Attending American Public Television Marketplace in Memphis

Attending American Public Television Marketplace in Memphis

Laura Adams Guy is a station relations professional working with program producers interested in airdates on PBS/Public Stations.  I provide guidance, information,  peace- of-mind and strategy to producers who have invested much of their lives and sometimes

Date Posted: 
2001-11-18 20:01

Blog Series:

As a station relations representative for Vision Maker Media, I recently attended the American Public Television Marketplace conference in Memphis, Tennessee. The conference occurred November 9 - November 12, 2011. It's primary purpose is to make programming available to public television stations nation-wide. Attendees include producers, station programmers, distributers and industry experts in many areas such as research and distribution. I am working with Vision Maker Media on distribution for Smokin' Fish and Columbus Day Legacy as well as the vast archive available to stations. When I attend industry meetings, I am available to programmers to answer questions they may have about logistics of scheduling these programs.

The conference started with an informative session from Craig Reed at TRAC Media on why stations should invest in local programs, and which local programs are truly bringing in a substantial audience for local markets. It was interesting to see the very high audience numbers that some of this local programming brings in. Montanna PBS has had big success with local programs that also work nationally. Nashville Public Television also has success with long standing local theme series. 76 stations do really well with local sports programs as well with one station getting a 15 rating for a local sports program. Craig referred to the term "Stationality" as a station that works to be important to their local audience and create that local "personality".

Pillar to Post also made a presentation on captioning and step-up requirements for productions headed for national distribution. Following these presentations, the official APT Duckmaster, Kevin Harris, from WETA led the ducks of the Memphis Peabody hotel down the red carpet from the lobby fountain to their home on the roof. The opening reception also took place in the conference area on the roof after a few of us had a chance to visit the Rendezvous restaurant for wonderful Memphis barbecue.

The primary bulk of the meeting was for screening programming for potential use in PBS/public television schedules and we spent most of our time watching these clips. Two programs from Vision Maker Media were presented for the October November 2012 timeline, Racing the Rez and GRAB. They seemed to get a favorable response from the screening audience. There are three areas of program availability from APT to stations, Premium Service for primarily pledge programming; Program Syndication for purchase and Program Exchange at no cost to station members. Bill Moyers and Rick Steeves, NHK and P. Allen Smith attended the meeting and made presentations regarding their series availability to stations.

The most inspirational moments of the meeting occurred during John Hunter's presentation at the closing for the Key Note speech. There had been a wonderful program offer for a production based on his method of teaching young 4th grade children, by involving them in real life scenarios, that received applause from the entire screening audience. When John Hunter spoke to the crowd, his words motivated the gathered adults and showed us all just how positive and effective he must be as a teacher and as an individual.

All in all this was a valuable event for those involved in public television production and distribution. As an added benefit, APT provided an opportunity for us to tour Graceland and then provided travel directly to the airport, which made it possible for those of us with tight flight schedules to attend. And this was an event in itself!

Native Oklahoma
Support Native Films
Help Vision Maker Media By Using Amazon Smile