I can't say I am surprised that Rudy Buttignol, TVO's creative head of network programming, has walked. The writing was on the wall last week when he, like so many others at the provincial broadcaster, were blindsided by the new ''strategy.''
Here's part of the memo that went out yesterday:
Dear friends and colleagues,
On the eve of a new direction for TVOntario, I am sad to announce that Rudy Buttignol has decided to leave the organization to pursue other opportunities. As Creative Head of Network Programming at TVO, Rudy accomplished all that he set out to do and wanted to leave on a high note.
However, because of TVO’s continued commitment to documentaries, Rudy has agreed to accept the offer of a contract as Commissioning Editor of Documentaries, working independently and off-site. The details of his new contract won't be finalized until early August.
In the interim, all current and potential projects will be on hold until then. I will be serving as the main contact for The View From Here, and any inquiries can be directed to me. Please feel free to forward this notice to anyone I may have missed. We greatly appreciate your patience and support during this very challenging transition period.
Independent Production Officer
Network Programming, TVO
This is one big blow to documentary filmmakers. Rudy was a respected supporter of the often controversial films on The View From Here and Human Edge. What's more, he helped finance The Corporation, which earned $3 million in the U.S. Filmmaker Mark Achbar got his broadcast licence straight-up from Buttignol -- and did not have to endure the kind of micro-management and committee oversight that I always hear about from documentary makers who deal with CBC-TV.
H/t to the Muddy Hill Post.
UPDATE: Actually, The Corporation grossed $4.6 million (U.S.) worldwide.