When Sir Alan Sugar took over as chairman of YouView last March,
there was always a rather large chance
of his infamous phrase “You’re Fired!” being uttered at some of the under-fire staff.
And so it has come to pass for a huge swathe of the original
YouView team with the entire internal public relations and marketing team being
shown the door. Everyone from the marketing, communications and research team
will have to clean out their desks by the end of the month.
said that the loss of the marketing team will not affect the launch date of the
service, scheduled for early 2012. The Independent cites sources within YouView and says that
user-testing and trials for the set-top box will begin next month.
YouView, which began life as Project Canvas in 2008, has
faced a lot of difficulties and has had several launch dates delayed due to
technical problems as well as legal challenges to the platform.
A collaboration between BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT,
TalkTalk and Arqiva, YouView aims to combine the best of on-demand services
with current PVR functions such as pausing live TV and recording an entire TV
Lord Sugar was brought in last March to help shake up the
venture after it seemed to flounder following early initial interest.
The timing of these firings is strange considering that the
service is set to launch in only a few months time, but if the results were not
there now, then it makes sense to change it before it’s too late.