Alternative headline: WaPo TV’s ‘On Background’ Now Off the Record. Golly, we’re witty.
Either way it seems that after less than five short months, the Post‘s political web TV programs have gotten the ax. Launched in late July of this year, ‘In Play’ hosted by Chris Cillizza and Jackie Kucinich and ‘On Background’ with Nia Malika Henderson promised to “get at the politics of politics, in a fun way.” But like many of WaPo‘s new media ventures, it’s all fun and games until someone has to watch.
Maybe it was the terrible echo in the studio, the awkward set or the low budget soundtracks. Or perhaps Jeff Bezos thinks Cillizza has a voice for print. Whatever the reason, sources say that both shows will cease production today.
As reported by Poynter, WaPo TV’s talent will continue to be used to create tighter, online video packages for the Post website. A WaPo spokesperson confirmed Poynter’s report, but did not immediately reply to our inquiries about the motivation for killing the programs, headcount reduction, or the fate of the shows’ EPs.
UPDATE 5:34 PM:
A spokesperson for WaPo writes in to clarify:
First, there is no headcount reduction. And in regards the motivation behind the changes- this restructuring reflects what the PostTV team has learned since the launch. These changes are a natural evolution, and the team has always said they were going to continue to iterate on the product. PostTV will focus more on easily digestible segments with the same staff and personalities viewers have come to know. They will also start expanding their areas of coverage beyond strictly politics.