It saddens me to read on the death certificate of the 17-year running Fashion File — “Like every other media organization right now, we’re facing big challenges as a result of a significant drop in advertising revenues“.
Without more facts and a closer look, it is hard to say if the show’s producers could have kept the show going and making money by being more creative in generating and finding revenue streams and controlling expenses. But I do wonder. And, sadly, the show is now canceled after 17 years. Even if the show is to be bought back to life on a later date, it will be challenging to bring back audiences to the show.
P.S. I loved Fashion File and I was a big fan of the show when Tim Blanks was hosting the show for 17 years. To me, Tim is the gold standard of fashion reporting, see RRJ article (internet archive link). It saddens me to think one of the goal of the reality show Fashion File Host Hunt was to bring in and attract new audiences. And, with the show’s cancellation, that exercise might not have been that effective.
May be the show needs a reboot, and the current economic crisis is one way to rethink the direction of the show. But standing at the death bed of the long running Fashion File, I am just deeply saddened.
Aug 11, 2011 Update: Here is an excerpt from the 1998 Spring RRJ article (internet archive link) (emphasis added),
“[…] 10-year-old Fashion File is self-funded, surviving on commercial and international sales revenues. Réjean Beaudin, executive in charge of production at Fashion File, says his show is more news-oriented than FT, largely because the CBC expects the show to contain at least some journalistic elements to justify carrying it on Newsworld. “We always push the envelope to try to get that extra bit of news information, that extra little piece of something that makes our show a little smarter. I don’t believe in hiding the issues.”
While Fashion File, like FT, isn’t above showing flashes of bare breasts and buttocks and can scarcely be described as investigative, there is a greater journalistic component.Fashion File’s host, Tim Blanks, contributing editor to Toronto Life Fashion magazine, is disinclined to let an issue pass without at least remarking upon it. Blanks, who resides in London and whose journalism background includes current affairs and political reporting, believes fashion journalism isn’t an oxymoron. “What I’m always trying to do is have a conversation with the viewer that’s a little more interesting than just what colours, fabrics and hemlines are all about.” For instance, while reporting on the spring 1997 collections, Blanks made a point of commenting on the youth of the models, most of whom were wearing skimpy clothing—underwear visible beneath see-through frocks, bathrobes revealing cleavage and baby-doll dresses. (“Meet Corina, she’s done Paris and Milan, and she’s only thirteen”, Blanks said in a disapproving tone. “Meet Jenny Knight from Utah. It’s her second season in Paris and she’s only 15.”) During the segment Blanks spoke to Kevyn Aucoin, world famous makeup artist to the stars, who agreed that most of the models today are too young to be presented as sex objects. “I’d prefer to work on a 21-year-old face than a 14-year-old face. I think 30 is the age girls should start modeling.” On a previous segment, Blanks raised the issue again as young male models were backstage getting ready for Hugo Boss’s fall 1997 show, he observed: “Is this yet another exercise of modern fashion irony? As the market matures, the models grow younger.”
And when reporting on designer John Galliano’s spring 1997 collection in Paris, centred around a circus theme—complete with a Gypsy camp outside an old warehouse and circus acts inside—models dressed in full skirts, head wraps and long earrings danced around the circus ring. Blanks hinted that these clothes were not made for the average woman looking for something to wear to her next party. “Galliano transported the crowd into a magic place where glamourously otherworldly women showed off clothes meant for a charmed life.” He then posed this question to his viewers: “The realistic question still remains, do these clothes sell?” No. These clothes are not really fashions, they’re costumes produced by designers who put on a show for entertainment. It is not surprising, then, that most TV fashion programs won’t spend time on shows that are not entertaining for their viewers.”