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Last Update: Monday December 11, 2017

The Future, New Business

Table of Contents

Change the Way We All See Business

  1.   An Overview
  2.   National media's negative portrayal of business
  3.   Lift up more positive role models
        Reward the good;  ignore the bad.
  4.   Drive up  local ratings

Change the Way We Work Together

  5.   Lead the 24x7 convergence 
  6.   Collaborate after every broadcast
  7.   Ask the hard questions and get real answer
  8
.   Index all the good businesses
        Let no business fail for lack of help

Change Ourselves:  Everybody is a Producer.

  9.    Provide even more value for members
         Get involved with your PEG and PBS stations
10.   Help create sustainable businesses
11.   Authenticity and transparency


12.   New models, new businesses


Key References:

An Open Letter

Homepage for this presentation



 Local Productions that go National

Small Business School is fed by satellite to each station through the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), a national association for all the public television stations. 

Every station has a programming manager.  Our goal is to have a revolving group of  nine programming directors each season to make the selection of the best 13 episodes for the national and global feed Also, each station involved could select their best local episode for the national feed.  The group would therefor only be responsible for selecting four additional episodes.  It would all be done online and the process might take as little as an hour.  Of course, only programming directors from producing stations could be invited. 

The initial goal is to have fifteen stations involved each involved in producing  one episode per season.  Thirteen episodes are fed each season, so in the earliest stages virtually all the episodes will go to the national feed. 

The ultimate goal is to have over 200 stations producing no less than ten  episodes of the show each year. 

Financial incentives for involvement.  The national underwriting budget would be used to compensate stations and producers.  The nine stations each season could be provided with a $10,000 bonus for participating in that selection process. For every episode that goes to the national feed, a $10,000 would be given to the producer of that episode.  The process would create a motivation to constantly improve the product and the budget for the national and global fed episode would cost be in the range of a modest $1M per year.  Four national sponsors could cover that cost at $250,000 per year which is a modest amount for the exposure and to be part of the infrastructure.

Your National Trade Association's Small Business School

The effects of the BICEPS revolution (see pages 5, 11 and the episode)  is that every national trade association will have their own television series.  Small Business School is just one of many possible first steps along the way.  To be sure, it will provide a model for that inevitability.

The local production model becomes the national and global model.

There are four groups within this model that will begin working together to produce the best possible television they can.  These groups include:
1.  The local businesses    
2.  The business advocates
3.  The local sponsors
4.  The production teams


1.  The local businesses

In every community across the USA the ratio of businesses to population  generally  ranges between 1:13 to 1:15. Therefore, if take a "typical" community of 100,000,  there will be anywhere from 6700 to 7800 businesses. 

The show is only interested in finding the best 10% or from 700 to 780 businesses per 100,000 population. 

At any one time 1% of those businesses (60 to 80 businesses) should be in a queue for a local episode of the show.  

Every business not listed should want to be listed.  Every business in the queue will have achieved some level of notoriety for their community service, their industry leadership, and their overall generosity and integrity. 

Every one of these businesses will be encouraged to begin capturing B-roll.  Those businesses that have begun answering questions online will be encouraged to use local producers to create a clip and upload it.

Eventually, once a person and their business is on the list, we will have the local community decide who goes next. 

To get on the list, one must be nominated by a business association or a large business with hundreds of business customers.  At no time can an association or large business nominate more than 10% of their clients.  

The list of 10% will then be vetted by the business advocates of the community.

2.  The local business advocates

Every community has a wide variety of business advocates starting the State Governor, the local mayors, the economic development commissions, the local SBA-SBDC-SCORE folks, Workforce Initiative, the business press, business professors, chambers of commerce, CPAs, lawyers, and business coaches. 

All should be turned to nominate businesses and then to vet that local list. 

There will be so many advocates involved, no one advocacy group can be held responsible for the sorting of the list.  Anybody who attempts to bear their influence will find that those businesses get pushed back into the larger 10% of the local listings.

3.  The local sponsors

Large businesses with more than 100 clients within the community will be considered to be sponsors of the local show.  These businesses may also sponsor the production of  individual video clips of their best customers.  Generally, however, they will be asked to sponsor an entire local episode of the show.

Among the potential sponsors are banks and personal wealth management groups, large CPAs, large legal firms, private equity investors, utility companies, telecommunication companies, local publishers, etc.

Of course, the local sponsors and the business owners will have rights to use these video clips on their respective websites. 

4.  The Production Teams

Lights, cameras, action...  The challenge to every production company involved with this television series since 1994 is, "Light them like you would a rock star."  Make them sound even better."  "No sibilance.  Get the sonorous." 

Most often we work with other independent producers.  Increasingly we are working with stations, independents and schools,especially those schools who own a stations that is licensed as a PBS-member station.

Public Television and the Public Broadcasting Service.  There are over 700 public television stations.   Some might say, over 1400 and they would include  many marginal government stations. 

Some say there are over 350 PBS-member stations.  That is also a stretch.  There are really only 176 broadcasting stations.  Many of the state stations have repeaters that are counted as stations.

State Licensees.  The 27 state licenses are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska,  New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont , West Virginia and Wyoming. 

In some period since 1994, most every state ran Small Business School for awhile.  Yet, the state stations receive funding from their local state institutions. And although there is a perceived reluctance to run shows about economic development, when this show becomes local, it will be aired.  However, several of these state stations may be most reluctant to involve their production departments.  In time that will also change especially as everybody becomes a producer.

University-college stations.  There are about 60 university and college-affiliated stations.  There are many more on smaller campuses that are licensed as public television stations.  Typically that campus also has a business school and a fine arts department that teaches film, production, and graphics.  The stations usually has a local production crew.  And within these communities, there are usually four or five independent production companies.  Sometimes there are more.  

Community-Licensee.  The remaining stations are referred to as "community licensees" and are often affiliated with a city or town, yet operate as a 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation of civic-minded thought leaders within that community.

Taken together or separately, these groups can all be invited to produce a local episode of the show. 


Your National Trade Association's Small Business School: Immediately, your national association has a member benefit within your site for all your small business members.

As local shows are developed, the navigation throughout the site can be weighted toward those profiles and to your unique pages and issues including the weekly collaborations and any member profiles that are being developed online.

5.  Comments & Questions

You are invited to ask questions and receive direct answers.  Your feedback is very important. 

Over the years, the feedback of our viewers has been most encouraging.