David “Hutch” Hutchinson on the Future of TV
Susan Bratton

Episode 159 - David “Hutch” Hutchinson on the Future of TV

Meet Hutch, a senior television executive in LA who has one foot in the web world and one foot in TV syndication.

Learn where TV is headed and the opportunities for marketers in this "Muckety Muck Insights" series recorded on location at ad:tech San Francisco.



Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. And this is part of the Ad:Tech San Francisco live series. I’m calling them Muckity Muck Insight Series because I got a collection of the smartest people that I know that come to Ad:Tech and well in advance talk them into doing a show here live in the speakers room, and you are about to get to meet David Hutchinson. Dave is a senior vice president with a company called Program Partners, and he comes from the television world, yet he’s also highly involved in the interactive world. He’s an Ad:Tech advisor, and has been for many years a frequent speaker. And we’re going to catch up with him today. So lets get him on the show. Welcome Dave.

David Hutchinson: Thank you Susan. Nice to be here.

Susan Bratton: It’s funny for me to call you Dave; I always call you Hutch.

David Hutchinson: Everybody does and of course you can too.

Susan Bratton: Awesome! That sounds good. I like it, it’s a good nickname. Have you had it all your life?

David Hutchinson: Well it’s easy and there are many David’s in the world…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Hutchinson: that it’s incredible. So I’ve been fortunate that Hutch kind of quickly comes up and I can immediately distinguish myself from all the other David’s in the world.

Susan Bratton: Exactly. And that you do. So tell me about maybe just the, you know, the elevator pitch about Program Partners and some of the initiatives that you’re working on.

David Hutchinson: We’re basically a good old television syndication company. There used to be a lot of us back in the 80’s when there was a real boom and growth of local television stations and hence a lot of demand for not only off network programming but original television program that went directly to syndication. In the olden days you would have sort of a network show and wait for it to go into syndication, and then sort of in the mid, latter 80’s new shows would come out and a lot of demand a lot of stations popped up, a lot of syndication companies popped up, and that’s kind of where I started out. I worked for companies like New World Television and ITC Entertainment. These were companies that have since been rolled up into larger media companies, but back in the 80’s it was a very lively time. And now there’s about maybe 4 of us, and Program Partners is one of those syndication companies. And we’ve got about…

Susan Bratton: That’s it? There’s only 4 syndication companies left?

David Hutchinson: Pretty much.

Susan Bratton: That’s amazing!

David Hutchinson: Pretty much. I mean some of the major media companies have a syndication sort of division…

Susan Bratton: Right, they would of course.

David Hutchinson: Tribune Media, you know, NBC has a syndication division, Warner Bros. has a syndication division. But we’re sort of the last of the independent, shall we say. Debmar Mercury’s another company, but they’re actually part of Lions Gate.

Susan Bratton: Okay.

David Hutchinson: So we’re purely independent. We’ve been around for about 6 years, and started out actually importing high quality scripted Canadian dramas…

Susan Bratton: I remember that. You were bringing in good shows that did well in Canada into the US and syndicating them here.

David Hutchinson: Exactly.

Susan Bratton: That was a brilliant idea.

David Hutchinson: Well and also very cost efficient.

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Hutchinson: Television is still, has been and always will be a risky business, especially for original programming. In this case these are sort of proven high quality in the can so to speak television shows that not only did well in Canada, but also I fact, you know, translate quite well to the US, they speak the same language. We in fact do do a little bit of editing and sort of sanitization shall we say, soften the Canadian sort of portions such as they are. But also there’s some differences in sort of sexuality and violence between our culture and the Canadian culture, so we…

Susan Bratton: What are the differences?

David Hutchinson: Well sexuality is a little more liberal sort of in Canada, but they in fact discourage…

Susan Bratton: In what way?

David Hutchinson: Well parts of the anatomy, language actually, actually there’s a lot more of a liberal environment about those things, where in fact they actually discourage violence.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Hutchinson: Where in this country…

Susan Bratton: It’s the opposite.

