Friday, September 4, 2015

SHOCKER! eNCA cancels international Emmy nominated Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola; looking for a satirical news show replacement.

The dramatic decline of eNCA (DStv 403) erstwhile current affairs and actuality pillars continue with the Sabido run 24-hour news channel shockingly bringing the ax down on the beloved and acclaimed news satirical show Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola after saying it would be back for another season.

The international Emmy nominated news satirical show is the latest victim of eNCA's culling of longtime actuality and current affairs programming amidst budget cuts which saw veteran and sought-after on-air talent leave and viewers grumbling.

Earlier this year eNCA still said that Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola would be back after it was last broadcast on eNCA in April - but it won't.

Gone with it are the comedic stars made by the TV vehicle from puppet head Chester Missing (manhandled by comedian Conrad Koch), Deep Fried Man and Tol A$$ Mo who made several appearances, to the infamous international correspondent David Kibuuka joining Trevor Noah's writing staff on Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

Commercial budget conflict between DiPrente Productions and eNCA sunk Late Nite News with Loyios Gola, together with disagreement over a new format change mandated by eNCA which the producers refused to agree to.

The highly regarded news show, twice nominated for an international Emmy award, and that helped to put eNCA on the map, became a regular and popular spot for local politicians to be "interviewed" by Chester Missing, and became a skit showcase for what local comedians could do on a weekly basis on a small budget.

"We have been negotiating with the LNN team since March," says eNCA in a statement, confirming that the channel wanted LNN producers to cut down the show, saying "regrettably they declined to revise the format".

eNCA wanted LNN to be broken up as a weekly half hour programme in exchange for "short format satirical inserts on a more regular basis rather than a weekly show".

DiPrente and LNN wanted to continue with the 24 minute weekly show and the production company "wasn't interested in producing a shorter format show".

Attempts by DiPrente and eNCA to find alternative funding and syndication options for the next season failed.

"It therefore made little sense to bring back the show for one more season after such a long break,particularly if it [eNCA] then had to find new partners for a satirical offering afterwards," says Patrick Conroy, eNCA managing director in a statement.

"eNCA thanked the cast of LNN for its brave work in the satirical comedy genre," says the channel in a statement, saying "everyone is disappointed we could not reach an agreement".

"We took the brave step to introduce this form of comedy in the mainstream media when nobody else would touch satire on TV. LNN has been a valuable part of our national conversation. We are forever indebted to them for their groundbreaking contribution".

eNCA says it will look for new partners in future to do a news satirical show.

On Digital Media (ODM) and StarTimes Media SA running the StarSat satellite pay-TV platform already the home of the local Puppet Nation ZA, and South African rival ANN7 (DStv 405) 24-hour TV news channel didn't immediately respond to individual media enquiries made on Friday whether either of these would consider picking up and taking over LNN for their own line-ups.

"Thank you, Loy'."