New Year — New Travel Channel?

I have posted a couple of times previously on this site about the disappointing quality of shows on the Travel Channel. They seem to have a lot of shows that are not actually about travel, but about poker, monster trucks, treasure hunting, etc.

Well, we are a little way into the new year, so I thought I would check out the Travel Channel and see what kind of shows are on…On one of my previous postings on this topic, I got a reply from someone at the channel, defending the network and promising no more “World Poker Tour”! That alone would make me happy — especially as the poker show seems to always be on at peak viewing time.

One of the better shows on the Travel Channel is “Samantha Brown — Passport to Europe”. All of these shows have been shown several times now over the last year or two. If someone from the Travel Channel is reading this, can I suggest a new series of shows with Ms. Brown, presenting destinations in Asia, Africa or the South Pacific?

Well, I am sorry to say I haven’t been too impressed with the programming on the Travel Channel for the first week or so of this year. The offerings on New Year’s Day were the Tournament of Roses shown several times, followed by back to back episodes of “Cash and Treasures” — which I don’t really consider to be a travel show.

Today (Saturday) is not much better — we have “Bizarre Foods” and “World Poker Tour” along with several other programs which have been shown several times before — “Tokyo Revealed” and “Earth’s Natural Wonders”. And tomorrow (Sunday) seems to be mostly “Bizarre Foods”, “Passport to Europe” and “Treasure Hunting”.

And if somebody from the Travel Channel is reading this, I do have another request. Is it possible to broadcast a Bill Bryson show, which was broadcast in the UK in 1999? Bryson is better known as a humorous travel writer and one of his books “Notes from a Small Island” in which he travels around the UK, was made into a TV series. I have never seen it, but would like to. And also, when is Michael Palin’s new TV series going to be shown, in which he travels around Eastern Europe?

I’m curious — what do other readers of this site enjoy watching on the Travel Channel? And are there any shows / destinations you would like to see…?

Guest entry by Mancunian

Filed Under: Travel discussion

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Comments (26)

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  1. ANDREA says:

    YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT TWO THINGS. WORLD POKER TOUR IS RIDICULOUS AND SAMANTHA BROWN IS GREAT. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE MORE ON EASTERN EUROPE. MY FAVORITE SHOW HAS TO BE MOST HAUNTED ALTHOUGH THEY DON’T DEAL TOO MUCH WITH TRAVEL EITHER. MAYBE SOME OTHER CHANNEL SHOULD HOST IT?

  2. D Andersen says:

    The Travel Channel should pick up the Rick Steve’s series Europe Through the Backdoor. It’s on public TV now. That’s a travel show!

  3. pat younge says:

    Hi. I run the channel. I accept some of the comments but dont think you’re being entirely fair. Poker – we geddit. It’s being moved into a weekend slot and we have ceased to spend money on it. That moneys being spent on 26 new episodes of Anthiny Bourdain, similar quantities of andrew zimmern, samantha brown’s weekend getaways, cash ‘n’ treasures, a new series with ian (lonely planet) wright, Michael Palin’s new series on eastern europe and a range of new shows and pilots which you’ll see in the months ahead. And on jan 15th we launch in HD.

    cash and treasures not a travel show – disagree. After each new show those places are swamped out with mainly parents and kids trying their hand at something new….travel isn’t just weekends away and long haul flights for couples and backpackers.

    i accept we may not be moving as quickly as you’d like, we are moving fast.

  4. jrpipe says:

    I think that the travel channel has gone in a strange direction. They Poker shows are not travel. Most Haunted doesn’t really seem to be travel related either, but I still enjoy that one. But, the new shows seem to be all going for shock value…..who can eat the most bugs. Who wants to be grossed out when you’re watching tv? You can’t even get away from it when watching other shows, because the commercials flash squirming worms going into someone’s mouth before you can even reach the remote!!! Go back to Samantha Brown’s travels or the shows about the best hotels, or best restaurants in vacation areas. NO MORE EATING NASTY BUGS!!!!

  5. rob says:

    I disagree on Ms. Brown; some of us travel on a shoe-string budget. While Ms. Brown and Mr. Bourdain’s shows, respectively, have their place, there are no shows depicting what average travelers encounter. I cannot afford to hire a car to get through European capitals and cannot afford to dine at the place with the best paella. I have to take public transport, eat at street vendors and markets and sleep in hostels (not nice hotels). I would love some programming like that.