David Hutchinson: It’s the opposite.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Hutchinson: Yeah, it’s interesting that way.

Susan Bratton: Fascinating.

David Hutchinson: So, you know, we want to be sensitive to our broadcasters, make sure that these shows at the end of the day meet their sort of FCC guidelines as well as sort of translate editorially and sort of as an entertainment product for our U.S audiences and apparently they have been. Our first show, Da Vinci’s Inquest, is still on the air. It’s still one of our sort of flagship shows. And a lot of those shows are represented by Sony Pictures Television, they actually sell the national time in the shows which we syndicate, so we essentially give them away on a barter basis. Stations not only get a great show but they keep the local ad time that they can sell, and then we sort of time bank the national time, which we actually in many cases give to Sony and they sell that for a commission and we take the rest and we try to keep doing that as many times as possible. And we have about probably over the last five, six years 7, 8 different shows on the air, a lot of which were Canadian; although two years ago we actually branched into original production, as scary and as risky as that is and as much as we did not want to get into original programming, when Merv Griffin came to us just about three years ago through the William Morris Agency wanting to get back into the gameshow business and just needing a distribution partner, we were tempted shall we say to jump in and we did, and we created, co-created with William Morris Merv Griffin’s Crosswords, which was a gameshow, we did 225 half hour episodes. It was a great show, it was on the air for two years. Unfortunately Mr. Griffin had passed away…

Susan Bratton: Right.

David Hutchinson: when that show had launched…

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.

David Hutchinson: and it was a shame for a lot of reason obviously. But not the least of which there were a couple of things that maybe could’ve been done with the show to make it even better and he just wasn’t there unfortunately to jump in, so it was a lot of fun, a great experience, great show, but it only ran for about two years. And we moved on and did a court show, again in that same sort of unique and innovative triumphant financing mechanism between us, the William Morris Agency and their other client, a woman named Judge Penny Reynolds, a very dynamic African American woman judge out of Atlanta, and once again we didn’t think we were going to get into the court space because there are so many court shows but she was just sort of a terrific personality. And then we did Family Court With Judge Penny and did that show for a year, but as we’ll probably talk about in this interview TV ratings, the fractionization of the media audience, decimalization of Neilson ratings have made original programming more and more challenging because unless you do sort of better than a 1.0, 1.5 rating, it’s very hard to make these original productions pencil out. And in fact in the sort of the end of that original programming story is we were going to launch a talk show with Marie Osmond last year…

Susan Bratton: Oh yeah, you’re kidding. She’s really made quite a comeback recently. She and Donnie, they’ve been doing a lot of world touring and things, haven’t they?

David Hutchinson: Yeah, 8 nights, you know – well….

Susan Bratton: They’re in Vegas now too.

David Hutchinson: They’ve been doing about 8 performances a week in Las Vegas.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, uh huh.

David Hutchinson: Up until recently, as you may recall her, one of her children had unfortunately committed suicide I guess…

Susan Bratton: Oh my god, no.

David Hutchinson: and it had a tremendous impact on her life…

Susan Bratton: Oh no kidding. My god.

David Hutchinson: obviously. So she may be throttling back a little bit on the shows in Vegas, but you know, she’s got a, I think last year she had released another book and, you know, she had suffered post partum and at the same time, you know, is a real strong personality, a real positive person, a natural on air, on television, has been wanting to do a talk show all of her life, and again they came to us in that same sort of triumvirate molt to do a show, and it just for a series of reasons became a challenge including the head winds of the recession. And so unfortunately, you know, two months before actually launching last year we had to pull the plug collectively between the three partners, we just realized it was too risky and there were too many things going on and again in hindsight it’s probably a good idea that we didn’t do it. So essentially again, so now we’re going back to Canadian roots. We got a couple other shows that we can talk about.

