt, as performed by Tasmin Little (violin) and Martin Roscoe (piano). As if to prove that every cloud, etc., a quick check on Linked In reveals that most of the 70 or so people who were employed at the station are still working in the industry in one way or another.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 10:59 am
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    Quelle surprise. Doubtless Archant snapped up the licence just so it could hold on to it like a dog in a manger, never once thinking that perhaps it wasn’t worth the investment.

    I can’t see how local TV can work anywhere, except in possibly the biggest of cities. It’s the kind of “blue-sky thinking” that could only be dreamed up by someone with no frontline experience in regional media.

    There are periodic events in the average news patch that do warrant a well-produced 2-3 video report – provided, of course, that the resources are there to achieve it without detracting from the quality of the core product of words and pictures.

    But if you try and run a fully-fledged TV station in most parts of the country, you’re soon going to be faced with a stark choice between dead air time or Monkey Tennis.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 11:01 am
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    Channel M in Manchester lost millions with all the backing of the MEN and the Guardian. Tells you everything

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  • October 14, 2015 at 11:06 am
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    I recall people who made comments about Mustard and local tv sucha s this being criticised as doom mongers. Transpires they were seeing through the crap with common sense.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 11:08 am
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    I just never got it. You don’t need a license to produce a news bulletin, just to put it on Freeview. It’s totally free to put it on your web/mobile site. Netflix, Amazon et al seem to have a perfectly good business model delivering their content this way. This is increasingly how people watch TV, Iplayer ITV player etc.

    This is just as big and as stupid a bandwagon as Newspapers setting up Local Radio stations was 10-15 years ago. Look how much money was lost there up and down the land.

    One big stupid ego trip or they were panicked into it or they needed to impress the city.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 12:17 pm
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    @archantlifer @juan archant – really brings those redundancies from earlier this year into a different light – they must of had some idea of the losses in advanced. I wonder if a certain persons excessive wage was much of a contributing factor?

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  • October 14, 2015 at 1:06 pm
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    Oor Wullie’s pail says, among other things, that local TV companies have a big opportunity to champion, shout and celebrate the area they serve… It’s a chance to screen pub sports, concerts from local bands, dance contests and profile local people.

    It might be late and it might be unlamented but the MEN’s Channel M tried to do that. Yes, it was a financial black hole, but there was no lack of effort and ambition and, as Kevin Duffy has pointed out, a great many of the people who worked on Channel M are still gainfully employed in television, some even popping up on the local BBC and ITV channels. In hindsight, it wasn’t that bad, was it?

    It would appear local TV is failing everywhere it has been established. It looks like a good idea on paper but the lack of meaningful audience figures – and the advertising revenue traction they can create; the sheer scale of investment needed to make it competitive with mainstream channels and ingrained TV viewing habits of many generations means there’s no future for it. Sad but true.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 2:25 pm
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    Let’s see which Senior Archant Execs are held to account over this? I’m guessing none. If I lost £675k, I and no doubt others would be out of a job

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  • October 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm
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    I must also add, given how many complaints were received over mustards broadcasting of the C word pre-watershed (roughly 0x0), you can assume the viewing numbers are about the same, and a loss like that was inevitable.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 4:04 pm
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    Of course the £657K is what Mustard lost in a year, not what it cost to operate. So we are talking a much bigger sum Archant might have had in its coffers. Jeff doesn’t seem the type to keep throwing good money after bad, he wants profitable market leaders, so I suspect Mustard has a limited lifespan unless a miracle happens.
    There are always moaners but, having worked for most of the groups and some independents, this business is a long way from the worst and has a genuine interest in its products, not just the numbers.
    I’d like to see Mustard ditched and emphasis placed on growing the revenue of currently starved products with potential. This will mean careful investment, particularly where products could be so much better in both quality and resulting profit growth with improved resources (some that actually make a profit rely on people half killing themselves, and more marketing is needed). It would be great if we could pitch projects for investment.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 4:12 pm
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    Oor Wullie’s pail you can bet Archant would love to have a skeleton crew producing Mustard TV programmes. Trouble is, being skeletons, they would be dead – just like the ridiculous idea of local TV ever being financially viable. Independent Local Radio couldn’t make it pay – that’s why we’ve got network radio in the shape of Heart which has precious little local content.
    Don’t blame Archant though – it was the Government’s stupid idea in the first place. And as for the idea of the BBC subsidising local commercial TV – no way. The Beeb is having enough trouble financing its own services without giving our cash to no hopers.

