The Next Stage, Part A

nine toe-1 2
nine toe-1 2

Yesterday I mentioned I’m leaving A&E Networks after 27 years. I can barely process the reality of this, but fortunately I’m energized by what’s next.

And what’s next is…

I’m starting my own company. Hanging my own shingle. Launching my own business. Paying my own bills. Working under a new name. (Story to follow, but here's a hint!) Living under a cool logo. (Thanks Lindsay Kragten!)

I suppose this means I’ll be managing my own IT issues too … yikes!!

But what I am going to actually do?

The answer isn’t simple, in part because I’m going to pursue two things I love.  Both “jobs” are in my wheel house, but they move at different paces, so they can co-exist nicely.  Today I’ll cover the first initiative…

#1 – Content Creation

In my current job I sell A&E Networks’ distribution.  This means taking our suite of services (A&E, History, Lifetime, LMN, Bio, H2, THCe, MHC, CI) and securing a place with distributors such as Dish, Comcast, Cox, etc.

In my new job, I will make and sell actual shows.  In television parlance, I’m becoming an Executive Producer. This means I’ll develop concepts for new programming, produce the concepts into actual video, and sell those ideas to networks like A&E.

In fact, I hope A&E Networks will be my first customer.

The story is a long one, which will eventually receive plenty of space in this blog, but for the past year I’ve been developing a show for Lifetime.  I’m starting in the “reality” space, but beyond that I have to be short on specifics!

What I can tell you is we recently shot a “mini-pilot” for Lifetime and are just finishing the edits. It’s been unbelievably exciting.  I’ve loved the process so much, I’ve summoned all of my courage and am jumping into producing full-time.

However, for all of the fun, there are no promises the show will be “picked up” (translation – put on television) nor is there any indication of timing or  when I could get a paycheck from my work

But there is oh so much more than making money.

There’s an adventure with a cast I ABSOLUTELY love!

There’s the learning curve with “Show Runners” who literally called the shots during our shoot. (That’s not a pun, telling cameramen which “shot” to get is the show runner’s job.) There’s the on-going collaboration with the network executives, the production company, and the cast. (Did I mention how much I love this cast?!)

But mostly there is a heightened level of creativity in everything I’m doing. If I thought I was sensitive to story-telling BEFORE, this is like saying I’m a writer after penning my opening paragraph.

If I thought I was exercising my innovation muscles BEFORE, this feels as if I'm signing up for an Ironman.

You are catching me early in the process, and I hope you’ll indulge me as I share this adventure.

I’ll tell you upfront, you may not believe in God, but when you hear how I landed in this position, you will ABSOLUTELY believe in miracles!

Tomorrow I'll let you know Part B!