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Monday, May 23, 2022

TV Producer Changes Channel with Online Network

This Tuesday a new network called Everyday Health TV will unveil its lineup of six shows. They’ll feature the likes of nutritionist Joy Bauer and relationship coach Dr. Laura Berman.

The launch party is even planned for a swanky Manhattan hotel – but don’t expect to find the programs on cable. Everyday Health is on YouTube.

The health and wellness network is a joint venture by Hollywood production company Trium; Everyday Health Inc., a New York-based web portal for health information; and YouTube owner Google Inc., which invested seven figures.

Mark Koops, co-founder of Trium and an executive producer on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” said he’s looking to put a new spin on traditional TV production values.

“This is not just TV for the web,” said Koops, “We’re bringing the barriers to entry down.”

Take “Recipe Rehab,” one of the first shows to air on the YouTube channel. It will allow viewers to send in their family’s favorite recipe to be turned into a healthier version by a professional chef. The family will then judge the professional chef’s execution of the dish.

Koops, who also has six cable TV projects in development, said digital delivery allows for more interactivity, in part by giving viewers a better chance of getting a spot on the program.

What’s more, he said, the around-the-clock web production schedule allows new shows to address relevant news items.

Some, like a talk show with celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels, will air daily, while others, like a couples counseling show with Berman, will air weekly.

All in all, Koops said he’s hoping to produce 100 hours of content in the first year of the channel, which he said will skew to a 18-49 female demographic.

To gather an audience, he said, the channel will depend on traffic coming by way of Everyday Health’s network of sites, which draw as many as 30 million unique visitors per month and includes JillianMichaels.com.

IPad Shuffle

Ever noticed how TV anchors are always shuffling around a stack of papers at the end of a news segment? If Barry Quiat has his way, they’ll soon be swiping at their tablets.

Quiat, president of L.A. tech company Qameo, developed an iPad app called eScript that synchronizes a newsreader’s notes with the words on a teleprompter in real time.

He sees it as an update to the age-old practice of scribbling or typing an update on a sheet of paper and handing it to an anchor.

“The paper script is out of date once it’s printed,” he said.

By allowing for instant updates, of which there can be several in a single news broadcast, Quiat said the app can save stations thousands of dollars per year in printing costs.

He said he co-developed the app in a few months for less than $250,000 with the help of a major national broadcaster as a partner, not disclosed due to confidentiality agreements.

He’s planning to sell the application for between $9,600 and $20,000, depending on the size of the station and the number of users connected in the newsroom.

Quiat said eScript is now being tested on 24 iPads at five stations. He’s planning to increase that by pitching the product at this month’s National Association of Broadcasters trade show in Las Vegas.

“I expected tremendous resistance from anchors,” he said. “In fact, we’ve seen the opposite. No one has said, ‘I prefer paper.’”

Polyglot Plans

As TV ad revenue improves, Long Beach’s Far East-focused TV station KSCI-TV (18) has found a new owner.

Last week, a bankruptcy court approved the purchase of the station by operator NRJ TV of Coppell, Texas. The station, which reaches from Los Angeles to San Diego, was sold along with similar stations in Hawaii and Poway, which broadcast in multiple Asian languages.

An affiliate of NRJ was a creditor of the stations’ parent, International Media Group Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in January. It’s unclear what the final purchase price was, but the affiliate had been owed $77 million.

NRJ recently has been buying underperforming stations in major markets, including in Boston and San Francisco. Some, such as LA 18, were hit hard by the recession, but with advertising spending returning, ethnic stations should profit, said Barry Lucas, an analyst at Gabelli & Co. in New York.

“As the economy recovers you’ll see more money going in to new areas, like social media and more dollars going to ethnic TV,” Lucas said.

Staff reporter Jonathan Polakoff can be reached at jpolakoff@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 226.

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