Cape Town – The long-running and high-quality weekly technology and gadget magazine show Tech Report on eNCA (DStv 403) has been cancelled.
As part of the ongoing downsizing of the South African 24-hour TV news channel's on-air programming and talent, Tech Report, produced by the Cape Town based Homebrew Films, will broadcast its last episode on eNCA on Thursday night after close to 200 episodes.
According to insiders, the staff, production crew and on-air talent like Tapfuma Makina, Seth Rotherham, Jason Greer and Juliet McGuire who've been working on the South African go-to show for consumer technology and gadgets are "heartbroken".
"Why would you cut a show about which the topic is the most important aspect of our modern South African society: technological advancements?" said an insider closely connected to, but not working on the show.
The shut down of Tech Report as part of eNCA's current affairs television offering follows the cancellation of Africa 360 this year, the shutting down of eNCA's Africa division and the closure of its news bureau across the continent and in Beijing, the exit of anchors and correspondents ranging from Bhavna Singh and Pat Pillai to Lindy Mtongana, Kwangu Liwewe and Robyn Kriel, and the shortening of flagship nightly news show NewsNight by half an hour and renaming a part of it NewsNight Express.
eNCA denied rumours that the episode order of the upcoming new season of its satirical late-night faux news show Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola has been cut and said it will return shortly with the same amount of episodes as previous seasons.
'A big shock'
The weekly Tech Report, which became a leader in technology and gadget news, interviews and reviews and told South African success stories within the local IT industry and consumer technology sector, was one of only two locally produced South African programmes really seen globally.
Together with SABC3's Top Billing, Tech Report was the only other locally made TV show included on South African Airways' Airscape in-flight entertainment system, watched by millions of passengers the past few years.
Tech Report which started on eNCA in November 2011 and got very short notice that eNCA no longer wants more episodes, could possibly jump to Business Day TV (DStv 412), CNBC Africa (DStv 410), SABC3 or e.tv.
eNCA confirms that Tech Report "will air its last programme on Thursday".
Asked why Tech Report has been cancelled, Patrick Conroy, managing director of eNCA says that eNCA is "always looking at international and local viewer trends. This means that adjustments to the line-up will be made from time to time. Some shows will come to an end, some will take a seasonal break and new ones will be added to the line-up".
Another insider connected to the show calls the Tech Report cancellation "a big shock".
"The show has been on for several years, has built up a loyal fan base and is an incredibly great product".