    I wrote to the travel channel suggesting a show like this and received no response.

  6. Fran says:

    We are seniors, and love to travel. Last year was a cruise in Russia.

    We also very much love train adventures, the best we’ve had was in Canada from Vancouver to Jasper and Banif parks.

    Please show slower adventures on trains and fresh water cruises. Also, budgets.

    Thank you, Fran Hergoth

  7. tom says:

    Even the good shows have succumed to the new directors style of showing the scene for 3 seconds,then another, and on and on. My brain cannot process flipping from one scene to the other that fast. Doing 20 scenes in less than 1 minute then when they finally focus on one scene for less than 30 seconds they start flipping. The ‘eating’ shows are the worst offenders. Count the different scenes in a minute and you will see what I mean.

  8. Don Ingmire says:

    Eating Bugs in various locations on planet earth does not in my opinion constitute a travel program. On the otherhand Ms Brown’s destinations

    are informative and well produced, her hotel prices are not for the average traveler.

    Why not search for a new face or concept in Travel

    programming. Does the Travel Chanel pay for the Rooms, and Air, and Cruise Lines in the production of each episode?. If so, why not have

    an average retired couple (soon will be in millions) go thru the steps of booking their

    entire trip. Many of us have been doing this for years.

    This concept of travel would bring in Millions of viewers, why? because this would fill a need that

    retirees want. I agree with another post about reruns, where’s my flipper.

  9. kathy anderson says:

    I agree with many of the comments. The travel channel could be a real help to those of us who want to wander.The shows could help us learn to do that. Honest budget and reasonable travel ideas would be a benefit. A way to see the world that is open to most people not just those hired by the channel or those who have huge bank accounts. It does not have to be a youngun traveling in hostels either. Just reasonable and affordable programs. You can do better.

  10. Rico says:

    I agree that some shows are not really travel related. I did hear the World Poker tour was moving to GSN. I really like the cash and treasures show and yes it is travel related. Also, please get some new shows on cruises. You can only watch do’s and don’ts so many times

  11. Gallic Denis says:

    We, too, enjoy Samantha Brown’s various programs and exploits. Yet, we too, are seniors on a limited budget but would love to know how to navigate the system and get the most bang for the the US dollar in Europe. How to get value for the dollar when the exchange rate with the euro continues to get decline? We’ve debated if it would be cost effective to try and pick up an old VW Microbus Camper and cruise the continent. Per chance that could be a basis for a “reality” travel program the Travel Channel could develop.

  12. Kelli says:

    I for one would really love to have more RV travel shows. There’s one now, it’s on the OLN channel, I believe, at like 1 in the morning on Sunday! Do you realize that RV travel is at an all time high and there are more people buying RVs and throwing away their jobs to full time or retiring as full timers?

    There has even been a Time Magazine article on it recently, the boom in full time RVing. I would be interested in shows about traveling with children, car trips, you know, many of us can’t afford to fly anymore with the expense of it now and the restrictions on what you can carry on, etc.

  13. Traveler says:

    I watched Andrew Zimmern (Bizarre Foods) last night for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. The bizarre foods were eaten on location (Alaska, in this case) and had a definite connection to travel.

  14. stu says:

    I THINK THE TRAVEL CHANEL SHOULD BE A TRAVEL CHANEL NOT A POKER OR COOKING CHANEL I MIS ALL THE GREAT SAMANTHA BROWN SHOWS LETS GET BACK TO THE BASICS

  15. bob goodwin says:

    My wife and I travel alot and have used some cities that have been on the Travel Channel. Re: Eze,Santorini, Croitia, etc. We would like to see more of European areas of the Alps, Lake District in France, The Romantic Road in Germany, etc. these are places that could be shown many times.

  16. KAB says:

    Oh it would be so nice to check out the travel channel and see interesting things on travel! I’ve loved some of the travel shows, but of course I’m in agreement with everyone else about the poker and other non related shows, get rid of them. Budget travel would be of interest. Since travel is what we want. Let’s SEE where we may want to go! I just crave seeing the world and how to get there on a budget.

  17. Ava says:

    I love Anthony Bourdain! That’s a great show and I will continuing watching the Travel Channel as long his shows are on.

  18. Lorraine says:

    I too agree totally about the poker shows! What a bore.. I’m so glad to see Ian Write will be back we just love him.. I have a suggestion for something fun.. there is a web sight called couch surfing. It’s great folks all over the world that let people stay with them free!! I have traveled to Australia this way, and let a Swedish woman stay with me! It was great fun.. I plan on doing this again.. I think this might make a fun show!