Susan Bratton: It’s interesting how much the frailty of us as humans factors into a business that’s driven on talent. You know, you don’t really think about that, but the same things happened to me in the startup world. You know, I lost the CEO of one of our companies that we started, and he passed away after we were maybe, you know, 18 months old. We lost Phil Goldman; he was the CEO of Mailblocks, I was there in 2004. And, you know, you never expect that stuff to happen, but in fact it happens all the time, you know…

David Hutchinson: Life happens.

Susan Bratton: When you bring up the story, it’s so similar, when you bring up the story, like “Yeah, I’ve got one of those too”, “Yeah, I’ve got one of those too”, you know.

David Hutchinson: And just roll the punches.

Susan Bratton: So let me ask you a couple questions ‘cause, you know, you’re a little bit of a unique person here at Ad:Tech with your television background. If you were a marketing manager with a limited budget, where would you put most of your focus in the digital marketing sphere today? What do you think is really working or where would you place your bet?

David Hutchinson: Well the fast answer is probably search. I know I’m probably not the first person to say that.

Susan Bratton: Sure.

David Hutchinson: And it really depends on nuances about your business and how long you’ve been around and what your business objectives are. But boy oh boy, I mean, you know, we’re in a world now where the internet is synonymous with Google and Google is becoming synonymous with marketing in a sense. It’s a digital world and it’s a web-based world. And I also happen to know, as I’m sure you do too, a lot of very talented experienced sort of SEO search engine optimization, search engine marketing experts, and there is not just sort of the, you know, budget full of keywords and try to, you know, get above the fold. I mean there’s a real sort of science behind it, a real methodology behind it. And if you do it right in its own right, it can be very effective. And if you do it right in concert with say, oh I don’t know, television, it can be very, very powerful. And we may talk a little bit about Google TV ads, which is almost kind of the sweet spot in my mind between…

Susan Bratton: Well you have a market position on that. Tell us about it.

David Hutchinson: Well, you know, on one hand, you know, the point of Google having certain advantages is painfully obvious, but at the same time it’s basically, you know, Google AdWords as we all know is a fairly universal, you know, marketing mechanism and people know how it works and has a lot of reach and, you know, so that’s kind of an almost an established footprint on the web side. Now of course on sort of the other end of the spectrum you’ve got the world of television, the powerful, you know, medium of television, 30 frames a second video in its full television glory, that is also going through it’s changes through a series of reasons, necessity being one, have to become more efficient. And so there’s Google sitting out there with their sort of incumbency and not to mention a lot of cash on the web side, and now through Google TV ads now starting out with set top box data sort of in the world of satellite delivery and also now cable delivery, leveraging set top box data to put together basically, you know, media buying opportunities for, you know, agencies, individual advertisers who want to go into a very familiar interface much like Google AdWords and in fact going through pull down menus and actually buying television time. Go figure.

Susan Bratton: Do they upload their spot to a website or what do they do? I’ve never played with that.

David Hutchinson: Well the interesting thing is that they announced a deal last year with a company called DG Fast Channel, who you may not know but they actually control about 90 percent of the television commercials that are trafficked around the country in our business. And so in simple terms how it works is if you already have a 30 second spot or a 10 second spot sort of on the shelf as an advertiser, an agency might, you can go to this sort of Google interface for TV ads and sort of go through a series of pull down menus, you can buy a particular show or a particular network, a particular day part, just like any grownup, you know, ad agency would, and in effect AdWords works where you sort of bid based on the price of a keyword, and the Google TV ads sort of work similarly; however based on a CPM or a cost per thousand. So there might be some recommendations about what your cost per thousand bid price might be, but you know, you can sort of figure that out and take your best shot if you will. And if you win the auction much like AdWords, your spot gets integrated, lickity split, goes down the pipe, you know, over the air to the set top box, it can play within a show or in a day part as I described and then it gets measured. That data comes back to the head end, gets tied back as some reporting and you can actually review these sort of efficiencies or the efficacy of your TV spot within 24 hours.

Susan Bratton: How do you review the efficacy of a TV spot in that model?

