Multiple sources are confirming that iaTV (formerly Imaginasian) has laid off the bulk of their staff. We have been following iaTV the past few months including Adam Ware joining Imaginasian, the changes he made to the TV lineup, and the rebrand and expansion of iaTV. Most recently iaTV were dropped from the San Francisco Bay Area, but signed up Tokyopop.
With the layoffs, will they be another AZN, which shutdown earlier this year. If it fails that will be two Asian American TV networks failing in the same year. Here’s some of our thoughts on the current situation unfolding at iaTV:
iaTV is branched in to too many things too early on. They have tentacles in cable TV, movie theaters, DVD productions, movie productions, and radio broadcasts.
With limited funding, it is not possible to do so many things. If they have established themselves as a player in cable TV first, they could have expanded gradually over time, but all these things at one time is too much to handle. It looks like CEO Adam Ware understands this and it trying to refocus the company on the cable TV with expansions of it reach. However, with iaTV dropped from Comcast in the San Francisco Area, that is a major blow. Adam Ware also made the misstep of dismissing KTSF in San Francisco. KTSF backed one of the earlier Asian American programming in StirTV and later Night Shift
This leads us to programming. Although the programming is massively overhauled, we still think it misses the mark with programs like Banzai.
In 2003, the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MAANA) organized a protest against “Banzai” airing on FOX. MANAA, along with activists across the country, successfully persuaded advertisers to pull their ads. Banzai was soon removed from the network. MAANA did a great job back in 2003. With all that why in the world would the executives at iaTV put this program on “America’s only network for Asian Pop Culture”? This makes no sense to us.
iaTV still needs a lot of overhauling and focus. We see some glimmers of hope, but they must make these changes, or else they face the same fate as AZN.
Here’s an example of Banzai. Should this kind of programming be on iaTV?
They laid off a lot of people without paying them. That company owes months and months of back pay to their full time staf as well as their freelancers. They are a shame!
Now Adam Ware is in charge of MNET. How is it that a big, aggressive, forward thinking company like South Korean CJ Entertainment can make the decision to keep him on board? His last venture was a failure largely based on decisions he made, It’s a shame because there is a huge potential market for asian and asian-american based programming in the US if done correctly. If not, MNET will go the way of IaTV and it is the employees who will suffer not big shot Adam Ware.