Comcast fires the entire TechTV staff.

I hate Comcast and I don’t use the word hate lightly. My hatred started way back when they ended up taking over my local service from the cable company I first got broadband from, MediaOne. The folks at MediaOne ended up being bought out by AT&T’s cable company and part of the deal required AT&T to give up some markets due to having too much or something like that. Comcast got several former MediaOne regions here in Michigan including Canton. First thing they did was raise prices, but for awhile I had little else to complain about. Then the company they were using for their broadband, @Home, went under and they decided to run their broadband themselves. MediaOne used Road Runner for it’s broadband and that carried over when Comcast took over. Road Runner wasn’t going out of business yet we were the first customers to be switched to Comcast’s internal service before they worked all the bugs out. It was a mess and then it was revealed that they were capturing information from their customers that they had no need to such as credit card information during purchases and banking info and I decided I couldn’t trust Comcast anymore and dropped them like a hot potato. Plus they had raised their prices while promising faster service only to cut my cable modem speeds from what I had under MediaOne/Road Runner.

When Wide Open West bought out Ameritech cable here in Michigan I was pleased that I lived in one of the rare cities that had two different cable providers and once it became clear they planned to offer cable modem service (Ameritech refused as it would compete with their DSL service, probably why their cable company floundered) I signed up. I’ve been pretty happy with WOW for the most part. I’ve only had one small price increase I can think of in the last couple of years and they’ve actually added services such as free access to the Starz! movie channels at no extra cost. Also, unlike Comcast, whenever WOW offers a price break deal they don’t limit it to new subscribers only. I thought I was free of Comcast forever and every time one of their reps showed up at my door or I got one of their offers in the mail I laughed like Frankenstein after he successfully brought his monster to life. Comcast sucks big dick and there’s not much that would make me a willing consumer of their services again.

Now those bastards have bought my favorite cable channel, TechTV, with the intention of merging it with their amazingly craptacular G4 gaming network. Now as much as a network totally devoted to video games appeals to me, I’ve seen G4 over at Hairboy’s house and the quality of the programming was laughable. I always thought that the video game show on TechTV, X-Play, was a little cheesy and amateurish until I saw the G4 equivalent which makes the X-Play production look amazing in comparison.

OK, I thought, this isn’t the end of the world. Maybe Comcast will realize the value of what they’ve bought and not fuck with it too much. Then I read over at Leo Laporte’s blog that Comcast just fired the entire staff of TechTV though they did offer to consider hiring any employees who want to take jobs at the new studios they just set up in L.A. (TechTV’s studios are in San Francisco).

The Laporte Report: Comcast Fires TechTV Staff

I’ve just learned that G4 has fired the entire staff of TechTV.

Per the WARN Act (governing plant closings) all the employees of TechTV have been given 60 days notice. The San Francisco operation will be shuttered by July. 100 of the existing jobs will be posted for those willing to relocate to LA.

Outgoing COO, Joe Gillespie will say good-bye to the troops tomorrow. Incoming CEO Charles Hirschorn will say hello (and good-bye) on Monday.

No word on which shows G4 will keep or which hosts will be kept on.

Aiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! From other reports I’ve read Comcast’s big reason for buying TechTV wasn’t so they could improve the quality of programming on their own channel, but so they could increase the reach of their channel (which was largely limited to markets Comcast had a presence in). I’m seriously doubting that X-Play will be carried over to the new network let alone Fresh Gear or TechLive (which are the other programs I watch on that channel). I have a deep fear that Comcast is simply going to ruin my favorite channel and I’m pissed as hell about it. This is literally the channel I watch the most and it’s the only one with any programs I make a point of watching. Must they ruin EVERYTHING I LOVE?!?! Curse you Comcrap! CURSE YOU!!!!!!!

Update: Here’s some more on this story from CNet.com:

TechTV lays off San Francisco staff | CNET News.com

Comcast will merge TechTV, owned by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures, with its own G4 video game network when the buyout is finalized next week. David Shone, a spokesman for G4 TV, said the company plans to hire 80 people from the San Francisco office to work at the game channel’s Los Angeles headquarters. Employees were given two months notice and various severance packages, he said.