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  • October 14, 2015 at 6:08 pm
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    Just remind me who’s running things there these days, David Brent? or Basil Fawlty?
    It takes ninja levels of incompetence and mis management to produce a loss on this scale and then to blame the broadcasting bodies for causing it!
    On top of that the ceo then comes up with his latest ‘cunning plan’ that they now need a commercial plan in place to get some revenue coming in! Derrrrrr (you can see why he’s ceo and on the board can’t you?)

    He also uses the old ‘set up costs’ excuse that under performing businesses always trot out to cover incompetence when all else fails.

    so just remind me where the actual costs are Jeff? Apart from some entry level video kit it certainly hasn’t gone on set design( green screens)
    Set dressing (the old chairs from the canteen and a couple of surplus coffee tables from the store room) professional tv presenters? hardly! it’s known as the station of ‘has beens and wanna be’s”
    quality content? (partridge-esque parochial air fillers by bored looking staffers)
    production values?there are none.

    Not many companies can take such a huge financial hit as this without having to off set the loss with cost savings elsewhere and the loss is not the full revenue costs that have been incurred, merely the actual amount that’s been ‘ lost’so it will be interesting to see what and who pays the price.
    Surely the ceo should accept full responsibility for allowing this nightmare scenario to have gone on so long without stepping in and pulling the plug or did his bean counters not give him regular updates as to profits and loss? If not then they should be held to account ,but that’s what all the HTFP commenters were saying and in many cases pleading for the plug to be pulled to protect this kind of huge loss from actually happening but did anyone listen? No, time to stand up and be counted Jeff. Your watch your responsibility.
    Yes it’s a bit of a rant but if the warning signs were acted upon and the voices calling for action listened to we would not be in the perilous position this latest case of mismanagement and sheer incompetence puts us in.

    So what are the quick fix options?
    As far as I can see there are only two:

    1;
    Sell lots and lots of ads to Norfolk /Norwich based businesses at very high prices and hope the potential advertiser hasn’t seen how bad Mustard tv really is.

    2;
    sack the Md and all associated with it and pull up sticks to immediately save costs and further embarrassment

    There isn’t a third option

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:11 pm
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    Sorry but I’m not convinced this story is true, I have looked in all Archants daily papers, at their online sites, on the EDP Business pages and at all the tweets by the company and the usual yes men who tweet the company line and I can find nothing, zilch,nada nowt.
    surely if this was a true story of a loss of this severity and of such ineptitude and incompetence it would be all over the front pages of Archants papers and web sites wouldn’t it?
    Not even a pompous tweet by one of the many editors! so come on show us the real figures Jeff, just a breakdown of the costs, the ad revenues, the viewing figures the salaries and the profit and loss for the complete first financial year and the year to date
    Then we’ll see the real health and state of the station.
    That’s not too much to ask for is it?
    Over to you

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  • October 15, 2015 at 7:48 am
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    grow up everybody – couple of pointers just to bring some sense to your outrage,.
    1: 657k, in the great scheme of things, is not an earth shattering loss. despite the fact it could’ve bought 20-odd more newspaper journalists. You seen the graph lines on the newspaper industry lately? you think that’s a good investment??
    2: you slag off a company for investing an innovating? again, what model is it that you’re defending here? oh, newspapers? ah…
    3: henry appears to be saying that new businesses need flexibility as market conditions become clearer (and different from whatever the original business plan supposed.) That’s called reality – ask anyone in Silicon Valley (they call it pivoting over there, btw.)
    4: Bitter sad-sack hacks don’t count when it comes to discussing the future. That’s most of you lot. Love and kisses.

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  • October 15, 2015 at 7:55 am
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    Idea for a programme:

    The Investigations Unit – a plucky and over confident young-ish journalist, who’s a bit of a maverick and doesn’t for example care about spelling and punctuation, goes out on a limb to dig out exclusive stories about old people living in Norfolk, MPs claiming expenses fairly and smoking being bad for pregnant women. It could put Norwich on the map.

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  • October 15, 2015 at 7:57 am
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    Always enjoy it when Archant’s mid/senior management come on here to wash their dirty laundry in public. Back in the day it was around the table. Toxic environment.

