From a media release:
TVO has announced it will continue to transmit free broadcast signals across 8 over-the-air transmitters in Ottawa, Belleville, Thunder Bay, Chatham, Cloyne, Kitchener, London, and Windsor.
Based on feedback from these communities, from loyal TVO viewers and donors, and others, the announcement confirmed TVO will continue to maintain the transmitters. TVO had previously announced a plan to decommission the transmitters, which would have resulted in an annual savings of $1 million required by TVO to meet its current financial targets.
“We listened to the concerns of people who rely on over-the-air transmission to enjoy TVO programming and we consulted with our primary funding partner, the Government of Ontario, about the concerns we heard. That resulted in the government’s decision to flow an additional $1 million to TVO to ensure we can continue to operate the transmitters, while still meeting our commitments to strategic priorities of digital learning and high-quality current-affairs journalism,” said TVO Chief Executive Officer Lisa de Wilde.
“We heard that Ontarians value TVO’s dynamic educational programming and our government is pleased to take this step to ensure that TVO will continue to be accessible over-the-air in these communities,” said Education Minister Mitzie Hunter.
Sad news for fans of Gisèle Corinthios: the host of Gisèle’s Big Backyard is no longer with TVO. As reported back in April, the publicly funded provincial channel had cancelled production of program block, impacting six employees.
TVO confirmed on Friday that Corinthios was one of those impacted.
“TVO receives a fixed transfer from the province. Every year, our $40 million transfer gets relatively smaller as inflation allows it to buy less and less. With limited resources that effectively decline each year, TVO has to reduce costs regularly,” the channel said in a statement.
“With 14 years of production and 800 segments of Gisèle’s Big Backyard in our archive, the two-to-four year old pre-school audience will continue to enjoy GBB’s interstitial content for years to come. Since the pre-school audience turns over every two years, there is a large enough catalogue to maintain high quality service without producing new episodes. Older children require a more interactive experience to engage them, which is why TVO offers a live call-in experience with The Space weekday afternoons.”
The network is touting new original content, including mPower, a new math online in-class resource for kindergarten to Grade 6 and Climate Watch, a look at how climate change is becoming an increasing local issue.
Corinthios had been with TVO since 1998, when she became host of The Nook, which evolved into Gisèle’s Big Backyard.