David Hutchinson: Well it’s interesting…

Susan Bratton: ‘Cause there’s no click through from a television.

David Hutchinson: Well what’s interesting, I mean it can literally measure if the spot has been seen or not.

Susan Bratton: Okay.

David Hutchinson: And if so, how many set top boxes had in fact seen it or played this spot.

Susan Bratton: Is that, that’s not actually viewed by humans, that’s just aired.

David Hutchinson: Yes, that’s sort of the recording that…

Susan Bratton: Like impressions are not necessarily viewed.

David Hutchinson: Exactly.

Susan Bratton: Uh huh.

David Hutchinson: But at the set top box and it is second by second.

Susan Bratton: Interesting.

David Hutchinson: Whereas Neilson has been sort of bocking on and off about, you know, are they going to actually measure the spots, I mean for a long time they’ve been measuring the show with the presumption that the spots will do as well…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Hutchinson: And so they’ll go on again, off again about measuring the actual spots, whereas this new sort of platform – and they’re not the only one, Rentrak is another company that’s…

Susan Bratton: I know you follow them closely.

David Hutchinson: Very much involved with their set top box data sort of leveraging effort. And so you can actually get to that level of angularity and also as you’re buying the media itself in this sort of dashboard, there are very familiar sort of AdWords like dashboard, get into, you know, demographic information – age, location, geo targeting. So it’s something that, you know, up until very recently, this is sort of only the tools accessible to the most sophisticated ad agencies and TV buying agencies.

Susan Bratton: Now what about Spot Runner? I remember that Joanne Bradford left Microsoft.  She ran ad sales for Microsoft. She left, she went to Spot Runner and then very soon I saw her show up at Yahoo running ad sales. Was Spot Runner just something she used to clean her non-compete clause through or is that still an ongoing company? Did they go under? Do you have any idea, ‘cause that’s similar?

David Hutchinson: They, I don’t know if they went under but I got, they were under fire for a couple of things.

Susan Bratton: Oh really? Like what?

David Hutchinson: I think there were some, I don’t know, legal and if so how much, but there were some issues. I don’t specifically what the ramifications were, but I remember years ago, maybe two years ago reading that Spot Runner was running into some trouble…

Susan Bratton: Interesting.

David Hutchinson: As you probably know, they had sort of created these sort of semi generic, you know, 30 second commercials that could be branded…

Susan Bratton: They were like templatized commercials for like if you were a pizza company they had a pizza template and you could put your stuff into it and run local spots, right?

David Hutchinson: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: Uh huh.

David Hutchinson: And they were sort of making some nice strides in the cable community sort of threw local cable, cable interconnects, and it made a lot of sense. And for whatever reason – I don’t know if it was for a stock – it was something of a corporate nature as I understand that they got sort of their proverbial tit in a ringer about something that led to some trouble. But I believe they’re sort of back and alive and well, but I just don’t know so much what the update is beyond that. But I believe they’re sort of back in the game.

Susan Bratton: Well they have a website. I’m looking at it right now. It says “Intelligent advertising”, so they’re doing something. It looks like they have local television advertising in some kind of a media platform. That’s interesting.

David Hutchinson: And then just to tie it back briefly on…

Susan Bratton: Yeah, go ahead.

David Hutchinson: the Google TV side, I mean again there’s a scenario of having sort of a traditional commercial sort of on the shelf, but also Google would offer up Spot Runner-like services; “Oh, don’t have a spot? Click here.”

Susan Bratton: Exactly. Now what are the CPM’s when you’re buying those television spots through the Google TV product? What’s the range?

David Hutchinson: Well they’re anywhere, I think the lowest recommend is maybe $1…

Susan Bratton: Oh wow, so they’re really inexpensive.

David Hutchinson: Yeah, exactly. I mean it’s a relatively new service still, you know, and it’s sort of…

Susan Bratton: Fascinating.

