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Will the last one at G4 please turn off the lights?

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Kevin PereiraAfter 10 years, Kevin Pereira is leaving G4 TV, where he has been a key face of the premium cable network’s tech and pop culture news, most notably on Attack of the Show!

Pereira’s departure will come in the next week during G4’s coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), at the end of a long goodbye that’s included weeks of retrospectives. But he was preceded out the door last month by X-Play co-host and G4 gaming editor-in-chief Adam Sessler in an apparent contract dispute.

Their departures leave X-Play co-host Morgan Webb as the only remaining “founding” member of the network, which started life as ZDTV and merged with TechTV in 2004. Since then, G4 has changed format several times and continually shed its original content offerings, becoming home to more and more syndicated programming that resembles the testosterone-TV channel Spike more than it does the nerdy game room it once was — in much the same way Syfy, formerly The Sci Fi Channel, has become home to more reality shows and wrestling events than the scripted sci-fi shows of its roots. Rumors have been swirling for a while of an impending sale of G4 to the UFC or WWE, and the network, a creation of cable company Comcast, no longer appears on DirecTV’s lineups.

Is the writing on the wall for G4? Is there a place on television for the kind of content it became known for? I hope for the latter, though of course this question echoes the struggles of all media, not just TV. G4 content may have degraded over the years, but the fact that flagship titles Attack of the Show! and X-Play have remained, with however diminished a schedule, through all of the network’s transformations is a testament to their formats, if not the strength of the network as a whole.

It may simply be that such content is shifting to the Web rather than your cable or satellite receiver.

People like Pereira rose to their heights by displaying creative ability and initiative early on, and there’s no shortage of either being demonstrated online every minute in public forums like YouTube. And many former TechTV/G4 personalities already have migrated to that platform. (Just look at Chris Pirillo, for one.) All it will take for the next generation of presenters to be discovered is for the right media executive, in the right place at the right time, to know what he or she is looking at, subscribe to their feed and let marketing do the rest. And social media, as we all know, has allowed many to skirt even that long-established gatekeeper process. That is not a bad thing — just a new piece of the puzzle for creative people.

Pereira’s antics have been fun, his presentation engaging and his knowledge impressive, so hopefully we’ll be seeing more pop culture perspective from him, and more gaming industry insight from Sessler as well. But Attack of the Show! still has (for now) an impressive team of experts like Chris Gore, Blair Butler and Blair Herter. And if G4 by some miracle hires on up-and-coming experts to give us a new TV experience where we used to watch them, all the better for everyone. But it’s more likely that you’ll be replacing that perspective with a Twitter or Facebook list or YouTube playlist of your own, curated by you or by someone online that you don’t even know but have come to trust.

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Jayson Peters

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  • So it is true…

    I used to watch G4, but stopped after a couple of years. I just moved on, but yep, the nail in the coffin was with DirecTV. That was a sign of things to come. There is much more competition out there, and the internet killed their jobs.

    Munn has moved on, but she has ambitious goals. She’s not up there in the mainstream(no one cares), unless you follow Pop Culture on a consistent basis here on the web. Many of them moved on(Sessler will be working with Spike TV/Gametrailers), but do what you do best. And Pop Culture is King on social media, he’ll find a job. He should do that, as sites will like the loyal fans he’ll be bringing. Is just up to him.

  • So it is true…

    I used to watch G4, but stopped after a couple of years. I just moved on, but yep, the nail in the coffin was with DirecTV. That was a sign of things to come. There is much more competition out there, and the internet killed their jobs.

    Munn has moved on, but she has ambitious goals. She’s not up there in the mainstream(no one cares), unless you follow Pop Culture on a consistent basis here on the web. Many of them moved on(Sessler will be working with Spike TV/Gametrailers), but do what you do best. And Pop Culture is King on social media, he’ll find a job. He should do that, as sites will like the loyal fans he’ll be bringing. Is just up to him.

  • So are we supposed to spend our entire lives in front of a computer screen now? I do one internet session a week, and I have time before I go home at work each night for a little Tweeting and surfing. But that’s it. I highly resent every aspect of our lives seemingly moving to the internet. I don’t want to find and download songs, that’s too much work that takes too much time. I want to go to the store and buy CDs. If Kevin or anyone does stuff on the net, I’ll check if out at work before I go home (can’t at home – have dialup ’cause I’m unwilling to pay $40.00/month for internet) but to me the internet is just a cool toy that is just a SUPPLEMENT to tv shows and other pop culture. Nothing more.

    • @Beau, Looking to the future, I don’t think of it so much as watching TV programming on a computer as I do browsing the Web on a television, with some of that being watching shows that just happen to be produced for the Internet.

  • So are we supposed to spend our entire lives in front of a computer screen now? I do one internet session a week, and I have time before I go home at work each night for a little Tweeting and surfing. But that’s it. I highly resent every aspect of our lives seemingly moving to the internet. I don’t want to find and download songs, that’s too much work that takes too much time. I want to go to the store and buy CDs. If Kevin or anyone does stuff on the net, I’ll check if out at work before I go home (can’t at home – have dialup ’cause I’m unwilling to pay $40.00/month for internet) but to me the internet is just a cool toy that is just a SUPPLEMENT to tv shows and other pop culture. Nothing more.

    • @Beau, Looking to the future, I don’t think of it so much as watching TV programming on a computer as I do browsing the Web on a television, with some of that being watching shows that just happen to be produced for the Internet.

  • I have DirecTV so have not been able to watch G4 for over a year now. However, I still keep tabs on what is going on with XPlay and AOTS. I think it’s going to just be a matter of time before Morgan is gone as well now that Adam and Kevin are gone (and Olvia and Alison, etc., etc.).

    Jayson makes a really good point in the fact that many of the tech/pop culture shows have migrated away from television to the web. Although the perfect medium for these kinds of shows, it still kinda sucks. Mainly, I like to watch these programs on my television, not on a computer screen or mobile device. And I’m not about to buy another computer to hook up to my TV. Also, the quality you get is subject to many factors such as home download bandwidth, router capabilities, bottlenecks, website glitches, etc.

    In this day and age of tech, there should be more of a demand for a channel that truly showcases tech and pop culture. I don’t know why there isn’t. I guess for the time being, we’ll have to settle for Spike and hollow shell that G4 is becoming.

  • I have DirecTV so have not been able to watch G4 for over a year now. However, I still keep tabs on what is going on with XPlay and AOTS. I think it’s going to just be a matter of time before Morgan is gone as well now that Adam and Kevin are gone (and Olvia and Alison, etc., etc.).

    Jayson makes a really good point in the fact that many of the tech/pop culture shows have migrated away from television to the web. Although the perfect medium for these kinds of shows, it still kinda sucks. Mainly, I like to watch these programs on my television, not on a computer screen or mobile device. And I’m not about to buy another computer to hook up to my TV. Also, the quality you get is subject to many factors such as home download bandwidth, router capabilities, bottlenecks, website glitches, etc.

    In this day and age of tech, there should be more of a demand for a channel that truly showcases tech and pop culture. I don’t know why there isn’t. I guess for the time being, we’ll have to settle for Spike and hollow shell that G4 is becoming.

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