If you thought That Money Show centered just on numbers, think
again. Craig McGuire discovers that the editorial team's real interests
range from Green Machines to airline ticket prices to healthcare
Focusing on a limited number of subjects each week, broadcast news
magazines like That Money Show are incredibly hard to pitch. However,
your success depends on what, or whom you are pitching.
Produced for PBS by Thirteen/WNET New York, the weekly That Money Show
debuted last September, with segments exploring the world and culture of
Setting its sights beyond the Street, That Money Show is geared towards
affluent 20- to 40-somethings. But note, publicity hounds looking to
pitch standard financial fodder to this prime demographic need not
'We won't just put someone on who has something to promote,' says Anne
Hartmayer, news coordinator and booker for the show. 'It has to fit. For
example, we have something coming up on women investors, so we'll be
looking for that type of subject.'
Even if you're savvy enough to get someone to listen to your idea, don't
expect instant gratification. 'We work at a fast pace, but there's a lot
of planning that goes into each show,' explains Hartmayer. '(PR reps)
need to look at this as a long term pitch and not a placement made in
the next 10 days.'
'We work mostly with internally produced story ideas, but that doesn't
mean we wouldn't run with a story pitched by a PR pro,' she adds.
Hartmayer says the best way to pitch her is either by e-mail (hartmayer@
thirteen.org) or regular mail.
PR execs should first view and understand the show, says Bob Rumerman, a
spokesman for LVM Group, which represents That Money Show along with a
number of other WNET programs. 'This show is not just stocks and bonds,'
he explains. 'It's about any aspect of life that relates to money, and
that involves a broad range of topics.'
Popular subjects with producers have included the US obsession with food
as big business, Green Machines (electric automobiles), pharmaceutical
advertising, healthcare trends that relate to out-of-pocket expenses and
issues stemming from layoffs, which are becoming increasingly more
'They recently ran a piece on the lunacy of airline ticket pricing,'
says Rumerman. 'Passengers getting off a flight in Newark were
interviewed and every single one of them had paid a different ticket
With such eclectic subject matter, you may not be able to get your
client through the front door - but maybe you can slip him in through
'That Money Show is always looking for reputable experts on financial
issues as they affect average people,' explains Rumerman. 'There are a
couple of financial planners used frequently, and (show producers) are
open to expanding the stable.'
Hartmayer says that these experts need to be both comfortable in front
of the camera and knowledgeable. 'We'll use a tax expert around tax
time, healthcare experts when we run a piece on healthcare costs,' she
Experts will always be in demand, but what really gets producers of That
Money Show excited are interesting entrepreneurs. 'And that's not just
dot-com types, but interesting types of business,' explains
Recent stories have included a couple that makes accessories for
kayaking, and a piece on Dan Juhl. '(Juhl) runs a wind 'farm' in
Minnesota - an alternative form of power generation and an alternative
form of revenue,' says Rumerman.
As a weekly production, timing is critical and deadlines are taken
The staff meets every Monday to discuss a large file of mostly
internally generated story ideas. Programs are assembled on Friday and
distributed to PBS outlets across the country, so as the week
progresses, the pace quickens. 'The later in the week, the less likely
you'll get an audience,' says Hartmayer.
PBS' THAT MONEY SHOW
Host, managing editor: Betsy Karetnick
Director: Wayne Palmer
Segment producer: Lee Solomon
Associate producers: Cyndee Readdean; Lea Sheloush
News Coordinator, booker: Anne Hartmayer
Address: Thirteen/WNET, 450 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001
Tel: (212) 560-1313
Fax: (212) 560-6857
Web address: www.thirteen.org/moneyshow/.