David Hutchinson: you know, one of these sort of cause and effects where until you get enough people in there to sort of put pressure on the inventory, you know, you’re going to have whatever the quote, “market” will bear, and if this market – which it is still very nascent – is the news that it is, it’s going to take some time to kind of get up there. And as they will say, they’re in it for the long haul. I mean it’s still in the early sort of throws. There’s a lot of, you know, not surprisingly the biggest challenge is sort of the cultural sort of abyss between traditional television, even cable television buying executives in the community, versus the more efficient sort of kind of web-based AdWords “Why weren’t we doing this five years ago” community. Where it’s just the efficiency, they’re staggering, especially when you can, you know, you have Google Analytics at the center of this, right. So on one hand everybody’s been using all the search experts we know, are very familiar and very excited about Google Analytics and kind of the granularity and the ROI and the sort of ease of use and the scalability and just so many things you can do with Google Analytics. Now…

Susan Bratton: And that it’s free.

David Hutchinson: And that it’s free…

Susan Bratton: There’s that, we love that.

David Hutchinson: See Google, I say that they have that tremendous advantage that they have…

Susan Bratton: Yes.

David Hutchinson: They can give it away…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Hutchinson: Which by the way…

Susan Bratton: Yeah?

David Hutchinson: Well I think we’ll talk more about Neilson and sort of how Google and Neilson may eventually have to deal with that reality and how Google can give away their service where Neilson actually charged a lot of money, and it’ll get interesting. But here lo and behold, there’s sort of established, you know, toolkit, Google Analytics, which has been doing and serving the search community for so long, Google TV Ads and that sort of reporting and those analytics sort of tie right into Google Analytics. So suddenly here you are with…

Susan Bratton: So you can track multiple distribution channels for your advertising and track your online through AdSense, you can track your publisher network, you can track your display ads and you can track your television ads, and I know they’re doing some radio play too, right?

David Hutchinson: Yeah, well they took a stab at radio and then they kind of throttled that.

Susan Bratton: Okay, okay.

David Hutchinson: Yeah, that was they had people, “Oh well, they’re not, they backed off of radio”, but in fact they, you know, went into television, they’re sticking with television, and it’s just going to grow, and again they’re in it for the long haul. But, you know, the long story short there is two of the most powerful media in the world, the web and television, are now finally enjoyed in sort of an apple to apples environment through Google Analytics, which I think is important.

Susan Bratton: You have one more initiative – and I want to make sure we get that in – it’s your show…

David Hutchinson: Showz How?

Susan Bratton: Showz How. I’m sorry I forgot that…

David Hutchinson: Showz How, s-h-o-w-z How, Showz How.

Susan Bratton: Tell us about Showz How.

David Hutchinson: It’s really interesting…

Susan Bratton: I want to say Shaws How…

David Hutchinson: (Unintelligible) is not far away. It’s really interesting. You may remember Susan back in the days of television, back in the 70’s when there was a very popular show called PM Magazine or Evening Magazine.

Susan Bratton: Oh yeah.

David Hutchinson: So one hour show was created by Bill Hillier and it was created back in the 70’s when, you know, the FCC had sort of mandated that stations open up the time period of 7PM to 8PM for what was called Prime Access, sort of to encourage local production, Prime Access. It was called the Prime Access Rule.

Susan Bratton: Okay.

David Hutchinson: And it really required local stations to sort of, you know, it was really to support local programming.

Susan Bratton: Okay.

David Hutchinson: And some stations, you know, could afford to do their own local programming and some had to rely on three party, go figure, syndication companies…

Susan Bratton: Yay.

David Hutchinson: to maybe help them fill those time periods, which they became Wheel of Fortune and other things you see in syndication…

Susan Bratton: Oh is that right?

David Hutchinson: Yeah.

Susan Bratton: Okay.

