Ahhhh… Comfort food

Dave Ferrara

Dave Ferrara

Sometimes it feels good to embrace things from the past. Mom’s meatloaf. Tim Allen on a sitcom. And kicking off the HRTS Newsmaker Luncheon season with the Network Chiefs. Well, the meatloaf goes without saying. Umm, umm, good. Tim Allen back on a sitcom. Check. “Last Man Standing” premieres October 11th on ABC. And kicking off the season with The Net Chiefs? You got it. October 11th at the Beverly Hilton. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
Mr. Allen put it very well when commenting on his return to the small screen to the LA Times recently. “I think we did it better than anybody else.” He said. “I’m not really reinventing the wheel here-this is just what I like to do.” Well said!
That’s precisely how we feel here at HRTS. The HRTS Newsmaker Luncheon Series is, and always has been, our industry’s premier information and networking forum. And no luncheon panel fulfills those goals better than the Network Chiefs. Broadcast is such an important part of our business that the opportunity for insight and guidance from the individuals leading the broadcast nets is always a valuable and important reference point for the eight hundred plus attendees in the room. And of course, when you put that many important people in the same room, well the networking just amps up that much more! Plus this year’s panel has a couple of new faces up there on stage so I’m intrigued to hear from new presidents Mark Pedowitz and Jennifer Salke on their views of the business. So there you have it. The Net Chiefs season kick-off. The way it used to be. Comfort food for the TV biz… just like mom would serve it up!

The Network Chiefs 2010

The Network Chiefs 2010 panel

But enough with the metaphors… Here at HRTS we’ve been crazy busy of late. On the Newsmaker Season front, aside from the Net Chiefs on October 11th, we’re also putting the finishing touches on our November luncheon (hint: a conversation with a major industry leader), and December brings us our annual Hitmakers panel. We’re also ahead of the curve with Spring 2012 as we are already booking our Cable Chiefs summit for March, and a special panel tentatively titled “The Challengers” is coming together for April. And of course our annual State of the Industry luncheon for June will wrap the “regular” luncheon season. Details on all of this will be found at our website HRTS.ORG.
In addition, we have greatly expanded our junior level programming with monthly panels and roundtables in both LA and NYC featuring smaller, more collegiate discussions with leading industry executives. We’ve also partnered with the New York TV Festival and will be hosting a cocktail party/networking event in New York next week (Thu, Sept 22) as well as the 8th annual JHRTS Holiday Party here in LA in December.
I also want to mention some new and exciting news on the HRTS membership front. We’ve recently launched two new levels of membership to better serve our expanding constituency.
Academic Memberships. This membership provides colleges and universities on-demand use of the entire archive of HRTS Newsmaker Luncheon video for a single annual subscription. Educators can use this content to develop more focused curriculum relevant to the television and new media business, and students will have access to the best in thought leadership from the top executives in the entertainment industry. The first school to take advantage of this new level of membership is High Point University in North Carolina. We’re very excited to be able to provide aspiring media students the ability to hear and learn from the top minds in our business. Add this to our fast growing Junior HRTS membership and their educational activities and HRTS is now creating an industry information pipeline all the way from college through to senior level executives. I know many of our HRTS members are active in their college alumni groups so if you are interested in connecting your alma mater with this new program, contact me directly to find out how.
HRTS Associate Membership: So you are no longer an assistant or a coordinator. You’ve moved up in your career but you are also not yet a senior level executive? How can you continue to take advantage of the opportunities for career development and networking that HRTS provides? Become an HRTS Associate Member! This level is open to current/former JHRTS members and other junior/mid-level execs and features full access to all JHRTS activities (free panels/roundtables, etc) as well as benefits unique to HRTS Full members (access to Newsmaker Luncheon tickets) all at a reduced annual rate. HRTS Associate members can enjoy these benefits for three years at which point they will transition to Full membership. This level was developed specifically to bridge the final remaining gap in the industry pipeline referenced above and fulfills our charter to position HRTS as a unique organization dedicated to the development and nurturing of successful industry careers.
So in conclusion I couldn’t be happier to see our 65 year old organization continue to grow and evolve as our industry does the same. Why has HRTS maintained its unique position in the ever-changing landscape that is the television business? I guess Tim Allen had it right. We do what we do better than anyone else. And we’re not re-inventing the wheel. It’s just what we do and it works.
Kind of like mom’s meat loaf. Bon appétit and see you at the next luncheon.
Dave Ferrara
Executive Director