What is urgency? I’ve been struggling with this question since I learned that last Thursday donderdag Eve says goodbye to presentation duo Fidan Ekiz and Renze Klamer. BNNVARA content director Gert-Jan Hox cited a “lack of urgency” as the main reason for his decision to remove the two from the channel after two seasons. But what is urgent?
Urgent is in any case a message from your loved one who has just had an accident. Whether you want to come to the hospital – no, not later, but right now. Urgent is a push message on your smartphone that tells you to take cover from an air raid or take shelter from a flood. Urgent is a press conference in which the prime minister announces that the country will be locked at six o’clock that evening.
In short, those messages that require immediate action from the receiver are urgent. Viewed in this way, we can squeeze our hands with our television offer. Imagine if every piece of ‘content’ from Hox and his followers were actually urgent. You’re getting tired of the idea already.
Millions of viewers, meanwhile, manage to stay horizontal night after night while being entertained from dawn to dusk. In short, urgency does not seem to be a requirement for other programs.
‘More urgency’ seems more like broadcasting boss lingo for ‘more viewers’, that eternal holy grail that directors like Hox are so looking for. And preferably not so old, because advertisers prefer to offer their goods to target groups that are not yet fully equipped.
We asked for the numbers and concluded that it really doesn’t matter that much: Klamer and Ekiz attracted an average of just under a million viewers, talk show m – in the same time slot – just a little more. Both have about 300,000 fewer than The world moves on had at last.
It therefore seems to me that this early change – successors Sophie Hilbrand and Khalid Kasem will present the program in rotation from mid-October – shows an unsustainable HR policy. In one movement you put an end to a successful collaboration – Sophie Hilbrand and Hugo Logtenberg are one of the better duos at On 1 – and you replace one relative newcomer in television land (Ekiz) by another (Kasem). For top talent Klamer who had exchanged his EO nest for this broadcaster because of the better perspectives, you will also have to come up with something else.
This choice is also unsustainable in another way. If NPO1 wants to attract younger viewers, it could consider donating airtime to the climate, a theme that according to an investigation by the Red Cross 73 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 are concerned.
A daily climate program, that is another idea with urgency. Eve as a title, there is already enough for it, with a climate disaster in sight. Although the broadcaster will probably still have a hard time making the average 63-year-old viewer who has tuned in to the program up to now, see the urgency of that.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of June 15, 2021