A month after suffering a number of key layoffs and departures, the ill-fated attempt to reboot the 2000s gaming channel G4 TV is over, with its owners announcing that they’ll be shutting the network down.
As Deadline reports, an email was sent to remaining staff today by David Scott, the CEO of parent company Spectator, a division of Comcast. In this memo Scott “explained that the company’s investment and efforts to revive the network just didn’t gain traction.”
Deadline also says “a few dozen employees and contract workers are affected by the shutdown”. That was all that left at the network after a round of “major layoffs” took place last month:
The timing and severity of the cuts took staff by surprise, with talent showing up on set today ready to film only to have programming cancelled as HR reps met individually with employees. While it’s not clear what the extent of the layoffs will be, one source said those affected were told they would receive anywhere between 16 weeks and six months of severance based on their tenure with Comcast, G4's parent company.
Despite assurances in a subsequent broadcast that “there were no plans to scale back the channel’s programming”, Xplay host Indiana “Froskurinn” Black and Attack of the Show! co-host Kevin Pereira also left shortly afterwards.
“This has been in motion for a long while,” Pereira said of his departure. “I know there’s been some whacky events in the ether as of late but months and months and months back this time was sort of decided. The show’s going dark for two weeks and coming back. I won’t be here. Sorry.”
Scott’s full email, obtained by Deadline, reads:
As you know, G4 was re-introduced last year to tap into the popularity of gaming. We invested to create the new G4 as an online and TV destination for fans to be entertained, be inspired, and connect with gaming content.
Over the past several months, we worked hard to generate that interest in G4, but viewership is low and the network has not achieved sustainable financial results. This is certainly not what we hoped for, and, as a result, we have made the very difficult decision to discontinue G4’s operations, effective immediately.
I know this is disappointing news, and I’m disappointed, too. I want to thank you and everyone on the G4 team for the hard work and commitment to the network. Our human resources team is reaching out to you to provide you with support, discuss other opportunities that may be available, and answer any questions you may have.
Thank you again for all of your hard work for G4.
Chairman and CEO
The memo, unsurprisingly given its timing (sent on a Sunday evening), could have been handled better:
UPDATE: The Washington Post’s Nathan Grayson says the termination was made so suddenly that “former G4 employees who requested anonymity due to the signing of nondisclosure agreements told The Post that staff were locked out of internal communication services like Slack and Google Drive without immediate explanation.”