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Keep TCM an old movie channel and commercial free


ThelmaTodd
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I am alarmed by the showing of recent vintage films on TCM, as I am by the frequent plugs for current theatrical releases. I feel by doing so, TCM is on the slippery slope away from it's original purpose and mission, hence betraying it's core fans and audience.

 

TCM has used the Cannes film festival and the Oscars this year as an excuse to air films released within the last 10 years. When I wrote to them about this, the response was to the effect that anything could be a classic. If that is so, then anything can be shown on TCM, regardless of "classic" status or not. The "Flavor of Love", "I love NY" and "Pimp my Ride" are all "classics" to some, I'm sure; do you want to see such stuff on TCM?

 

TCM is showing a lot of old movies that would not have an alternate venue, as programming managers throughout the industry consider old black and white films to be ratings poison. Very few channels will show them, and so we are left with TCM as our last refuge. Should the original mission and purpose of TCM be degraded, we old movie lovers will be seriously out of luck, with almost no alternatives. A film made in 1998 on the other hand, can and will be shown on hundreds of other channels and stations. I would argue that films made within the last 20 years or so need no airing on TCM, because they can get plenty of airing elsewhere. A movie made in 1929 on the other hand, is a different story!

 

Remember what happened to the AMC channel a few years ago? They used to show a lot of very old films, but then came the "New AMC" and out went all the old B & W flicks, with the exception of John Wayne movies. If we don't watch out, this is what I predict will happen someday to TCM!

 

Also troubling to me are these increasingly frequent plugs for what is currently playing in theaters. I would argue that the current Hollywood is plenty well stocked with cash, and can take care of itself by placing ads on innumerable other channels. Such "news" is already being shown on Access Hollywood, the TV Guide Channel and the E! Channel. Hence these adverts fail the "alternate venue" test. My main objection to them is that I think they are a trial balloon, or a back door attempt to introduce commercials. If we, the viewers swallow this with no complaint, expect more, a lot more advertising in the future. Just remember what happened to PBS, which was also supposed to be commercial free. Is it really? What a joke.

 

The Turner channel is too good to be true, and hence I don't think it will last indefinitely in it's present form. TCM is the non-commercial vision of a billionaire; once his guiding influence has waned, the programming "suits" and professionals will kill it off. They will not be able to resist introducing "economic rationality" in the form of contemporary programming, cut with frequent commercials. I keep worrying that TCM will not be an old movie channel in 5 years time.

 

I have sent TCM management my views on these issues. I appeal to you all out there to do the same- the more people they hear from the better. Don't take the status quo for granted, fight to preserve it and ALWAYS let them know how you feel about changes of any kind!

 

Thelma

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Don't Panic, TCM shows Modern films during the Month of February for "The 31 Days of Oscar" it happens each year from Feb.1st. to March 3rd.

Then it's back to classics (commercial free)

 

PS: Ted Turner no longer owns TCM, so his influence has already waned. Welcome Aboard..Ms. Todd

 

 

vallo

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I agree.

 

People come here to get AWAY from the movies of today.

 

Anything that was released after 1989 does not belong on TCM!

 

TCM needs to STOP airing modern movies.

 

In 2006, TCM aired Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away (2001), as part of a "Celebration of Studio Ghibli".

 

Source: http://www.tcm.com/thismonth/article.jsp?cid=114170&mainArticleId=114160

 

In 2008, TCM will air Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), as part of their "31 Days of Oscar" celebration.

 

If TCM keeps doing this, they will surely end up like AMC and WE.

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TCM is in good hands---trust me--everyone that works there is a HUGE classic film fan also. TCM will never have commercials and never stop playing old films.

 

Feb. is just 31 Days of Oscar Month so they are showing a few newer films.

 

Don't fret, the themes are only for prime time (8pm est / 5 pm pst). During the day is the regular mixed year programming.

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TCM is a Time Warner company.

 

 

Ahead of the Bell: Time Warner

Analysts Say Spinoffs Could Lift Time Warner Stock but Question Value of AOL and Cable Units

February 07, 2008: 08:00 AM EST

 

NEW YORK (Associated Press) - Analysts said Thursday that Time Warner Inc.'s plan to sell AOL's dial-up access business, and perhaps spin off the rest of Time Warner Cable, gives the company an opportunity to increase its value.

