Not Much Ado About MuchMusic at 25

Maybe Brad Schwartz is right. The Sr. V.P. and GM of MuchMusic raised hackles last week when he proudly declared that the station would be doing “absolutely nothing to celebrate our 25th anniversary. “
Now a division of the CTV “broken business plan” fun factory, MuchMusic hit the air exactly 25 years ago today, on August 31, 1984. I think with a Rush video, if I’m not mistaken.
I don’t think Schwartz was trying tio poke a stick in a few eyeballs and thus unleash a flood of “why I oughtta…” MuchMusic press with his dismissive missive. If he did, he’s a genius.
A CP story a week ago carrying Schwartz’s vow not to mark the occasion on air was picked up all over, including at The Toronto Star. Greg Quill followed with a nice MuchMusic piece a few days later offering some perspective from some of the folks who made the station a fun place to visit.
Now, MuchMusic is worth celebrating and damn if the people who built it don’t have great stories to tell. The stories are being told this week, all over, Schwartz and Co. be damned. So there.
But I have to agree with Schwartz’s gut reaction on this. Do viewers ever give a flying, let’s say fig, about any station or networks whatever anniversary?
I lost count of the pitches I received from publicists over the years wanting me to write a big fat piece for, like, The New York Times, on the 10th anniversary of APTN, or 20th of TSN, or 15th at W or YTV or HGTV or whatever. My question to these publicists was always “what’s the next paragraph?” These are stories for some corporate upitty-ups scrapbook. Let them take out an ad.
So Schwartz saying no press release, no on air fuss, because it’s not a story, well, I couldn’t agree more.
A bigger story might be this one where Schwartz announced this week that the Much digital stations–MuchLoud, MuchVive, PunchMuch, MuchDalbello, etc.–are going commercial free. In this ad environment, that probably wasn’t that tough a transition.

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