While their website is still trumpetting the secure digital future of Perth’s Access 31, the TV screen last night told a different story. I’m sure that the website will soon catch up with the news that Perth’s community television station has officially closed.
The difficult decision to shut down Access 31 was apparently made at a board meeting yesterday. At five o’clock yesterday afternoon normal programming made way for a “thank you and goodbye” message.
18th JUNE 1999 – 6th AUG 2008
ACCESS 31 THANKS ALL OUR LOYAL VIEWERS, SPONSORS & PROGRAM PROVIDERS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
The station had secured half a million dollars in a rescue package from Perth businessman, Garry Baverstock, only a month ago but it is believed that after reports of Lotterywest withdrawing a $250 000 grant, Baverstock also decided to withdraw his offer.
It’s been reported that a number of Access 31 staff have recently resigned as the writing on the wall became clearer. CEO Andrew Brine revealed last week that he had also resigned for personal reasons after leading the station for 11 years.
I must admit that I wasn’t a big viewer of Access 31 but I did switch on every now and then and it’s a shame to see the station disappear. It’ll be interesting to see if any other community groups are able to resurrect the station.
Unfortunately television, even community television, is an extremely expensive business and it isn’t an easy task to fund such a costly venture.
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