entertainment

Osher Günsberg knows exactly why Channel [V] is dead.

Tonight at midnight Channel [v], a cultural institution for the youth of Australia for over 20 years will go off the air.

It’s being absorbed into the 24hr music channel [v] Hits, leaving many creative and hard-working staff out of work.

It’s no surprise this is happening, as Channel [v] was created at a time when the Internet was barely lurching its way out of 56kbps and the only way to see music videos was in the middle of the night on Rage, and you only got the latest news about your favourite artists on the radio.

#ripchannelv @jabbatron and Super somewhere around 2001. Note my fancy Casio watch – it could take 250×250 BW photos.

A photo posted by Osher Günsberg (@osher_gunsberg) on Feb 24, 2016 at 8:25pm PST

Of course, that world doesn’t exist anymore. I’ve been living with my fiancée and her 12-year-old daughter for over a year now, and never once have I seen the young lady watch a music video on television.

In fact, never once have I seen her watch a TV show live save for TBL Families.

She watches everything on her phone. Every music video, every piece of content about her favourite artists – she gets from her phone.

The audience that was once ravenous for Channel [v] moved away from cable, and the simple fact is that the advertising dollars were better spent on mobile.

While I’m excited to watch this intelligent young woman explore the world through her handheld device – which has the sum total of all human intelligence and creation in the palm of her hand – I do lament that she doesn’t have someone curating that content for her.

And that’s where we at Channel [v] came in. For 20 years, one of the strongest youth brands this country has ever seen steered the ship in many ways with regards to bringing the edgiest and most exciting artists and adventures to small screens across the country.

Osher and the Channel [V] team (Image via Instagram/osher_gunsberg)

Working with a leader like that, under a mandate like that – was the greatest job I have ever had and will ever likely have.

ADVERTISEMENT

Video via Channel V

Barry’s “beg forgiveness rather than ask permission” attitude set the tone for seven of the most exciting, brave, ground-breaking, naughty and god-damned years of fun TV I’ve ever been a part of.

We were music super fans making TV for music super fans. We broke down walls between us and the audience at every opportunity. We tried as hard as we could to let the fans have as much access as we had whenever we were able to, and the response we got back from them was phenomenal.

Osher and Kanye West… deep in thought. (Image via Instagram/osher_gunsberg)

We treated our audience with respect, we challenged them intellectually, we did nothing but communicate with them on an authentic level – and they came with us every step of the way.

It’s funny – but looking back on my seven incredible years at Channel [v], it’s the way we made the fans feel that means the most to me. Interviewing rockstars was something I got to do every day, but to share that with fans in an authentic way was the biggest thrill for me.

And when the fans couldn’t come to us, we came to them – putting the whole show on the back of a bus, plugging it in to a satellite dish and going live from a paddock packed with kids 100km west of Woop-Woop with some of the country’s biggest bands, the world’s best skaters and the best music for two hours of live to air chaos and craziness that I’ll never see again.

Those were the moments that meant the most to me.

I have received so many messages this week. Things like “Thank you all for raising me” and “my musical taste and passion for music was guided by you guys”. I’m sure I speak on behalf of all of us who worked there when I say it was an honour and a privilege to have been a part of so many people’s formative years.

“Those were the moments that meant the most to me.” (Image via Instagram/osher_gunsberg)

But rather than be sad that it’s gone, I can only be grateful. Grateful for everything that time of my life gave me, friends that I made for life, a collection of backstage passes so big that I eventually couldn’t keep them any more, the most insane parties and shenanigans I’ve ever participated in, and the greatest creative time I’ve ever experienced.

Whoever comes into fill the void where we were, I wish you all the best. I happily pass the torch and can’t wait to see what you do with the technology available now and in the future to make musical memories for the next generation.

Did you grow up with Channel [v]? What’s your favourite memory?

Listen to Osher on No Filter with Mia Freedman…

00:00 / ???