Coming soon to a smartphone, iPad, or computer near you - eleven extremely familiar Utah faces will once again report and deliver news and entertainment via the new Salt TV Network. They miss their profession and they’re going online to get it back. Last weekend, I came across their beta site on the Internet.
Where have they been? Some had retired, others were downsized during this great recession and revolution in communications. You know their names, possibly as well as you know those of your children. KSL (NBC), KTVX (ABC), KUTV (CBS) and KSTU (FOX) once spent millions in branding dollars to showcase their faces, personalities and talents.
One Deep Bench
Salt TV Network creator, former KTVX assistant news director Pat Benedict, has a contract with United Press International for national/international news and believes his business model could be franchised in other states.
They Want You To Be Involved
Some have specific beats. Susan Wood will cover medical news, Carlisle will report on downtown business, development, entertainment and the people and non-profit groups doing good things in the community. Reece Stein will have a program called Outdoor Family Fun, including hiking, camping, fishing and hunting news. He encourages all of us to be his field reporters. Ruth Todd plans to focus on education and family issues. Craig Wirth, Utah’s version of the famous Charles Kuralt, will offer up his well-loved brand of personal humor.
Then there’s this radio guy...Tom Barberi, the longtime radio Voice of Reason. Tom will be back with his own program of rants and raves. “Have an issue with something I said? Who doesn’t?” he says, encouraging his audience to spar via email, Twitter or Facebook. “This is a 21st century town hall meeting in which you are front and center.”
These individuals were my household brands. They’ve been in my living room for decades. Here they are again in a colorful line-up photo. Great genes, white teeth, clear eyes and not a hair out of place. I’d like to see them succeed. I’d like Salt TV to give new opportunities to citizen journalists and other print journalists who’ve lost their jobs. I hope Salt TV has advertisers and investors who will give it the time needed to establish and strengthen its audience.
Bye Bye TV Consultants
I have but one suggestion. Relax. Online you don’t have to be “TV perfect.” Soften the make-up and the broadcast voices. No TV consultant will bug you about your wrinkles, gray hair, lack of hair, or sudden extra pounds. Even better...no more big investments in fine clothes and dry cleaning. Be real. Just have a great time doing what you love. www.salttvnet.com