    Thanks Lorraine

  19. Kathy says:

    The idea of retirement travel is great! We love to watch the Travel Channel when there is actual TRAVEL being shown. We’re in the baby boomer category and soon to retire. We get some of our current travel ideas from Samantha Brown’s shows but won’t be able to afford those trips when we no longer work. Budget travel, senior travel, and walking/biking and the more active travel would be shows we would watch!

  20. James Trotta says:

    Well I am happy to see so much discussion here. I was afraid everyone had stopped reading when I went on my vacation…

    I know that I always have to travel on a budget so I would also love to see more budget travel shows, maybe starting with the internet search for the cheapest hotel near the city center and then the rest of the vacation…

    I would even apply to host such a show as I´m sure most of us would.

  21. Steve says:

    Count one more for getting rid of “Selling Las Vegas”. If the Travel Channel focused more on Travel shows, maybe they would attract more companies that sell travel related products or services in advertising revenue. I traveled around the world for two years, 20 years ago, on $10,000 per year for everything. I know it would cost a bit more now, but it is a very do-able thing. The right kind of travel shows could get people out on the road. I too, wish the Travel Channel would concentrate more on us “Regular People”, on regular budgets.

  22. Elaine says:

    I agree with Rob, Jan, 9. Although it is nice to see how the rich travel, I would like to see more shows with hotels and restaurants for the average middle class traveler.

  23. Linda says:

    I too would like to see more budget travel shows.

    My husband and I are retired and have started traveling. Linda

  24. econruth says:

    I find Samantha Brown to be annoying. Am I the only one?

  25. TRAVEL GUY says:

    I feel everyone’s pain.

    An Open Letter to Pat Young from an anonymous viewer who is passionate about high quality travel programming (if I weren’t truly passionate I wouldn’t take the time to write this critic).

    Without travel I wouldn’t know the world I live in. Without great travel information – guidebooks, travel writing, tv programming and blogs I wouldn’t now where to go and since I’m unfortunately not traveling right now I have time to write about my passion for great travel programming.

    I love to hear from Mr. Young and get his take on my analysis. I think it would make for a fascinating discussion.

    >Hi. I run the channel. I accept some of the comments but don’t think you’re being 
>entirely fair.

    Think again. These people are your viewers – or were your viewers – and they are speaking from their hearts and going to other sources like PBS for their travel programs.

    >Poker – we geddit. It’s being moved into a weekend slot and we have ceased to >spend money on it.

    I’m glad you are no longer spending (wasting) money on the non-travel programs but consider the posts and dropping it altogether. What many people are saying is that you are losing your BRAND with shows like Poker night and the Travel Channel Brand is your most valuable asset. Even if poker gets strong ratings and advertising support in the form of high CMP’s it’s not worth it. Ditto for cooking shows, Monster Garage, Las Vegas, Haunted Houses- all non-travel shows should go right away. That’s what people are saying. Imagine if you went to MTV and they featured Frank Sinatra music or the Food Channel had Poker? How long could the network keep this up.

    >That moneys being spent on 26 new episodes of Anthiny Bourdain,

    The money is well spent on Anthony Bourdain. He is the only food traveler that really works for audiences because it’s not a cooking show, it’s a travel show using food to connect with the culture and he’s a great writer but too much of a good thing can backfire in the ratings. And how is he going to do 26 shows a year and keep up the quality. That’s an enormous number. Globe Trekker only does thirteen shows a year and they have a number of hosts! He has a young child. 26 weeks means at best he will only be home half the year. Don’t bet the farm on NR. Think about finding the next big NR.

    >similar quantities of andrew zimmern

    He seems like a nice guy but more shows like this and you’ve made a big mistake. Read the posts. It’s not a travel show, nor is it even a food travel show by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a one joke/gimmick show. He eats BUGS. How many people want to see that week after week? Not many I imagine, It’s in the category of “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not”, a freak show that doesn’t belong in your brand, in fact it lowers it.

    >samantha brown’s weekend getaways

    A wise decision. A true travel show and she definitely has a following and a clear niche. Also thank God the rare woman host on the travel channel, strange when you realize that women make most of the travel decisions.

