UTM/TV acquired


The Digital Enterprise Management Society’s August newsletter reported that they now own and operate UTM/TV.

To me, the word “own” evokes images of financial takeovers that involve bidding, stocks, and ludicrous sums of money, like when Google
acquired YouTube in 2006. Or when Facebook bought Instagram last April. Could one group of university students really purchase another?

Both UTM/TV and the DEM Society were created in the span of the last three years. First, in January 2010, UTM/TV became the only platform for independent video production at UTM when it released its first video broadcast. A little over a year later, two students, Mehria Karmizadah and Niwaz Mann, co-founded the DEM Society when they put together a team of managers, designers, developers, and content creators.

That winter, UTM/TV’s board of directors found themselves making a difficult decision: should they dissolve UTM/TV?

Many of the original team members were graduating in the spring. On top of that, their office space had been taken over by Computing Services, leaving what was left of the team with nowhere in which to produce their videos.

The board’s option at that time was to return UTM/TV to the proprietorship of its founder, Andrew Hamilton-Smith.

At the meeting, one of the board members, Eric Madan, made a suggestion. Madan had recently been appointed president and chief operating officer of the DEM Society. He proposed that the DEM Society acquire UTM/TV under its creative development wing.

In the past, the creative development team had focussed their energies on social media and blog-writing, but they also had the video-editing skills and the creative knowledge to manage a video broadcasting outlet like UTM/TV, Madan said. So why let it die?

When the votes came in, the board had approved Madan’s proposal. Madan appointed Mobolade Ekujumi and Ayman Shams, two former DEM Society members, the new creative directors of the reformed UTM/TV.

But the interesting question about the acquisition was the fate of UTM/TV’s content. How would the new leadership change the content? Or would the content change at all?

According to Ekujumi and Madan, a shift in content should be expected. In the past, Madan said, UTM/TV would have covered a campus event like Unity Through Diversity Week by attending the event and taking footage there, perhaps covering student interaction and interviewing attendees and hosts. This year, UTM/TV plans to create more content of its own that resembles promotional material more than it does news coverage. For example, for Unity Through Diversity, the team would come together to produce a creative video before the event, in the hope that it would build excitement.

The new content will also be shorter, said Ekujumi. The tradeoff is that the content will be more professionally edited.

Ekujumi also talked about introducing more comedy through student skits.

Undoubtedly, the fact that the DEM Society’s creative team are running it means their interests will also influence the content selection. For example, the team plans to use UTM/TV to advertise the DEM Society’s Young Entrepreneurs Challenge, a networking conference the team plans to host in 2013.

  • None of this is factually accurate. Awkward.

    A lot of what is stated as fact here was something that had never concretely finalized itself (office space, original members’ graduation, etc.)

    “When the votes came in, the board had approved Madan’s proposal.”

    No, no we did not. As the minute-taker and active board member, I can whole-heartedly say we unanimously voted against the proposal.

    Could one group of university students really purchase another?
    To answer your question: no. No they cannot.
    They do not own UTM/TV, they simply have the rights to the image/name on a one-year trial basis.

    Really Medium? Come on.

    • Mmm, and as one of the Board of Directors of UTM/TV, having filled an Alumnus chair on the board, I can vouch for Ani’s claims.

      “No, no we did not. As the minute-taker and active board member, I can
      whole-heartedly say we unanimously voted against the proposal.”

      Truth. In fact, our final vote of the last meeting was to dissolve UTM/TV in its’ current form and revert it back to a sole proprietorship, owned/operated by Andrew-Hamilton Smith, its’ founder, After this vote, however, there was discussion regarding the DEM – keep in mind, at that point, the Board of Directors, and UTM/TV in its’ current form, had been dissolved. And we were divided as to what we wanted to do.

      Take note: Any serious discussion regarding the DEM’s future acquisition of UTM/TV as an entity of any kind was to be discussed by its’ de facto leadership.

      Some of us were of the opinion that the organization should simply cease to be (Myself, Ani, others), others wanted it to continue, but with a watchful eye on who was holding the reins, and others had absolutely no problem with DEM being the successor to UTM/TV’s initial mandate.

      And while in the days that followed, some of our opinions changed, it shall be said here that at no point was there a vote that occurred unanimously accepting Madan’s proposal.

      But, we did agree (unofficially; no vote took place) to mull around the idea. Ultimately, it would be up to Andrew Hamilton-Smith, given the nature of the final vote of that session. While our opinions, viewpoints, and feedback was considered greatly, the only person at the end of that meeting with an iota of power to make such a decision was Andrew.

      Later decisions and choices were made, some people disagreed with them, some former members of Pre-DEM UTM/TV were ambivalent, but ultimately Andrew’s words remained the underscored viewpoint: UTM/TV is bigger than all of us. This resulted in an agreement being drafted by the former members of UTM/TV, spearheaded by Ani Xu, Jaskaran Singh, Abid Abbas, Peter B., and myself, among others, guided by Andrew Hamilton-Smith, to hash out a document that would allow the DEM to do something with UTM/TV. If it would be allowed, you’ll excuse my lack of details regarding the final draft of this document.

