Foxtel will close youth music channel Channel V and will cut production costs by broadcasting a 24-hour music video station instead.
Channel V and V Hits will be merged in a move that will result in a number of staff redundancies. Broadcast of the new look V Hits will commence on Saturday.
“We are making some changes to our music channels on Foxtel. Starting from this Saturday, February 27 you will begin to see some changes to Channel [V]. Following on from that, from March 25, we will no longer use the Channel V brand, which will change to V Hits and V Hits +2,” a Foxtel representative said.
“V Hits features a line-up of music videos and countdowns, including the latest hits from Australia and around the world. There are no changes to MAX, CMC or Smooth.
Staff were reportedly told of the changes on Tuesday via email from the network’s executive director of TV Brian Walsh.
“Over the past several years music clips have become ubiquitous with availability on services like YouTube, whilst linear broadcast audiences for music channels have been in steady decline. In order to run the Foxtel music services more efficiently we have decided to merge Channel [V] and [V] Hits,” the leaked correspondence published by Pedestrian said.
Foxtel declined to comment on how many staff would be impacted or whether job cuts will occur, however Walsh’s email ended with: “I would also like to thank those team members leaving us today.”
The Channel V brand premiered on Foxtel in 1997. The station launched the presenting careers of The Bachelor host Osher Gunsberg, commentator Yumi Stynes and radio presenter Jane Gazzo. It was also fronted by Molly Meldrum.