As Senior Co-coordinating Producer for PM MAGAZNE (1980 - 1983), the real growth years of the program we moved from being video policeman to true consultants for stations affiliated with the show. This is not intended to take away from the Sally Jewitt or "Ziggy" days in the early years,(Ziggy was still at the show and Sally headed South to LA to do Freelance work when I arrived) because two people with 80 some shows to police is an overwhelming task. They did a great job. At the time I arrived, Executive producer Dick Crew and Producer Debbie Messana, recognized that we had to take on a larger more involved role with stations if the show was to succeed. At the time of my arrival we had just completed the first user survey of stations, asking their opinion of what was needed from the national office. For any of the stations wondering, I never saw a group of people so committed to putting into action what was asked for in a study. We went our of our way to respond to the needs of the co-operative. But good things came from that study.
We created the first ever story production workshop for long format stories in the history of the industry. We went all over the country showing people how to produce a PM Magazine story. The next year, we came back with a "stretching the envelope" format that inspired beyond the basics. Top producers in the country today still use those techniques learned from those seminars. Folks like John Norton, Karen McGee, David Baxter, Tom Weitzel and others deserve the credit for that workshop. They were the true story tellers in the bunch. Mr. Crew gave it his blessing. I had the privilege of co-coordinating the team, but they did all the heavy lifting. Between Debbie Messana and I we got them were they supposed to be, and we delivered the same message in 40 different places over the course of a 4 week period. We were tired road warriors, but the pay-off were better stories and higher ratings. Everyone benefited from the sessions
We introduced concepts such as how to compete against the competition. What elements in Family Feud or other top syndicated shows could be combined in our show.
There were so many innovations that developed during the tenure of the program.
Everyone who participated in the show from the National office in San Francisco to those at each of the affiliated stations went on to bigger and better things in their careers.
Many stars got their starts on PM MAGAZINE. Matt Laurer with the TODAY SHOW, Mary Hart with ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, Steve Doocy with Fox and Friends, Barry Nolan with Hard Copy, and the list goes on.
The show was a credit to the broadcast industry. People who were involved can look back at their time with the show and say they were a part of broadcasting history. I know I feel that way. And I am proud of it.
Everyone remembers the face people. Those in front of the camera. But it took those who toiled behind the camera at the local stations, and in the National office to set the course and the vision for what is now regarded as an industry Icon. Larry Emsweller - former
Senior Co-coordinating producer
PM MAGAZINE - National Office
Currently - President/Total Marketing Tactics Media/New Media/PR/Branding Company Nashville, TN