 

Time Warner reported its fourth-quarter results Wednesday, and detailed plans to separate AOL's slumping access business from the more successful advertising business. The company may also spin off the rest of Time Warner Cable, of which it owns 84 percent.

 

Goldman Sachs Ingrid Chung said the move will create strategic options for AOL and added that Time Warner intends to focus on improving profit margins instead of gaining market share.

 

"We view the plan as balanced and reasonable - it's clear that things will change, but that change will be gradual and thoughtful," she said.

 

Soleil Securities analyst Laura Martin said she expects Time Warner's leadership to spin off pieces of the company to reduce costs and find new value. That will lift the shares in spite of weakness in the U.S. economy, and in her view, makes Time Warner one of the best media stocks in 2008.

 

Other analysts questioned the value of AOL, however. Jeff Wlodarczak of Wachovia Capital Markets had difficulty imagining a buyer for AOL's dial-up or advertising business. Because of that lack of interest and declining business, he cut his estimate of AOL's value to $13 billion from $20 billion.

 

"Given negative trends in the access business, the value of that asset would seem to decline daily," he wrote.

 

Wlodarczak also reduced the value of Time Warner Cable to $42 billion from $48 billion, lowering his price target on the stock to a range of $16 to $18 per share, from $19 to $21.

 

The stock closed at $15.71 Wednesday.

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Thanks to "Talkietime" for the corporate scoop. It was not reassuring to me to learn that TCM is owned by a conglomerate that wants to spin it off. That means a new owner, who will be free to choose whatever programming helps their bottom line. Even if they keep the old movies, who can pass up the chance to make tens of millions in advertising revenues? That means commercials, and lot's of them.

 

Unless dear Mr. Turner imposed restrictive covenants binding upon any and all purchasers of TCM, anything is possible. It's all the more reason for us viewers to let any TCM owners and management, present and future, know just how we feel. Send your emails!

 

Thelma

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It was not reassuring to me to learn that TCM is owned by a conglomerate that wants to spin it off>>

 

Thelma,

 

Time Warner has owned TCM for over ten years now. As for spinning it off, the article does not say that is even a possibility. It talks about selling Time Warner Cable which has no connection to TCM. Time Warner Cable is a national cable provider.

 

There are numerous posts here from TCMProgrammr, who is a programmer for the channel. He has assured over the last few years that TCM has no plans to go the way of AMC, has no plans for commercials and has no plans for becoming a completely different channel. You can find those posts using the search function and they might help allay your fears.

 

TCM went on the air in 1994 with the mission statement of "showing the classic films from the 1920s to the 1980s". When it celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2004, it updated its mission statement to include the 1990s.

 

Concerns are always high this time of year with more contemporary films being on the schedule but it is, as someone noted, the "31 Days of Oscar". This is TCM's yearly salute to the films that were nominated and the winners of the last 80 years of Oscar history.

 

TCM has always had promos selling movie related items such as DVDs, books, calendars and such. It is a small price to pay if it keeps other advertising off of TCM.

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Thelma,

 

I felt much as you did last year at this time when, after eight years of waiting, my cable company finally added TCM to their channel lineup. My joy turned to fear when I read their schedule for February 07. Films from the 90's? I couldn't believe it.

 

Thanks to TCMprogrammer and all the great people on this board, my fears where put to rest. It's all part of TCM's 31 Days of Oscar. Come the first week in March they will go back to their classic fare.

 

Have no fear, Turner Classic Movies will continue to be THE channel for classic films.

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I agree with you Thelma. My rebellion against modern movies started in the late 1960s when I lived in San Francisco and I just couldn?t stand to see modern movies any more. Luckily my wife and I had access to several classic-movie theaters in the Bay Area, where we saw WC Fields festivals, Mae West festivals, Buster Keyton festivals, and revivals of many old classic films which were shown via very good 35 mm prints obtained from Hollywood studios. So my wife and I started seeing classic films in theaters and avoiding the newer movies of the 1960s and ?70s.

