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Producing a daily TV show

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Tim FrechetteProducing a daily TV show
by on Jun 21, 2009 at 7:15:31 pm

I have the opportunity to produce a daily tv show in the morning in my local market. It was on before but after 4 years they left the station they were on due to the lack of interest in the station to do more than the minimal work. I know the and co-hosts I told them that I could produce a tv show in house and send it our to a local station. The new station wants the show but have no budget to produce a show on a daily basis. The co-host wants creative control and does not want it shot outside of their studio. They currently do a radio show which will be broadcast on tv at the same time.

The co-host wants me to take a huge paycut just to get started as well as pay for all of the equipment but I will not get any revenue of future ad sales, only a salary. I told him I will take a paycut, provide equipment, but I want to make just as much money as the co-host since I will be selling advertising as well.

The monthly cost will be my pay and cost for the fiber optics to the tv station. The tv station will not charge to us to air the show but want to split the commercial breaks so they can make money.

I will be producing the show and have a vested stake in it so I believe I should make money on the revenue as well.

Any ideas on how this has worked in the past?
Thanks
Tim


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walter biscardiRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 21, 2009 at 10:18:28 pm

[Tim Frechette] "The co-host wants me to take a huge paycut just to get started as well as pay for all of the equipment but I will not get any revenue of future ad sales, only a salary. I told him I will take a paycut, provide equipment, but I want to make just as much money as the co-host since I will be selling advertising as well. "

This is the beginning of a horrible relationship. My advice is don't bother with this project at all. My two cents.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

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Todd TerryRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 21, 2009 at 11:36:03 pm

Got to agree with Walter, as usual...

Relationships tend to get worse, not better, with time. I can't imagine a relationship that starts out this rocky becoming smooth as silk later on.

From what little we've heard, this guy sounds like a control freak prima donna (or whatever the male equivalent of a prima donna is), with an over-inflated sense of self importance.... as is all-too-often seen in local television personalities.

You call him the "co-host"... obviously that means it is not his show, that he is not the sole talent. Does the show hinge on him? Can it be done with someone else?

If he is what carried the show before, his following that generated an audience, then I think you might be in trouble. If on the other hand it's the show itself that people wanted to watch, I'd definitely consider re-casting the part and moving on.

Lots of people (herself included) thought "Live!"..." would tank without Kathy Lee... but if you'll notice, Regis is doing just fine without her.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Mike CohenRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 22, 2009 at 1:46:15 am

If it sounds too good to be true, it's too good to be true.
This sounds too bad to be true. You have a good chance of getting burned.
If you want this to happen, get something in writing and pay a lawyer to look at it. It seems much of the risk is on you, so the risk management is also on you.
You may like working with the talent and want your work to be broadcast for your local market to see, but don't forget your most important customer...YOU!

Mike Cohen


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Ron LindeboomRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 22, 2009 at 3:36:26 pm

[Todd Terry] "this guy sounds like a control freak prima donna (or whatever the male equivalent of a prima donna is)"

I think that would be called a "major sports star," Todd.

;o)

Ron Lindeboom


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walter biscardiRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 22, 2009 at 5:02:10 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "I think that would be called a "major sports star," Todd. "

T.O. for short.

And as a follow-up when I said this is a bad relationship from the start, I speak from very recent experience. There will be many more details and I plan to write a full article in the near future, but trust me when I say to walk away.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Tim KolbRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 22, 2009 at 9:41:25 pm

Yes...I'd have to agree with the majority here.

Success is...improbable if not impossible.

...and this client sounds like they're pitching the deal with "You'll have to give up a lot now BUT...down the road you'll REALLY be hosed."

...tempting.




TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Mike SmithRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 22, 2009 at 4:09:48 pm

Walk away.

If you are a hired hand on a (lower) salary, why would you even consider investing in kit and taking on risk for this show.

You may not have heard the full story of why the show no longer airs.

Unless you are to (try to) do everything, monthly cost will also include people for sound, lighting, props, editing, graphics, along with any outside shooting, any guests, anything "beyond the minimum" you might do to give a show spice. Oh - and of course any sales costs involved in running the ad sales operation ...

If you feel like it, go into your local station to discuss possible other deals with them.

But this has "avoid" all over it ....


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grinner hesterRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 22, 2009 at 9:15:25 pm

Just politely explain that your internship daze are over and state your day rate. He'll say no thank you and you'll find this to be the most diplomatic way of telling a grinder to kick rocks.





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Alan LloydRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 22, 2009 at 11:00:56 pm

What everyone else said. Run, do not walk.


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Tim FrechetteRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 23, 2009 at 10:22:17 am

I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to respond, it is greatly appreciated.

Here is an update.

I can borrow the equipment needed to get the show on air. Revenue split as proposed. Half of breaks go to the tv station for them to sell.
Our share will be split like this. Who ever sells the ad gets 50%. The other 50% goes like this.

10% for infrastructure
50% to me
40% to the on air talent.
If a client needs a commercial I make it and keep all revenue to pay for my equipment.