      The misinformation presented here is, well, sad and unnecessary.

      You know, all this being said, there’s no enmity, no hope for failure for the DEM. We want the organization to do their thing, do it well, hell, make us proud, considering they’re now taking care of our legacy (in whatever form it takes.) “Make it, watch it” was our slogan – anyone willing to make “it” and watch “it” is okay in my books. Hopefully it will continue to grow into the organization we’d one day hoped to make it – a place for students to acquire and practice practical skills in the communications field.

      If it’s even a tenth of what I’ve acquired from my experience at UTM/TV, then DEM’s efforts will have been a success.

      – Joseph Caron

      Edit: NOTE: If I’ve made a mistake here, Ani will likely repudiate it. I’ll edit once I get the chance. Cheers.

  • Gord

    It looks like you guys should be talking to the DEM society; they seem to be acting as a source here, and they’ve been encouraging this article in their twitter feed.

  • As a founding member of UTM/TV, and an active member of UTM/TV, even as an alumni, I find this article quite interesting.

    “When the votes came in, the board had approved Madan’s proposal.” as Ani said is a huge factual inaccuracy. In a sense it portrays the idea that UTM/TV’s board of directors willingly gave the reigns over the DEM, which was not the case. As Joe and Ani both pointed out this was not a decision made unanimously, nor was it an easy decision for any of the members.

    I do appreciate the fact that this article is a showcase of DEM’s Creative wing, and an advertisement for what the DEM Creative wing wants to do, but it must still be factually accurate, as it is written not by the DEM Creative Wing, but by a staff writer at the Medium.

    While I could take aim at several pieces of this article and the attitudes of some of the people involved. I will not. Instead, I ask The Medium to uphold a high set of standards when it comes to reporting. Such inaccuracies ‘edit’ the history of our institution and my alma mater. These edits can negatively effect both individuals and the relationship between organizations in the future. As a media outlet, and a news source, The Medium must be held to a high standard, and I ask that a correction be made to this article, or a retraction of the misinformation published.

    Peter Buczkowski
    UTM Alumni
    Former UTMSU and UTM/TV Director

  • Anon

    Both the Medium and the people commenting on the article chose to focus on the wrong things. It is sad that we as a school aren’t able to show support for an organisation trying to keep an initiative alive. You folks keep arguing over the technicality of transfer while DEM Society will keep focusing on making UTM/TV great.

    DEMS and UTM/TV Fan

    • Lol okay, pretend for a second that we ignore everything when it gets misrepresented – oh wait, this isn’t North Korea.

      Seriously though, I’m currently at Dartmouth for my master’s and I’m choosing to write a history of this organization as my thesis dissertation so in actuality, the misinformation hurts both my academic pursuits in life and the integrity of journalism as a whole.
      If say, this were in the opinions/letter to the editor section, then that’s fine, by all means.
      However, any misrepresentation of the facts is really disappointing and beyond that, detrimental to my personal/academic life and the organization’s well-being.

      Also I don’t hide behind anon because I believe in being held accountable to my actions/words,

  • Stefanie Marotta

    This is a feature article, not a news article. It features a student organization that claims to have acquired UTM/TV and profiles the projects they have planned for the new initiative. The lead states that these facts were reported by and are according to DEM.

    I searched for a copy of the board minutes but they are not published on UTM/TV’s website and your organization was removed from your former office and now resides with DEM. Also, the emails listed on your website are no longer in service. All of my emails bounced back. If the well-being of your organization has been compromised and matters regarding UTM/TV were supposed to be discussed with former leadership, as you claim, then it seems that you’ve left UTM/TV vulnerable to this alleged manipulation of facts.

    Clearly there’s miscommunication between DEM and UTM/TV’s past executives. As the article states, the interview was conducted with Eric Madan whose involvement as a former board of director at UTM/TV and an executive at DEM makes him a credible source on both ends. Whether or not he’s spreading misinformation is something UTM/TV should look into, especially if this is supposed to be trial project that could eventually fail at year-end. And if DEM is spreading misinformation, The Medium has a request for coverage that students – or former students such as yourselves – are more than welcome to use to contact us about a potential story.

    As to the “attitudes involved”, I’m not too sure what you’re trying to insinuate, Peter. I’d like to hear more on the matter and my email address is accessible but I have yet to hear from anyone that takes issue with DEM’s claims in this article.

    Stefanie Marotta, Editor-in-Chief
    [email protected]

    • Emailed approx a week ago/haven’t gotten a response. My project’s due tomorrow, semi freaking out, please address this.

  • Zach Stewart

    For the record, Eric Madan was not involved with this article. To say that Madan was involved in this article and to accuse him as the source is inaccurate.

    • Mary

      So you’re saying the writer just made up all the quotes for kicks?

      • Monique

        No, he is not saying that write made up quotes, He is saying that the information did not directly come from Madan who was directly involved with the transaction. Mobolade Ekujumi provided the information which may have contributed to the inaccuracies about the details of the transaction considering he was not personally involved with talks about DEM Society acquiring UTM TV.