YouTube’s surprise announcement that it was shutting down at midnight and finally declaring a winner for its eight-year contest came to a relief to many of the millions who submitted entries, but horror to news directors at local television stations who say they will now struggle to find fluffy filler content for the ends of their newscasts.
“Like everyone, I’m happy that the YouTube contest is coming to an end,” said Global News assignment editor April Fishman. “But we’ve become so dependent on just going to YouTube and stealing video from there. Music videos, viral videos, stock footage, eyewitness accounts, clips from TV shows. All of it was there so we could access it and air it without having to go through the trouble of getting the original or asking permission. I don’t know what we’re going to do about it now. Those people who used to handle those things before YouTube, they were laid off years ago.”
Global and other television news networks are furiously working out alternative plans for sourcing video. “We’re downloading as many popular videos as we can,” said CTV’s Fehk Naim. “And we’re looking at alternative video websites. Does Google Video still exist? What about that site … Vimo or something? We’re going to have to figure out how we can rip videos off of there now too.”
In the meantime, anchors have been told they might be called upon to increase the amount of small-talk banter they engage in to fill time at the end of their newscasts.
“It’s okay,” said CTV anchor Mutsumi Takahashi. “I’ve been in this business long enough to be able to handle it. Besides, I have plenty of dog stories I can tell.”