“Today we gave notice to 285 employees that they’ll be impacted by the merger,” Shone said. “We wanted to give employees as much notice as possible so that they can begin to make other plans.”

G4 plans to maintain the San Francisco office as a production facility run by a few employees, Shone said. G4 currently employs 205 people in Los Angeles and a small sales staff in New York.

Still no word on what shows/hosts will stick around.

19 thoughts on “Comcast fires the entire TechTV staff.

  1. Or a (diabolically) clever move.  “If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em up and get rid of ‘em.”

    I’ve never watched much TechTV, but it sure makes a lot more sense to have a show like that based up in Sili Valley than down in LA.

  2. FUCK!!!!!  I always have my TiVo record The Screen Savers and some of the other TSS shows and I watch them just about every day.  I was just thinking last week that after a lot of tinkering they’ve got TSS running great and the new young kids they had brought in are doing a good job.
    Morons!  Ergh!!!!

  3. I watch TTV in the UAE and now I’m pissed off I have no idea what will happen whether the cable here will switch or just show re-runs but I like TTV when it was around. Some progs were outrageous but the tech stuff was excellent !

  4. Comcast would be fools to mess with TSS, Call for Help, TechLive, Unscrewed and the format for X-Play. The other shows are kinda…blah. A union with G4 may be good for the network, since alot of gamers are also good with a computer.

    I would expect alot of Tech stuff in the evening like Tech had, and alot of Gaming stuff as well. Could be a good move. G4’s not bad, but their live stuff is horrific. If they can keep the production values of Tech and the idea of G4, this’ll be a good move.

  5. I have stated this before and elsewhere, I’m not all that surprised to see this news and I’m not all that unhappy about it. TTV has been going downhill for quite some time now and I have stopped watching the channel completely now. The last show was The Screen Savers. However, when TSS started becoming the Kevin and Sarah show, I really started getting disgusted. I stopped watching about a month ago. The other shows like Tech Live that I used to watch regularly, have lost all interest for me since they moved Jessica over there. I really hate her.

    Other shows like Wired for Sex, Unscrewed, Spy School, Conspiracies, etc…, where just not good and in the case of Conspiracies, put me to sleep on several occasions.

    It will be interesting to see what Comcast does next…

  6. From what I’ve heard from various American friends of mine, Comcast is a shitty fucking company anyway, so I guess there’s no point in hoping it will be good.

  7. “Staff” in what sense? My boyfriend had an interview scheduled on Unscrewed. Will this no longer be possible?

  8. I have no idea, though I’d imagine it’ll depend on when your boyfriend is scheduled to appear. If it’s within the next week or so then he may still get a chance. He should probably contact someone involved with the show to find out.

  9. I really don’t care for Sarah (I think it was that whole fiasco with showing how to rip off CSS when she first came on; plus, Megan was cuter), but I would be sad to see TSS go. I wouldn’t be hacking my XBox if it wasn’t for that show leading my baby steps.

  10. good page,
    if you could grow some hair on your head, it may make you look less psycho.

  11. Growing hair is not a problem, Joe. Up until I started shaving my head a little over a year ago I had quite a bit of hair. I admit to being lazy, though, and shaving my head allows me to not have to worry about shampoo or combs.

  12. Hey Les,
    You’re like the cousin of The Mentors’ Il Duce, arent’ you?
    I am so pissed about this TechTV thing I’m going to make THEM crap in their pants!  Take something good and fuck it up—the MO of some weasel-fucking manager hired out of nepetism without an orignal thought in his head.  Saving face for Comcast on that shitty G4 excuse of a station.  Like I wrote on Leo’s blog, one year from May 28th TechTV/G4 will be off the air.  You Comcast Bastards—better take good care of Morgan Webb or I’ll personally shove your head-end up your rear-end!
    dna

  13. man i loved tss and techtv normal programming…..but now these asshole came and fu_ked up everything.. even the website…what a bunch of fu_king assholes.they think that there rating wougld improve.dream on fu_k faces……..
    I think we, the orginal techtv crew should start with thier own studio on thier on network….

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