Real producers are not “a dime a dozen.”
Real producers not only make pieces and programs. They conceive of them. And then,
they invent and design them.
It is the conception and design that are the most difficult and most special of crafts and
talents. It takes a very imaginative and creative person, who can look at a big subject, and
envision how it might best be presented.
It then requires an impresario, who can reach out to gather all of the people and other
resources needed to stage this elaborate ballet. It takes a superb writer. A terrific
director. A sound artist. A technical wizard. Not to mention a marketer, publicist,
salesman, business manager and collections department.
And, the amazing thing is that all of these roles are usually played by a single
No, real producers are definitely not “a dime a dozen.”
When I was Executive Producer of All Things Considered, Marketplace, Weekend
America and other programs – there was no shortage of reporters who could go out, cover
a news story and prepare a good acts-and-tracks report. But, what I needed were real
producers. Producers who could envision how to produce an ongoing series of
segments devoted to a theme, who could invent a special, recurring, signature piece
of the show. And then gather and manage all of the resources necessary to create these
segments and produce them in a beautiful package worthy of being a “driveway
Now, I am in a different role. As the “Program Doctor,” show producers often come to
me looking for individuals who are those “real producers.” And, I have much more direct
contact with the independent producer community. I want to create some marriages,
linking real producers with shows that need their services.
If you’re a “real producer” – of segments or shows – and want to get together with your
opposite number, let me know. If you produce a show and are desperate for “real
producers” to whom you can assign great segment work, let me know.