Tony Schiavone was a guest on Edge and Christian's podcast and during a conversation on the show described the reasons WCW ultimately failed, blaming the production of a second television show for their demise.
Recently a guest on E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness, former WCW announcer and podcast host Tony Schiavone answered questions about his time in WCW. When asked about the downfall of WCW Schiavone blamed WCW Thunder, the second weekly show TBS wanted to produce as the reason WCW died.
Thunder was to be produced in addition to Monday Nitro and while Nitro was a huge ratings success for WCW and had the production crew to manage the requirements to make it a success, WCW did not have the production resources to double their output. WCW Executive Producer Eric Bischoff held off as long as he could when asked about making a second show, but when Ted Turner personally told him to do it, Bischoff couldn't really say no.
“Obviously, things went downhill and there [are] many things you can point to, but I really think that because they wanted us to do a new show, which was Thunder, I think that’s what started our trend downward... It wasn’t called Thunder at the time, but there was no way we were going to do a weekly TBS live show. And I guess Ted came and said we’re going to do it because it wasn’t long after that, a month or so after that, we started doing it.”
While WCW had plenty of talent, once they realized they couldn't produce a second show with no crew, they moved to trying to tape it Tuesdays, then to taping if after Nitro ended and things just got gradually worse.
What This Means
A lot of people point to certain stars having political control or letting the inmates run the asylum as far as what ultimately destroyed WCW, but in the end, if a company runs out of money, it's hard to keep operating. It sounds like that's what happened with WCW.
Being a television station that only wanted a wrestling program if profitable is not the same as being a wrestling company that produces a television show. WWE was the latter and that's one of the reasons they're still around today.