Wishing and hoping for your own show on national TV?
Stop waiting for an invitation to audition. Instead, create your own show on your cable TV company’s public access channel.
That’s what foodie Dave Lieberman did when he was a student at Yale University. On his show “Campus Cuisine,” he demonstrated how fellow students could cook like a gourmet on a shoestring budget. One segment, for example, showed how to whip up a smoothie using dining-hall fruit.
The show gained a cult following, with many students clamoring for recipes they could cook to impress a date. Students passed around tapes of his show, and his fame spread from the campus in New Haven, Connecticut to the studios of the Food Network, where 27-year-old Lieberman now stars in his own popular cooking show “Good Deal with Dave Lieberman.”
Taking advantage of the public access channel, where you don’t pay for air time, gives you invaluable experience in front of a camera. You can make your mistakes before a relatively small audience, and learn as you go. When you’re ready for the next step, you can take your show nationwide by buying leased access time in TV markets large or small.
PR guy Robert Smith of Rockfor, Ill. has been using this strategy for himself and his PR clients for the last few years. During a teleseminar I conducted with him called “How to Get Your Own National TV Show for Less Than $400 a Month,” he explained that using leased access lets you target specific cities during specific times of the day or night. Buying air time in 20 small, inexpensive markets throughout the U.S. can generate as many viewers as buying air time in one large expensive market like New York City.
And who knows? Somebody from one of the networks might be watching.