 

Francis Ford Coppola had his offices in San Francisco back in the ?70s, and he chose that city to preview his new 6-hour restored version of the old French silent ?Napoleon? (1927). It was so long it had two intermissions, and I took a bunch of sandwitches to the theater so I wouldn?t starve during the showing. Coppola arranged to have two side screens added to the main screen, and two additional projects set up in the balcony, for the showing of the wide-screen Cinerama-like last reel.

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Re: Time-Warner to spin off AOL (&TWCable?)

 

My favorite part of the LATimes article on the "conference call" to Wall Street Analysts yesterday.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-timewarner7feb07,1,5029387,print.story

 

"Citing the danger of "complacency," (TW CEO) Bewkes promised to keep a sharp eye on costs. He set the tone by announcing the immediate elimination of 100 jobs at headquarters, a 15% reduction that would contribute to a savings of $50 million a year."

 

100 jobs cut = $50 Milion in savings. (i.e. -$500,000/year each.)

 

There's only person in the Time-Warner empire deserving that much money - and I hope 'tcmprogrammr' is getting it!

 

(Hi "Mr. t." Hope some of the above savings flows down to Atlanta.)

 

Kyle (should've gone to business school) In Hollywood

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>I would like to see more pre-Code titles each month.

 

Every long-time TCM fan would like to see more. There used to be more shown. People beg for them every day. People recently have been asking for the return of ?Phantom Lady?, and other people have been begging for ?The Story of Temple Drake? for years. A few pre-codes are often shown right after or during a flurry of newer movies, to make it seem as if the schedule is ?well balanced?. Then the pre-codes just disappear for months at a time.

 

For the past several years the ?Academy Awards Salute? has been used as a clever vehicle whereby the newer movies (which were turkeys when they were originally released) are introduced into the ever-expanding modern film library. Once they are introduced, they don?t go away. They?ll turn up again and again, all during the year, and over many years.

 

Of course the Academy people HAD to give out Awards in the ?70s, ?80s, and ?90s, but that doesn?t mean the films that received them were any good. The Academy people didn?t dare get up on stage and announce, ?Due to the low quality of Hollywood films this year, we are NOT giving out any Academy Awards.?

 

?Krakatoa East of Java? didn?t even receive an Academy Award, yet it was "pre-saluted" last month and it will be officially "saluted" this month, then it will be "saluted" again in March. How many "salutes" does this turkey need in one year? It was nominated in 1970 for ?special effects?, but there were only TWO films nominated for special effects in 1970, and ?Krakatoa East of Java? was the loser!

 

Personally, I?d rather see: ?Fair Wind to Java? (1953):

http://www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1010/351769.1010.A.jpg

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I have to agree with the TCM Programmer who said that any movie has potential to be a classic. Think abou this for a minute, odds are that forty or fifty years from now people will know movies such as The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, LA Confidential, Sense and Sensibility, and many others that are being highlighted on Saturday and Sunday nights during 31 Days of Oscar. Yes I admit some of these choices are iffy such as Hook and The Nightmare Before Christmas, but then who knows maybe even they will be known thanks to a channel such as TCM. Bottomline this doesn' boher me, this is a month that honors films that were honored by the academy, to ignore certain decade honory's wouldn't seem right. As for this channel going more modern, I have yet to see modern day stars such as Tom Cruise or Kim Bassinger as a Star of the Month, or getting a day during Summer Under The Stars, now when that happens maybe we'll have reason to start getting concerned. As for TCM starting to show commericials highly doubt that will happen any time soon, they take great pride in being the commercial free movie network, would be very surprised if they decided to abandon this any time soon.

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I've not been here very long, but I've found a plethora of these threads. They're all equally ridiculous. Apparently these people (if they are actually different people), know nothing about TCM. The station has shown this mix of mostly older and newer films, since it went on the air in 1994. Nothing different. Nothing new. Just more great titles than ever before.

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Terry,

 

Very good points. I only responded to the original poster because she read the article that talkietime had posted and gleaned from that article the misinformation that TCM had recently been acquired by Time Warner and even more inaccurately, that Time Warner was going to sell TCM off to the highest bidder.

 

I didn't want those two pieces of info to be taken as fact and used to start more panic and distrust around here.

 

Every year we have this same argument about the future of TCM and every year nothing ever gets resolved except that the argument tends to go on and on and on.