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  • October 15, 2015 at 8:12 am
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    ‘ Can I get it to profitability? At the moment that is questionable.”
    No it’s not actually it’s blatantly obvious, you can’t
    So why persist any longer with this embarrassing money pit which is haemoraging funds which the company can ill afford to lose??
    Maybe you needed some decent bean counters to advise you how out of control costs were becoming , how alarming the P&L was looking month by month and having less yes men around you and instead listening to the majority of staff who would tell you as it is rather than what you want to hear,then you might have picked up the warning signs about this doom laden ‘ next big thing’ and pulled the plug long ago before damage on this scale was done .

    It’s also no surprise that one of the chief protagonists has since saddled up and galloped out of town before the stuff hit the fan and he was hit by the fallout.
    Listen to common sense Jeff and pul the plug now, there’s enough problems with the ailing printed products, out of control costs and a top heavy managerial structure to contend with without wasting any more time or money on the disaster that is Mustard tv

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  • October 15, 2015 at 12:09 pm
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    Ah the old yes man culture is alive and kicking thanks to Jimmy Cricket from a desk in prospect house.

    Check your facts mr C, it’s a known fact that this license was sought only to ring fence ad revenues so no other group could take Archants lunch, this was said on many occasions within the business and by some fairly senior people too , no other reason other than that and vanity on the part of the big cheese who’s record of establishing products then walking away as they collapse and burn is a proud one and one that’s well documented.
    But you probably didn’t know this as it’s not part of the official company brief.

    And if you think £657,000 is a piffling sum then you’re obviously paid too much so
    Presumably you’ll be outside of any restructuring then as the company look to offset this huge loss in other ways to appease shareholders and the banks. it’s nice to know your job is safe and you’ll not be in the firing line then, well done you

    The graphs you speak about are newspaper sales graphs not broadcast media related so a tad confused there old chap making your point about employing more journalists pointless.
    And I know underperformance is an accepted way of life there but believe me no company can afford to lose over £50,000 a month least of all Archant who have enough problems with falling print sales and ad revenues but I’m sure if you let the CEO know this fact and he’ll appreciate your view and be reassured that things aren’t as bad as he first thought then. That will reassure the shareholders
    Any road up,all the best and
    Love and kisses to you too mwah mwah x

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  • October 15, 2015 at 1:58 pm
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    Never seen Mustard TV but the Leeds version of local TV is absolutely dire. Best thing about it is the shopping channel which takes over while it is off the air.

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  • October 15, 2015 at 6:33 pm
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    The CEOs wild boast about making Archant the leading local media group in the uk looks to be getting further and further away and more and more ridiculous if this latest disaster to befall the company is anything to go by.
    I find it incredible that a loss of £50k- 70k a month was allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged without remedial action being taken, or maybe Jeff Henry ,Simon Bax and the rest of the board were not fully informed about the magnitude of the losses accruing each period and the extent of the huge loss unfolding month by month.

    Surely this will signal the end of Mustard TV and the start of a huge rebuilding and revenue recovery process or ‘restructure’ as it’s commonly known.
    this surely needs to happen before any more damage is done or any more embarrassment is caused to this once credible and respected company.
    Be really interesting to see and hear what the long suffering shareholders think of this latest fiasco.
    Worrying times at Archant towers

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  • October 15, 2015 at 11:32 pm
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    I don’t know about questioning the future of local tv, I would think there’ll be a few shareholders and board members who’ll be questioning the CEOs future after this latest embarrassing failure by the ill fated Mustard TV

    How anyone can be in charge of a company that’s losing over £50,000 a month from one part of it alone then blame outside sources for its failure and yet allows it to continue as it was simply beggars belief and smacks of poor management and lack of decisive action.

    So much for his tub thumping and naive boast about making archant the leading media group in the uk , yeah right Jeff!

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  • October 16, 2015 at 9:55 am
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    I’m not an expert on how Archant operates, but I’m sure they will find enough cuts in their newspaper business to make sure Mustard TV keeps running for at least another year. The printed word counts for very little with the big companies these days.