David Hutchinson: They’re very interesting. But what was interesting about PM Magazine was that it was a 1 hour show and it was syndicated, distributed by satellite throughout the country, and stations could take it as it is right off the bird, 1 hour, or if they had a local chef or an entertainment reporter that they wanted to sort, you know, feature within that 1 hour show it was sort of modular in a sense so you can take the entire show and swap out the local green grocer or healthy lifestyles portion….

Susan Bratton: Of course.

David Hutchinson: you know. And we see example today of, you know, better TV and some other examples – actually a series called Better TV by Meredith. But we thought really about this whole PM Magazine model and sort of the challenges that broadcasters are going through, and you know, wouldn’t it be clever to bring back a similar kind of offering, high quality television, wildly flexible that stations could make local if you will in a very sort of modular easy to do way. And we looked at the space, we really sort of partnered with some producers who are actually producing high quality sort of travel video, healthy lifestyles video, how-to video. And then you get into issues of, you know, editorial control, quality control, production values, you know, asset management issues, you know, how do you make it scale, what business model – it became very intimidating and we kind of backed off a little bit, but about 10 months ago a company approached us, a company called Knowlera Media. Knowlera Media has this website called monkeysee.com and is one of the top…

Susan Bratton: I know it…

David Hutchinson: how-to videos…

Susan Bratton: I know Monkey See…

David Hutchinson: You probably know it. You probably know Monkey See.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, one of my friends, Lisa Walton, is featured on that. She teaches parents how to cook healthy food for their, that their children will eat. And she has a series of vinyettes on Monkey See, that’s how come I’ve been there. It’s very well done.

David Hutchinson: Well thank you, I appreciate it. I mean we’re very impressed with them. These are guys out of Washington D.C…

Susan Bratton: Yeah, right.

David Hutchinson: and Virginia, and they got it all figured out.

Susan Bratton: Mm hmm. They take experts, bring them into the studio, shoot their video, upload it or the experts themselves get the video productions done and uploaded, right?

David Hutchinson: Basically, yeah, one of the many things that are so compelling about it, they have – and again, God bless the digital age – they have a network around the country of 5,000 filmmakers essentially.

Susan Bratton: Okay.

David Hutchinson: So instead of parachuting people into a central studio somewhere they’re literally sort of in the field and the expert will kind of, you know, go to the website and kind of raise their hand, “Hey I’m an expert. Here’s why, here are my credentials” and part of the Monkey See Network says “Great, no problem. Where are you? We’re going to parachute somebody into wherever you are” and they’ll shoot a quality video, they’ll upload it, it gets edited, it gets tags and coding, transcriptions services. There’s this whole sort of end to end system, and because these experts of course have their own sort of marketing agenda if you will, they’re delighted to in effect allow Monkey See and all of their affiliate websites to, you know, shout from the highest rooftops. So the traditional challenge that stations have had, TV stations, is that they have no shortage of local video on their shelves, but because of union restrictions or royalty issues, rights issues, control issues, you know, a series of challenges, it’s very difficult for a TV station to leverage their own local video off the shelf, so this is a very clever way to bring high quality and sort of very flexible non-restricted video to TV stations that they can use in their local news broadcasts. So for example when Knowlera came to us it’s because they really wanted to kind of go beyond just the web and actually take it to television and really sort of leverage that wonderful Monkey See library, which is growing virtually every day from all of these sort of, you know, countrywide submissions.

Susan Bratton: I think I learned how to barbeque a lobster on that.

David Hutchinson: That’s a good example. There’s an amazing arrange of I think a hundred categories and hundreds of subcategories that are just really impressive and again, growing everyday. And when you sort of combine that with a lot of the pain that TV stations, local TV stations, are going through and some of their demands, which are several, this is a wonderful resource in our minds, which is why we partner with Knowlera and now bringing this out this year to stations. Right now we’re sort of in a beta phase, talking to stations and getting their feedback. But basically the server is live and this is a broadcast facing server. The stuff on monkeysee.com is obviously kind of a B to C sort of web video, but in fact, you know, Knowlera, Monkey See has all these masters and for the last year they’ve been feeding what they call news packages or essentially broadcast quality to an NBC owned and operated station in Virginia, WRCTV. And anywhere from 10 to 20 of these sort of short form news packages, 2 to 3 minutes in length, go to WRC and they make their way onto WRC’s afternoon and weekend news broadcasts. And of course these are also available through WRC’s website and mobile applications they may have. And so that’s where Knowlera came to us because they said, “You know, golly, obviously you know, broadcasters can use this stuff, but we’re not a syndication company. Can you guys help us kind of blow this out?” And, you know, lo and behold we’ve been looking at this space for a long time and we were all too happy to do a deal with them.