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"The station has shown this mix of mostly older and newer films, since it went on the air in 1994. Nothing different. Nothing new." - BlueBonnie

 

 

OK. Can somebody please help me up off the ground? I just got blindsided by the sanity truck.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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You wanted me to point out examples of how new TCM message board posters are abused, and this is one of them. This is how people like you and your friends drive classic old-movie fans away from these boards soon after they first sign up and express their opinions, by ganging up on them and trying to make it appear that there is something wrong with them.

 

Well, there is nothing wrong with them and in fact they are right.

 

You and Kyle inferring that there is something wrong with their ?sanity? is not a polite way to welcome new members to this message board.

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>It's rather amazing that a new member is popping up almost everyday with the exact same message thus perpetuating this stupid topic.

 

Terry, the same goes for you. People like this turn up every day because this topic is a widespread and growing problem for a lot of people in this country who pay extra to get TCM in the more expensive second tier of cable and satellite channels, so they can specifically see old and classic movies. They don't like newer films that are not classics, and they want to comment about it, since they are paying for the channel. You calling them "stupid" is not a polite way to welcome new members to the TCM message board.

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>Think abou this for a minute, odds are that forty or fifty years from now

 

I'm not paying for TCM 40 or 50 years from now. I'm paying for it now. Many of these newer films can be seen on other cable channels now, and their DVDs can be bought right out of the bargin bin at Walmart for a couple of bucks.

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Oh come on, quit playing Mr. Nice Guy when you are just as rude to people so quit pretending like you care. The only reason why you are so nice to these people that complain about newer movies on TCM is because they are on your side, if they were not then I bet that you would be rude to them.

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To all,

 

I so appreciate the feedback to my concerns.

 

Some have said that this topic keeps coming up and so forth. The fault for this lies not with me, but with the owners (not just management) of TCM, for not clarifying publicly what their mission and future purpose is, say, over the next five years, The fact that this topic comes up repeatedly is proof that they have not done this to a sufficient degree. Ownership and money count for everything in this country, and everything else walks. The reassurances of a programming director alone, are not enough, because ultimately the ownership decides what the channel is going to become.

 

Has TCM ever conducted a poll of it's viewers about showing more recent films? I feel the issue of showing 1990's vintage flicks is one that should be put to the viewership in a vote or poll. If the majority response does not favor it, TCM should stop showing them. Always be prepared to express your views to TCM management if you notice trends or tendencies that you don't like.

 

So Time Warner owns this? Thanks for that info. I am not going to let up on this issue, and I shall try to secure a public statement from them. I want them to tell us what they want TCM to be 5 years from now. It wouldn't hurt for them to be under some scrutiny from our community, as there are a lot of us. I will keep you all posted on how this goes.

 

I am trying to preventitive; they need to hear from us on this issue so that they don't start making "done deals" behind our backs.

 

I am sorry some of you are annoyed by the expression of my concerns. Perhaps it is because this issue is settled in your minds. It's not settled in mine, and I cannot be as sanguine about this as some of you. You can't be so very sure of the future, especially when there is a lot of money at stake! TCM is foregoing many millions of dollars in potential revenue by retaining it's current format, which is why I am worried that it just might not last.

 

Thanks to those who so politely expressed support and even defended me. Some of the comments were totally reflective of their authors.

 

Thelma

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I agree that it keeps coming up and, in my opinion, it's a battle that should be continually pressed. But there are no guarantees. TCM's willingness to abandon 'classic' films for one month here or there isn't being done so for Financial Loss reasons but for Financial Gain. That's their goal, at least.

 

I understand that, but the argument that all the other channels show these modern films "so why does TCM waste it's valuable time when HUNDREDS of unshown Oscar-winners and -nominees are available that won't ever been shown on any other station" remains a valid argument.

 

But despite that, there are no guarantees. TCM can abandon tomorrow's schedule and all future months when it comes to a format change.

 

They won't come back from the mountaintop with stone tablets to convince me of "forever a classics movie channel". All they have to do is be bought up by Spike TV or Home Shopping Network, and suddenly, we're watching back-to-back showings of Ace Ventura. That will please many juveniles, after all, and we certainly see that spammers proliferate here in a juvenile manner, so maybe that's what TCM caters to.

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