See You in September: “Coffee with America” TV Show Debuts

Among the trends the mobile/digital age are the concepts of brand integration, brand journalism, and content marketing which all come in many forms and flavors. Because many consumers are reluctant to pay for content online, advertisers and marketers are supporting informational sites with tactics like banner ads, pop-ups and embedded sponsored content. The same is true on traditional television, where because consumers are using Tivo and DVRs to zap commercials, there’s increasing emphasis on brand integration. That’s why in the re-make of RED DAWN, the raiders attack a SUBWAY restaurant for provisions, kind of apropos of nothing. Product placements are everywhere in entertainment these days.

For content marketing to be effective, it has to engage. That means it has to be entertaining, engaging and informative. For viral marketing to work, it has to be shareable, worth passing along to friends and family and even people you don’t know who happen to be “friends” on Facebook.

Several national TV shows like “Daily Buzz”, “Emotional Mojo” and “Better TV” used to offer these opportunities to PR firms, marketers and brands on a pay for play basis, for those clients who really want to get their products on “Good Morning America” or “TODAY” but don’t have the celebrity spokesperson, the news hook or the connections, there’s still a way to get exposure, preferably in a friendly environment.

The other things communicators are looking to do is to “own” media. This goes back to P&G creating “soap operas”—but now it’s possible to “own” media within existing shows, whether it’s sponsoring the weather or other segments, or doing a “show takeover” on a health topic for CBS’ “The Doctors.”

Their recent absence is part of the reason I have helped develop a new TV show called “Coffee with America.”   It’s a sponsor-friendly talk, lifestyle and entertainment show that will debut on more than 100 TV stations across America this Fall. This will also be a very social media friendly program, engaging viewers through the web even when it’s not on the air. The key to success will be a lively format, entertainment and informational value, and a very different “take” on the talk show format. You’ll have to see it, to see what I mean.

The recently produced pilot for the show includes two experienced and talented hosts, Ebony Steele and Sasha Rionda.  Steele is best known for her work on Fox TV’s Dish Nation! and radio’s The Rickey Smiley Morning Show. Rionda has hosted shows on both CNN International & CNN Espaňol.  “Coffee with America” will be produced at Atlanta Broadcast Studio.

Steele is quite possibly one of the most prolific personalities in entertainment today. She has been named as one of Radio Facts’ Top 30 Women in Media alongside Oprah, Wendy Williams and Soledad O’Brien. Sasha Rionda is perhaps most recognized for hosting “The Music Room” on CNN International, where she interviewed top recording artists like Britney Spears, Usher and Moby.

“Coffee with America” will be the first major TV series for the new Atlanta Broadcast Studio, located near Vinings. Atlanta Broadcast Studio is a state of the art facility built specifically for live TV production and broadcasting.

The production team for “Coffee with America” will be led by yours truly (Lifetime, CNBC, among others).  At Lifetime, I inherited the office of the Executive Producer of “Attitudes”—Lifetime’s talk show that was often parodied by Saturday Night Live.  Along with me, the production team for “Coffee with America” has launched successful programming for Lifetime, CNBC, RLTV and Health Media Network, among others. Meredith Callan will lead brand integration for the new show; she held a similar position with Mojo Brands “Daily Buzz” and “Emotional Mojo” until their recent cancellation.

In addition to syndication, the show will also be available in loose market syndication for barter and will focus on news, lifestyle, health, celebrities, consumer and the entertainment features. It should be fun. Watch the web space or like us on Facebook or @coffeewamerica on Twitter—and we’ll see you in September!