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  • October 16, 2015 at 11:03 am
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    Jiminy Cricket.. £657,000 may not be a lot of money to you but it is an awful lot of money for a company that appears not to know where the next bean is coming from.
    Yes it could have paid for up to 20 journalists.
    Note: journalists NOT newspaper journalists specifically.
    Skilled, qualified, professionals who can work across all “platforms” who can identify, cultivate and produce the kind of content that is the key to Archant being able to crawl out of the giant cesspit it is wallowing in.
    Yes newspaper circulation is declining for many reasons including changing reader trends and habits. But the rate of decline is being exacerbated by over a decade of lack of investment and constant cost-cutting combined with stinging cover price rises. Trying to plug the content shortfalls with user generated content is fooling no-one.
    The business plan is flawed. Get some new strategists in, instead of the highly-paid rhetoric experts and chartists, who can deliver more than bold pledges and empty statistics.
    These people lead a gilded existence. Festooned with cash, followed reverentially and never brought to account, they are part of the problem not the solution.
    Get the investigations unit to work out why advertisers are refusing to engage with local TV and to a lesser extent the much-trumpeted but financially underperforming websites, for so long heralded as the key to future prosperity. Then you might be on to something. The trouble it is might be too late by then and the whole Prospect House of cards may have tumbled….

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  • October 16, 2015 at 12:45 pm
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    A Shameful loss and the final nail in its coffin surely? If not just how incompetent do you have to be before something is done?

    The sooner they pull the plug on Mustard tv the better for all concerned, it’s become an embarrassment and a money pit which even all the yes men and women who jumped on the bandwagon at its launch are now giving a wide berth. If you want to throw £657,000 somewhere chuck 1% of it in my direction , I’ve not had a pay rise since I joined

    Ps did you want to place an ad on the automated service ad break at all? No? We’ve got some late space going cheap , anyone? Hello? Hello ?

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  • October 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm
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    I had the misfortune to turn on mustard tv last night to see if it’s as bad as everyone who’s seen it says it is, to be honest it’s worse than I thought. This programme about houses had the worst green screen backdrops I’ve seen since the 70s with the people sat on what looked like charity shop nylon sofas looking like they’d been cut out and stuck on with big black edges all around them

    As for the presenters, one looked bored stiff and the other like a rabbit in the headlights,both looked like they’d just run for a bus and neither were smart, made up or well lit, it was a complete car crash, even the guests looked like they couldn’t wait to get away

    If this is the quality of the programming and presenters then it’s no wonder no one wants anything to do with it ,advertisers are giving it a wide berth and over half a million pounds has been blown.
    I would be interested to see a breakdown of where these costs have been spent too?

    An awful viewing experience and I’ve seen better presenters caught on cctv

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  • October 19, 2015 at 2:10 pm
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    So it’s taken the CEO of the business a year to come up with the same views that anyone working at Archant ( sycophants excluded) could have , and tried to, tell him a year ago.

    Perhaps if there had been an open forum or a level of discussion, or even if he’d given the staff here a chance to air their views rather than trot it out as a fait accompli-then maybe he would have realised what a flawed idea this was by ( primarily) the old regime and not gone ahead with it in the first place or pulled the plug sooner thus saving the company £657,000 that it can ill afford to lose.
    The sad thing is,knowing the track record of accountability it won’t be those involved with this staggering loss making initiative that’ll end up paying the price it will be those unconnected to it that get dragged into the fall out.
    The loss has to be made up from
    Somewhere so it’s only right they those responsible for it are made accountable and no one else.

    What a complete shambles the whole Mustard tv experience has been.

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  • October 20, 2015 at 12:15 am
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    I’m sure the £657k of losses would have been tracked each and every sorry month, given a business like Archant, with Budget forecasts each quarter etc. So the top table would have had all the facts (CEO, Group FD, Chief of X, Y and Z).
    So they had either decided to bury their heads or trust the flannel from the MD month after month. The losses are pretty significant for a business that struggles to make £6m profit each year.
    Time gentlemen PLEASE!!!!!!

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  • October 26, 2015 at 9:02 pm
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    I know they’ve dumbed the business down to such an extent that readers and advertisers have lost faith and turned their backs on the awful daily papers but after this latest fiasco does anyone know what they’re doing there?
    Over half a million pounds down the Swanee for no return other than ridicule and being seen as a laughing stock,And mr Henry foolishly bragged about making archant the leading regional news group in the uk?Way to go Jeff

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