Alright, I’m going to give you a heads up right now: this is going to be an opinion piece. In other words I am about to go on a bit of a rant. If you’re still interested then read on. If not, then I would suggest checking out one of the other posts here or maybe going for a quick Pokémon hunt (don’t trip, I do it too #TeamMystic4Life).
Two days ago I saw a tweet from Fast Lane Daily that read “Hey #FLD fans! Just a heads up that there will be no NEW episode of FLD tomorrow, but Derek D will fill you in tomorrow on what’s going on!”
Instantly, the red flag went up in my brain. When a show called “Fast Lane Daily” (also known as “FLD”) says there will be no new show on a weekday then something is definitely not right. The next day my fear was realized when the channel posted a video titled “Fast Lane Daily Says Goodbye”. Well, damn. Now, a YouTube show ending isn’t anything new. Many programs that I like watching on the online video network have ended or changed in some dramatic way. It can be sad but it happens. While Fast Lane Daily ending is upsetting to me, its not what made me angry.
What made me mad is something that the show’s host Derek D said in the beginning of the video. He states: “Without much warning at all, we were told yesterday that Fast Lane Daily would be put on hiatus for the foreseeable future.” Wait, what?! “Without much warning at all”? “told yesterday“? How messed up is that?!
Fast Lane Daily has been on YouTube for eight and a half years. Can you imagine showing up to work getting ready to do the thing you’ve been doing for almost a decade and then being suddenly told to stop? I can’t imagine how horrible that must be. Then there are the personal implications. The crew of Fast Lane Daily did the show as their jobs. They were getting paid and likely came to depend on those paychecks. Those checks suddenly stopping can be financially disastrous. No one saw it coming so no one had a chance to properly prepare or look for employment else where. They all just showed up for work like they always did and then basically all got fired.
How did this happen? Well, according to Derek about 5 months ago TIME Inc. (yes, that TIME) bought the show. However, I suppose after some number crunching they felt that the show wasn’t bringing in enough money to justify its continued existence so the decision was made to “put the show on hiatus”. Basically that means they aren’t going to make the show anymore but they aren’t necessarily dissolving the show or its brand either so that they can continue to make advertising dollars off people watching old episodes and retain ownership in case someone wants to buy it from them.
Derek even admits that after TIME Inc purchased the show, the FLD crew was never really made to “feel at home” with the company nor did it seem like “anybody cared”. So, let me get this straight: a large company with lots of resources bought a show with massive potential but instead did nothing with it, and then cans it less than half a year later because it wasn’t making enough money?
When I was a business admin major in college we were taught that kind of thing was called “mismanagement”. TIME Inc. should have been well aware of the earning potential of the show before purchasing it and should have had a plan to improve upon that potential. It appears that neither of those things were true. Despite how careless that is, it can still happen in just about any business.
What gets me though is that after buying the show and not doing anything with it, it seems that TIME Inc. couldn’t even be bothered with giving the FLD crew a heads up that they will be pulling the plug! Not only is that disrespectful to everyone who works hard to make the show possible, its also disrespectful to the 300,000+ subscribers to the FLD YouTube channel that watch everyday.
They couldn’t give them a month, a week even to prepare? They deserve much, much better than that. If anyone doubts how important the show is to Derek and the crew I invite them to watch their final video and watch Derek fight to hold back tears while he explains the situation. For those who don’t know, besides being the host of FLD, Derek is also a comedian. I adhere firmly to the belief that if you make a comedian cry then you’re kind of a dick. I don’t really read TIME magazine but if I did I’d consider stopping after this debacle.
The somewhat silver lining of this situation is that according to Derek there are a few parties who may be interested in buying the show from TIME Inc. I truly hope that no matter what the result, things work out for the best for the Fast Lane Daily crew. And if you just happen to be an exec from a media company looking for a new property, I would say that buying Fast Lane Daily would not only net you a passionate crew who are good at their jobs, but a great (and loyal) fan base as well.
For now, I want to thank everyone at FLD for making such a great show for so long and I wish them all the best in the future. If you’d like to watch Fast Lane Daily’s final video, you can see it below.