Thursday, October 8, 2009

A killer hangover from corporate Kool-Aid

Still believe that corporate media convergence can work?

You're living in the past. The latest exposure of last decade's "solution" as a nostrum is the fate of CanWest Global Communications Corp. This once but not future owner of a worldwide batch of broadcasting and print media outlets has filed for bankruptcy protection and is restructuring.

This is one of corporations that preached the gospel of convergence: believe that you can cross-promote your media outlets, sell advertising hand over fist, and thou shalt be saved. 

Didn't quite work that way, especially when acquiring many of those properties at the peak of the market created so much debt that CanWest could not even make the interest payments.

Now, six years after the death of Canwest founder Izzy Asper, his son Leonard is overseeing the death of the dream. "Leonard drank deep of the convergence Kool-Aid," David Olive writes in the Toronto Star.

Check out Canadian journalist and media professor Chris Waddell's thoughtful comments in an interactive forum on Oct. 8 about what this means for audiences, employees and aspiring journalists.