    >a new series with ian (lonely planet) wright

    Another wise decision. He’s the ultimate travel host of the backpacker niche travel and witty, a great asset in a travel show host although it’s getting a little long in the tooth to be still traveling around like a college student on summer break 🙂

    >Michael Palin’s new series on eastern europe

    Another wise decision. He fits in with the British tradition of explorer- travelers, vey appealing all around and particularly for the older audience.

    >and a range of new shows and pilots which you’ll see in the months ahead.

    I hope pilot week is no indication of what is to come. Cooking shows, anthology shows on hotels and hamburger joints, an art show for the masses with the most ridiculous pumped up host, an idiotic culturally insensitive host for a potentially killer festival travel series that drew angry responses from women and Mexican-Americans.

    Half the pilot week boards were empty, amazing when you consider that if a show got a good prime time rating -.4 or 417,000 viewers not a one in that number even bothered to go to the boards and post a comment. They just didn’t care about the shows, one way or another.

    Of the boards that had posts many were obvious fake posts by the producers and his cronies. The only show that has any true positive comments was the show about the guy who went around making deals. The host was half way decent and I think people overreacted after seeing some of the other hosts but is this show truly a travel show? And consider the competition for the audience of a show like this, with all the deal shows on cable and PBS? Cheap to make and not requiring much talent. Anyone can do it. Hundreds are doing it now on YouTube now and better.

    I was looking forward to pilot week. I though hey this is going to be like the upfronts, coming out with your big travel guns – signature shows (translation- high margin expensive loss leaders like Royal Tours) and maybe a show or two with a celebrity host.

    And what did we get? Mostly the same old same old, and most of it not even travel shows. I don’t know if it was a serious attempt to showcase the new production or a way to clear out the closet of failed show ideas and get some ratings by showcasing them, just a marketing idea to get some ratings on shows that couldn’t get any ratings any other way.

    With Pilot Week it like in the American primarie and you did as well as Chris Dodd and Joe Biden in Iowa I’m afraid.

    >And on jan 15th we launch in HD.

    An exciting and long overdue development. Travel and sports are killers in HD. Now if you would just program TRAVEL shows for the HD:-) Having to look at a HD close-up of a man eating a BUG could set the technology back to the stone age, I’m afraid. Maybe HD will kills this rotten show off, if you don’t.

    >cash and treasures not a travel show – disagree. After each new show those places >are swamped out with mainly parents and kids trying their hand at something new….

    I disagree with your disagree Cash and treasure is not a travel genre, not even a niche travel channel. It has an audience because it fits in the category of shows that show people how to make money without having to work at it or being particularly smart but lucky and in this time of approaching recession and sub-prime loans it fulfills a need like the lottery

    Are there tours for cash and treasure like eco-tours or adventure tours? No. Are there Cash and Treasure Expos like the enormously well attended Adventure Travel Expos or do Luxury Travel Expos? Nope. Travel programming it’s not but good try.

    Ditto for Haunted House Travel and Las Vegas Travel.It’s “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” for Haunted House, gambling for Vegas but travel it is not. You may get ratings but you’re killing a brand that took several decades to create.

    >travel isn’t just weekends away and long haul flights for couples and backpackers.

    It certainly is for most people last time I checked. These weekends and long haul flights for couples and backpackers are one of the largest businesses in the world.

    >i accept we may not be moving as quickly as you’d like, we are moving fast.

    The reality is that you can’t speed up fast enough. You’re understaffed by several million. Consider the millions of bloggers and myspace friends that are taking away your mindshare. f you don’t speed it up and focus on the brand all the travel web sites out there with targeted travel programing will eat you for lunch. There are travel verticals on sites like Joost that offer now “about” the same viewing experience as standard definition TV. When YouTube, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and others get their act together and start developing their travel channels with other than you Travel Channel content your toast x 4

    And within a few years when these sies offer HD you’re toast x100 if you keep making these non travel programs and damage your brand. These sites already have the young viewers and the older viewers are coming on board. You will be competing with dozens if not hundreds of sites like this and they’re anytime anywhere offerings with commercials that people have to watch and quantitative viewing information, not like the Nielseons with all these DVR’s. Advertisers are going there in numbers and with travel and leisure advertisers, you’re bread and butter, they already are there.

    But enough of the future.

    Let’s go back in time, to the origins of travel programming and Lowell Thomas, who invented the genre- what was then called the travelogue. He screened his travel films in movie theaters at a time when transatlantic travel was very expensive and hardly any America’s has passports. They were in the vein of Michael Palin shows today and in somew ays the forerunner of “Tribal LIfe” . Audiences watched in wonder.

