TV7: weeks of uncertainty
Thirty staff lost their jobs as a result of the closure of ITV Digital’s weekly listings magazine TV7 this week. The announcement ended weeks of uncertainty for staff as the closure of ITV Digital went ahead.
The job losses at Just Customer Communications, which produced the title on behalf of ITV Digital, affect up to 20 editorial staff who have already entered a period of consultation due to end on 10 May.
Julian Treasure, chairman of Just, paid tribute to the team. "The client had a great deal on its plate but the dedication of the team was amazing under the most trying circumstances and the threat of losing their jobs.
"The main emotion is one of relief that the agony is over," he said.
Former Express columnist and TV7 editor Nick Bradshaw echoed his words: "It has been like Chinese water torture for the past few weeks," he said. "The team has shown tremendous professionalism to keep getting the magazine out, I don’t know how they did it."
Bradshaw said the closure had come as an even bigger blow to staff who had spent time working on the re-design that was unveiled just two months ago. "At that point the people we were dealing with at ITV Digital did not appear to have any knowledge of the frustrations of the Football League," he said.
"I think it is going to be toughest for the younger members of the team, for a lot of whom it was their first job." The magazine’s staff were in the offices this week drawing up their CVs which will be posted on the website www.justcomm.net/tv7staff.
The magazine, aimed at subscribers of ITV Digital, was launched as a monthly in 1998. Its frequency was increased to weekly in 2000 when edited by Bill Hagerty, former editor of the Sunday People. Circulation was around 300,000 at its close but is said to have topped 500,000 at its peak.
Bradshaw, who also received all the correspondence addressed to ITV Digital’s woolly puppet Monkey, added: "We’re still getting a lot of letters to Monkey offering homes but he’s not in the mood to answer them right now." The last issue was published this week.
by Ruth Addicott