The recent merger between Just For Laughs (JFL) and Sirius XM Canada struck a nerve with many in the Canadian comedy scene—and many who appreciate it.
The merger would have rebranded Canada Laughs, a popular station that showcases strictly Canadian comics, to the new Just For Laughs Radio.
This new station would replay archival bits from JFL festivals, including international talent and old content, and no longer focus on up-and-coming Canadian comics.
Amazing news. JFL has agreed to revert CanadaLaughs back to its old format of 100% Canadian comics. They listened to us, and responded with proper compassion and respect. This is an amazing achievement by all comics across Canada and wonderful support from our many allies. #casc— pete johansson (@petejohansson) February 28, 2019
However, following outcry from the community, JFL has backed down, cancelling the rebrand and promising to keep the content Canadian.
After a controversial town-hall meeting Tuesday night, comedians poured out over Twitter and elsewhere to express their dissatisfaction with the new direction the station would take.
Many said the financial income they earned from the royalties was crucial—not to mention the exposure they received.
We’ve listened carefully to the concerns of Canadian artists and regret the stress we have caused the comedy community. The new channel will be called Just For Laughs Canada and will showcase 100% Canadian artists independent of the Just For Laughs catalogue. Full statement below pic.twitter.com/afJH4snhRu— Just For Laughs (@justforlaughs) February 28, 2019
JFL president Bruce Hills said in a news release from the comedy company that they are committed to growing Canada's comedy scene.
"We've listened carefully to the concerns of Canadian artists and regret the stress we have caused the comedy community. We are invested in the growth of Canada's comedy industry and are working to include even more Canadian talent in all our initiatives."
It looks like Canada's comedy scene will continue to thrive. We do produce a ton of funny people, after all.
by Staff via blogTO