    Thirty years later In the Sixties travel changed, as low cost flights to Europe, a more educated, wealthy and international public created the backpacker travelers, and with it Lonely Planet and Rough Guidebooks in the seventies and retiree travel, senior travel as it is mentioned on this site by some of the posters and all inclusive resorts like ClubMed singles and family travel for folks for the 25-55

    Fast forward to the birth of the Travel Channel, launched by Trans World Airlines in 1987. Struggling with the competition from low cost flights they created their own standalone network to promote their routes. It was actually a network of info-commercials, integrated marketing, a product placement play. It sucked, with endless shots of couples on a beach at sunset but at least it was travel programming and probably sold allot of plane and hot tickets along the way.

    As naive as the Lowell Thomas travelogues were the TWA Travel Channel was definitely a step back for travel programming. The Travel Channel soon sold to Landmark Communications, hten Paxson Communications, until i ended with a partial buy-in from Discovery in 1997 and a total buy-in in 1999.

    The Discovery purchase at first was a good and bad thing for the Travel Channel. The good news was that the ratings jumped, since now it was marketed across all the Discovery channels. The bad thing was that it wasn’t one of the founding channels, so was kind of a step-child in the network and it didn’t have either the mass appeal of the Discovery appeal or a targeted niche like Animal Planet.

    And this gets to the problems inherent in programming a Travel Channel. Travel by it’s nature is a very segmented market by age. When you are 1-18 you travel with your family. When you are around 18-25 (or before you get married and have kids) you’re a Globe Trekker backpacker or if you have a bit more money an adventure/boutique hotel travelers. When you’re around 25-55 you travel with your family – resort and cruise travel with Samantha Brown. When you’re 55 (or older – when you retire) you travel with your spouse. If you have money it’s luxury travel. If you don’t it’s travel on a social security check and pension and that means bed and breakfasts and RV’s, the Rick Steves crowd.

    Three distinct age groups, three very distinct types of travel, three distinct interests, each a niche. You have to break the travel channel down into these three niches, which is hard to do in network linear programming operating in real time but a nature for the internet. Very few travel programs can operate across the three age niches – those that do – the list shows and anthologies- fail to generate much excitement and the Royal Tours and celebrity shows are just too plain expensive for the ad revenue generated. Right now maybe Anthony Bourdain and Michael Palin comes closest to working across all the three travel age niches but it takes a rock star that can write to do this and there aren’t that many of them around.

    This age gap in travel is why on this very same board you hear all these niches complaining about not only the general disappointment with the lack of travel programming but also the nature of the travel programming itself.

    The seniors want Rick Steves and RV’s, the kids want Globe Trekker and 5Takes. The 25-49 demographics, coveted by Madison Avenue, is probably the most satisfied, as they have their Samantha Brown and the rest of the shows are OK with them, since they’re not really traveling, just vacationing for two weeks a year with their families, so why not see the middle age white man going around the country visiting factories and food fairs? It passes the time between sporting events.

    Pre 9/11 Discovery let the Travel Channel and its brand alone and let it program travel. The ratings were OK but not great but advertising was coming in from Tourist Boards, hotels, the new internet travel sites. It’s was OK. Not great but OK.

    post 9/11 is was a different story. Travel and travel related advertising tanked and that was the day the travel channel lost its brand. In fact shortly thereafter they even lost their general manager. Budgets were cut and Discovery started dumping their non travel shows on the network and when a high rating relatively low budget and high production volume non travel show like Poker came along that didn’t fit into the other more targeted networks (Poker on the Military Channel perhaps!) guess where it landed.

    When Travel started coming back Las Vegas geared up their advertising and for it time it became the Las Vegas network. Slowly the tourist boards came back and the online travel agents but the programming never fully recovered to his day. Because of the inherent burden of age niche travel programing why not stretch the definition and include haunted houses and cash and treasure, programs that could get better ratings than an aged defined niche travel program.

    Then there were some expensive deals with old line production companies with legacy technologies- multi-million dollar Avid suites and Digibeta camera – high overhead, some really poor choices of hosts – Road Trip, and gimmicky travel ideas and some more poor host casting – the .1 rated Travel Spies and Stranded, Get Packing, even for awhile a sponsored airline elimination show. What happened to the “New Direction” and story telling? It just wasn’t something these industrial assemble line production companies could handle.