Susan Bratton: And it’s perfect for you because you get the web, you’re one of the few companies I’m sure out there – probably none of your competitors have the level of web savvy that Program Partners does. So that was a really good relationship for you.

David Hutchinson: Well yeah, no I appreciate that and then I think it’s true, you know. There’s just a lot going on and these sort of lines are blurring needless to say everyday. But, you know, suffice it to say that television, you know, this is a decades old medium, it’s enjoyed certain privileges in sort of a cache, but the fact is in a digital world even good old television is going through some real sort of stark economic realities, especially now that the sort of national program is sort of the sitcoms and the scripted dramas are now accessible elsewhere. They’re not necessarily the exclusive demand of the local broadcaster who’s, you know, an affiliate of NBC or CBS or Fox. So local TV stations are now basically in a real foot race for local dominance. So a lot of these local stations – and again, these are not just the NBC group or the CBS group, but Hearst and Sinclair and Meredith – these are stations that really have to make sure that 5, 10 years from now are still around and to be around they have to be the number 1 or the number 2, maybe the market will support a number 3, but these local stations – and we feel that broadcasters should be the middle of these local media hubs – but, you know, for sure they’re going to have a web partner or if it’s not their own website, they’re going to have a print partner, a radio partner and, you know, in the not too distant future you’re going to have these local media hubs, and lets not forget they’re also competing with City Search and Yelp and Yellow Pages and Google, right.

Susan Bratton: And YouTube.

David Hutchinson: And, yeah. And, but I think, you know, again, local broadcast television has certain sort of incumbent advantages within brand awareness, the fact that they’ve a 24/7, you know, broadcast television signal, an FCC license, you know, a real sort of history of cash…

Susan Bratton: They’ve got some assets.

David Hutchinson: They’ve got some assets…

Susan Bratton: Yeah.

David Hutchinson: some horsepower, you know, but it’s going to take a lot of tough decision making still. I mean as we talked to stations about this kind of reality and about our product it’s a real mix of reactions. Some general managers and news directors and ad sales guys get it immediately and we’re excited that they do. And others are still kind of trying to figure out their digital strategy and “Oh my god, I’m not the digital guy anyway. She’s down the hall” or “We just hired a guy” or, you know, who’s calling the shots at the group level, who’s calling the shots at the local level, etcetera, etcetera.

Susan Bratton: Still hard for you to get traction in a lot of places I’m sure.

David Hutchinson: Yeah. But we think it’s a good brand, it’s a great product. I mean, you know, it’s not a concept, it is actually a working product and we actually have, you know, qualified customers and it scales and we’re very excited about it.

Susan Bratton: I love where you’re taking your business. And thank you also Hutch for just the overview of the market and, you know, how it’s changing. That was really interesting and insightful and very different than all the other, you know, kind of Ad:Tech conversations. So thank you so much for that.

David Hutchinson: My pleasure as always.

Susan Bratton: All right, you got to get to know David Hutchinson. We like to call him Hutch. He’s senior vice president at Program Partners in LA. If you want to know anything about how to break into the world of television with your brand, he’s a good guy to call and he’s easy to find online; just look for Hutch. All right, I’m your host, Susan Bratton. You’ve been listening to the Muckity Muck Insights. I think you got a few on this episode, live from Ad:Tech San Francisco. Thanks for connecting in.