Participant Media to shutter Pivot TV

LA-based TV and film production studio Participant Media will shut down its millennial-focused cable television network Pivot as part of an overall re-evaluation of its business.
August 17, 2016

LA-based TV and film production studio Participant Media is winding down its millennial-facing cable television network Pivot as part of an overall re-evaluation of its business.

The company says the move will instead allow Participant to focus more efforts and investments on content creation and social impact.

“As the media landscape changes, we have been evaluating how we fulfill our mission to entertain and inspire social action around the world’s most pressing issues,” said Participant Media CEO David Linde in a statement. “That process has led us to the decision to move away from owning and operating a cable network.

“This was a decision made over a lengthy period of analysis,” Linde continued. “The network’s real achievements can be wholly attributed to the Pivot team, of whom we are incredibly proud. This very talented group’s commitment to our broader mission has been absolute, and we are very grateful for their significant contributions to the organization.”

Pivot, which is expected to transmit its final program later this year, was founded in 2013 and served as a home to such non-fiction and reality programs as the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-created variety series HitRecord on TV, reality-based talk show Raising McCain, Secret Lives of Americans, Human Resources and docusoap Jersey Strong, and has aired such docs as Food Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth.

The number of employees affected by the channel’s imminent closure was not immediately made available.

The decision comes as indie, stand-alone cable networks face stiff competition from a transforming media landscape that is seeing consumers shift away from traditional linear in favor of such digital video-on-demand services as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.

The network, however, did court cord-cutting millennials early on, by offering content via a broadband-only subscription package.

“We’ve built this race car, it’s ready to go and now the next three years are about hugging the curves and blowing past expectations on all levels,” then-president Evan Shapiro told realscreen in an interview in late 2013.

“There has never been a better time to be a creator of great content,” added Linde in his statement. “By focusing squarely in that direction, Participant is positioning itself to take advantage of these trends.”

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.