    The Travel Channel hit rock bottom when Pat Younge came in and he did some interesting things to pick it up, moving Samantha Brown to prime time (long overdue), bringing back Globe Trekker, some multi-cultural and racial casting, more foreign travel, more web integration, appealing to the backpacker niche with 5Takes and some things that didn’t work out, like “Not Your Average Tour Guide” aka “Your Travel Guide”. This series produced in-house lowered the production costs considerably but talent doesn’t come from people that’s only qualification is taking an expensive two day course at the Travel Channel Academy, hoping to get hosting assignments.

    Great hosts and filmmaking talent are rare even if the production tools are not and now dirt cheap – and the only place to find it is the hard way: searching the web for those who just go out and do it and casting thousands of people for a show to find that Ian Wright or Anthony Bourdain in the crowd.

    Now that Travel Channel has returned to where it started out, as a standalone network without the cross promotion of a network like Discovery and with still some of the non travel Discovery show baggage the task ahead is daunting because the web is breathing down your neck.

    My suggestions:

    1. Recapture the Brand: Get rid of all non-Travel programming. Even if you don’t

    have to spend any money on the programming like Poker because it’s leftover inventory it’s not worth it, even for weekend programming.

    2. Create programs at reasonable budgets and allot more programs so there aren’t so many re-runs and really work hard at finding the talent. You have some hosts that could host in a restaurant.

    3. Get the niche travel websites going as fast as possible before dozens of others grab the new brands away from you. It’s like a land rush for niche travel branding out there now. Create or buy but make sure you cover all the main travel groups within the three niches- women’s travel, festival travel, gay travel, eco-travel, spiritual travel, even medical travel, everything but sex tourism, the fastest growing travel of all”-)

    3. Work the three age niches as equally as possible. Don’t abandon (or dumb down like Wild On) the young travelers. They’re still watching travel programs like Globe Trekker, WIld On and Trippin on VH1. If you don’t get them on TV you’ll get them on the web – they love to travel – but get them with good travel programming, as there is going to be allot more programming – bad and good – to compete with (easy said I know)

    Don’t abandon the retiring baby boomers, budget or luxury. There’s plenty of them and plenty of advertising to go around, whether it be Five Star resorts or pharmaceuticals. In travel – and probably only travel – they matter to advertisers. (disclosure: I’m an advertiser)

    And of course you have to keep the 25-55 year olds but don’t fall into the trap of going overboard with integrated marketing and product placement. Audiences are on to that, at least the more educated, more wealthy ones, which are the ones advertisers want.

    4. Don’t waste your time with user generated content. It’s a novelty now but people aren’t going to be watching a kid light a fart in as few years, just like they don’t watch the early internet webcams now. Online content will soon be on your TV set – professional, long form, HD and paid – by advertising, per download or subscription – and that’s where you have to go fast. It’s a land grab out there now.

    5. My pet peeve. Stay away from reality type programming, contest and gimmick programming like “Travel Spies” and “Stranded”. Sometimes they work in Travel like “The Great Race’ and in a way “Survivor” but mostly they don’t unless you want to put allot of marketing money behind them.

    6. Partner like the new Hollywood, not like the old studio Hollywood. Don’t try to always own every the copyright for all your productions like Discovery and don’t get too involved in development and production, What you do best is marketing and distribution and that’s where the money is anyway.

    Outsource all the production and give the producers a share of the action. Ask them put some money on the table for equity or copyright. You’ll get far better productions if you do and spend less on production costs and infrastructure.

    6. And of course you’re already are doing this – license all that video content to the travel sites that are popping up all over the place and get ready for the mobile phones market. It’s going to be huge with GPS clips on demand.

    There are some other things like cross media promotion but of course you already know this.

    Do the above and Lowell Thomas will look down at your from the Heavens, smiling, the man who saved travel programming from the programmers.

    My 2 cents.

    What’s yours?

  26. Barry says:

    I’m more than sick of seeing poker, poker and more poker on the TRAVEL channel.

    Yet Samantha Brown just seems to go to the same 3 or 4 places in Europe every time.

    Anthony Bourdain is to me the one saving grace of the channel, yet they fail to give him enough episodes per season.

    Personally I’d love to see shoestring backpackers going to the out of the way spots (the ‘Stans, Eastern Europe, India, Africa).

    It’s truly sad to see how many chances they miss in making it a great channel.

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