As Turner Layoffs Loom, One Fan Says #DontTouchTCM

postWhen Turner Broadcasting announced job cuts yesterday that would eliminate nearly 1,500 employees, many TCM fans began to worry about the fate of their favorite channel – and the loyal men and women “behind the curtain” who work to keep classic film relevant and accessible.

But one viewer decided to do something about it.

Elise Crane Derby, a Los Angeles based writer and media blogger, took to her blog to pen an open letter to Turner’s New York-based CEO John Martin, the man who will dictate the headcount reductions that are expected to take effect within the next few weeks. Reports have indicated that 975 Atlanta-based employees will be laid-off, more than 15 percent of Turner’s workforce in the city of their founding.

“TCM is a family to us and we can’t imagine a single person is expendable,” Derby wrote on The LA Rambler. “It is every one one of TCM’s employees who have earned its viewers fierce loyalty and created a channel that is unparalleled.”

elise head shot (1)And she’s not stopping there. Derby is encouraging other TCM fans to show their support for the channel and its staff members by posting letters on their own blogs and mailing them to Martin. Her grassroots social media campaign has been dubbed #DontTouchTCM and Derby hopes it will inspire other fans to remind management of the important role the channel plays in the lives of film lovers.

“TCM often isn’t even mentioned in articles about Turner, or the layoffs,” she told me via email. “I  know the channel is a small part of the company, but it plays a huge role in the lives of many people. I thought it was important to make sure the corporate executives understand that. And when I read about the job cuts I decided to tell them how I feel.”

But is it too late for fans to make an impact? Recent reports have indicated that the number of headcount reductions has already been determined, and the pink slips are one step away from printing. But like Jimmy Stewart’s crusading senator in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939), Mrs. Derby is not going down without a fight.

“Until the first TCM staffer loses their job it’s not too late,” she told me. “Fans need to speak up and spread the word. If we can save one job, this will all be worth it. And if we can’t, at least the people who are leaving will know how we feel about them.”

For more information on the #DontTouchTCM campaign visit The LA Rambler.


About willmckinley

I'm a New York City-based writer, video producer, print journalist, radio/podcast host, and social media influencer. I've been a guest on Turner Classic Movies (interviewed by Robert Osborne), NPR, Sirius Satellite Radio, and the official TCM podcast. My byline has appeared in and more than 100 times in the pages of NYC alt weeklies like The Villager and Gay City News. I'm also a social media copywriter for Sony's getTV and a contributor to four film-and-TV-related books: "Monster Serial," "Bride of Monster Serial," "Taste the Blood of Monster Serial," and "Remembering Jonathan Frid."
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14 Responses to As Turner Layoffs Loom, One Fan Says #DontTouchTCM

  1. Deborah Johnson says:


  2. Audleigh says:

    Reblogged this on Carleigh-Hepburn and commented:

  3. Kelly says:

    If they get rid of Turner Classic Movies I’m getting rid of Verzion FIOS. That be the “straw” that breaks the camel’s back, in my opinion.

  4. Kelly says:

    They really tick me off personally I don’t get rat*** know about CNN they sucks only international news I would go to Al Jazeera America or BBC world news
    Rest of it TNT TBS and other they suck only Golden ring in Turner family is Turner classic movies that slowly I am afraid turn into AMC TV little a bit

  5. Tom Austin says:

    TCM not only shows you movies, it teaches you as well. Before I started watching TCM I had no idea what a “trailer” was. TCM shows us how people behaved, spoke, and what they wore in a particular time. TCM is a movie time capsule. We can’t afford to lose TCM. I care about TCM enough to write in my blog about it. TCM does what no other cable TV station does – it shows films in the proper aspect ratio and uncut. Can we afford to lose such a valuable resource ?

    If you agree write the CEO at turner and tell him how you feel, and what TCM means to you, and how losing it would impact your life.

    John Martin, CEO
    Turner Broadcasting
    One Time Warner Center
    New York, NY 10019-8016

  6. Linda Moriarty says:

    If it were not for TCM and the Hollywood Suite channels, I would cancel my satellite television. There is no worthwhile content on any other station.

    Please DO NOT cut a single employee at TCM. They do a wonderful job.

  7. ninvoid99 says:

    Where would they show the classics and world cinema w/o TCM? I need that shit!

  8. Tom Austin says:

    Here’s the URL with my plea not to axe TCM. It’s called TCM & Me-A World Without Turner Classic Movies

  9. Kelly says:

    I get this strange feeling say TCM get ax I have feeling this just feeling I had maybe some of the movie would probably go to Regular OTA channel GETV Movies tv network and Grit tv

    Turner or Time Warner have blame themselves losing ratings

    I think really money loser is not TCM I think is CNN and TBS And TNT

    TBS lost their shirt over my LA Lakers not going to championship or NY Knicks for last few year they count my fellow SO CAL and NY audiences

    CNN sucks on international news last story they broke is was Maysira Alirner I think CNN should be ax

  10. Kelly says:

    I put blame on CNN demise on Jeff Zucker he f**** up NBC news with Today show everybody know they should fire Jeff Zuker put in reporter type at CNN even Ted Fonda even agree he don’t recognize CNN anymore that was his baby

  11. danhofstra says:

    Reblogged this on Movie Mania Madness and commented:
    TCM is incredibly important for a younger classic film fan like myself. While I grew up with a library of VHS tapes and DVDs representing movies from every decade, the movie collection available just by having TCM is incomparable. I just hope the #DontTouchTCM effort reaches the top of Turner and nothing changes at TCM.

  12. Jayce says:

    The horror…. The horror.

  13. Linda says:

    Please don’t remove TCM my grandparents are from that era of movies they watch TCM 24/7. I grew up watching TCM with my Grandparents, I luv the old movies. My children grew up watching TCM and they Luv some of the old movies. Please for the sake of 3 generations DONT TAKE TCM OFF!!!!!!

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