I am getting a rate card from the station to see what the actual numbers on for commercial rates. The tv program director keeps telling us we need to hire a cameraman to run a camera live in the studio to give it a realty effect like MTV. He did it 11 years ago 4 times a month with a local rock station and it went well he said.
I said if it went so well why did it last only 3 months and I am not going to produce this show with a huge paycut just so I can pay a "new kid" to run a camera. The tv PD also told us that setting up this tv show is as simply as plugging in the fiber optic cable into his camera and letting it run.
My response was "A monkey can do that, is that the show you want to run?" They keep saying that they want a really nice looking show, yet they don't want to pay me for it.

Another revenue stream would be to broadcast on the net but the radio station says it will hurt their online streaming. I feel like everyone is limiting my revenue stream yet everyone else is going to be making top dollar.


Give me your opinion and tell me what the idea situation would be.
Thanks


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walter biscardiRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 23, 2009 at 11:40:44 am

[Tim Frechette] "Give me your opinion and tell me what the idea situation would be. "

Same as before. This is a bad deal from the get-go. Walk away.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Steve KownackiRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 23, 2009 at 12:27:55 pm

You've already racked up about $10K in producer expenses wrting/reading this thread, researching gear, working on proposals, etc. Don't forget to add that in too. I'm on the "run away quick" bandwagon too BTW.

Steve



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cowcowcowcowcow
Nick GriffinRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 23, 2009 at 1:02:01 pm

I too agree with all that's been said above and just want to interject one thought:

The references made so far to selling spots make it seem that Tim thinks that's an easy thing and a given that it will happen and be a reliable source of revenue. It isn't and probably won't be.

For starters, remember that you'll be selling in the same marketplace where the TV station will be trying to sell the exact same thing. Are you allowed to undersell them? Can they undersell you? Remember that they can also bundle your spots as part of a bigger package and then maintain that the spots are any price that they want them to be. You can't, so you have little to no defense against being undersold.

Next is the fact that their PROFESSIONAL ad sales people likely have long-standing relationships with the market's advertisers. Unless this is something you've been doing, you probably do not. People typically buy from those they know -- the PROFESSIONAL ad sales people who spend 40+ hours a week building relationships and selling ads.

Lastly, if nothing else about this deal seems like a potential disaster, consider the current economy. New products (including TV shows) are highly risky in normal times. Slow times just make them more so.


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Tim FrechetteRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 23, 2009 at 1:51:22 pm

Excellent points on selling ads. Thank You

This show was on air for 4 years and did very well. I was present for the last 2 years of the show and know who was doing what. I know that the tv station wanted to just take in the revenue but had little interest doing anything more for the show. They have been off air for 6 months and their audience is still asking about a return to tv.

Thank for the input and I will keep you posted.
Tim


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grinner hesterRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 23, 2009 at 2:09:14 pm

The bottom line is half of nuthin' is nuthin'. If they thought they could make money from this, they'd surely have no problem making more of a profit by paying you your day rate and keeping all those awesome advertising dollars.
Tell em you are booked trimmin' your grandma's toenails.



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Ron LindeboomRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 24, 2009 at 5:31:54 pm

[Tim Frechette] "I told him I will take a paycut, provide equipment, but I want to make just as much money as the co-host since I will be selling advertising as well."

In many great companies that I have known and/or been a part of, the sales director often makes more money than anyone else in the company. Their income often exceeds the CEO and/or president of the company.

Why?

Because REAL salespeople are highly motivated by their commissions. The great ones never become satisfied with their existing level of sales and are always looking for the next deal and the next commission.

Tying a person's hands by giving them a "flat" is an idiot's recipe for mediocrity. (Tell your co-host that I said that and point them to this thread, I would like to see how they defend such a stupid idea as the one they propose. Perhaps they have become too enamored of their visage and think they are worth more than a real bread winner. Clue? They aren't. The fact that they got canceled should tell them that but apparently they weren't listening.)

Without sales, they have nothing. By tying things to a "flat," they will have little motivation for sales -- and that is exactly what they will have, little sales.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Mark RaudonisRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 24, 2009 at 8:01:01 pm

Tim,

Walk into a room with a mirror. Turn around. Look back over your shoulder.

See that "KICK ME" sign taped to your back?


Mark





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Tim FrechetteRe: Producing a daily TV show
by on Jun 24, 2009 at 11:07:37 pm

After careful thought as well as taking into consideration all of the valuable advice here I decided to turn down the job.
After a few conversations with little information coming my way I will highlight what a crap deal this would of been.

I would have to buy all the equipment from commercial production that I would of done if the on air talent sold any spots.

I would take very very little as pay to work for 90 days and after that time I still would get very little.

I would get a small amount of money from ads sales as well as have almost NO control over the show, ie, camera angels, etc.

I could not broadcast on the web.

The tv station would need their guaranteed revenue from current programing of $250.00 per week paid directly to them from the very first ad sales from our program so they would not lose any money.

We would have to pay the fiber optic cable for $800p/m

I asked for their sales projections in writing but no one would do it.

So, they are going hire the on air talent's kid to hand hold a single camera with a direct feed to the tv station for broadcast and hope to sell ads.

I wish them luck. What a great opportunity but it will die a slow death.

Thank you everyone for your insight and experience.

Good Day


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