Author Antoine Airoldi – Isanberg Podcast Episode 18

On this episode, Antoine Airoldi returns to talk about his book “Insight From Professionals”, meeting Gary Vaynerchuk, Professional Networking and what is next for this rising writer.

David Coté @davidcote333 – Isanberg Podcast Episode 17

On this episode of your favorite podcast, host Ian Isanberg interviews Florida-based social media marketer David Coté about social media, past, present and future.

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Pamela Brunsvold Rummel – Isanberg Podcast Episode 16

On this episode, Ian talks to Pamela Brunsvold Rummel about her splitting time between Jacksonville, Florida and New York City, her work with Tibetan art and the New York City Photography Blog.

You can find New York City Photography Blog at

Mark Ghaida – Isanberg Podcast Episode 15

On this episode, Internet marketer Mark Ghaida (formerly known as Mark Himself) talks about his journey through social media and the state of digital communication.

You can find him thoughout social media including:

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D. Alexander Blagrove – Isanberg Podcast Episode 14

On this episode, host Ian Isanberg speaks with D. Alexander Blagrove about his Grow With Grattitude 30+1 Day Journal.

Robbie Walter AKA Ricky Bobby – Isanberg Podcast Season 01 Episode 12

On this episode, Churchill Downs chef Robbie Walter chats with Ian Isanberg about life in Kentucky and Indiana, and the journey there from his upbringing in New York and time in San Diego.

Tim Canova needs a DRock, so do other political candidates

Tim Canova

I am using Tim Canova as an example of why congressional candidates should have a DRock.

Tim Canova, who raised a lot of money in his 2016 primary election for Congress but lost, has announced that he will run again in 2018.  He ran against incumbent Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a national figure who was formerly the head of the Democratic National Committee.  She won the primary and the the general election.

If Canova is going to win in 2018, he needs a DRock.  For those of you wondering “What’s a DRock?”, it refers to the personal cameraperson/editor/documentarian of entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk.

His name is David Rock, who Vaynerchuk refers to as DRock.  DRock is always out on his camera, following his boss around at meetings, in the gym, giving speeches at conferences and in his office.  The bulk of the video becomes Vaynerchuk’s series “DailyVee”.  Rock also records “The Ask GaryVee Show” where Vaynerchuk answers questions via social media and phone calls.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Much of this video content is repurposed into shorter videos, blog posts and podcasts.  All of this content allows Gary Vaynerchuk to reinforce his principles and brand, leading to increased sales of books and merchandise, promote his Apple Music series “Planet of the Apps” and expand awareness of his digital media agency VaynerMedia.

Tim Canova needs a DRock, or a team of videographers, audio recorders and editors to replicate the work that David Rock does for Gary Vaynerchuk.  Canova needs to be releasing audio, video and text content on all major platforms.  Perhaps, as I wrote on Quora, he needs to launch a talk show in video and/or podcast form, talking with his potential voters in his district.  He needs to be sharing his principles and brand, showing why the people of his congressional district should know who he is, and why they should vote for him.

Taylor Clark – Isanberg Podcast Season 1 Episode 11

On this episode of Your Favorite Podcast, host Ian Isanberg talks to Taylor Clark on how a 20 minute call with entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk inspired her to create a 30 day video blog, which documented her as she developed and launched her business, Digital Nomad Apparel.  She also talks about how that process led to a creation of a networking group of likeminded people.

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KimmieBiz – Isanberg Podcast Season 1 Episode 10

On this episode of Your Favorite Podcast, host Ian Isanberg talks to KimmieBiz on how she’s working on making her family’s snack food business into an eight figure business.  She also talks about her Instagram videos in sign language.  This episode has been transcribed in the show notes below.

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Show Transcription:

Ian Isanberg: Good Isanberg, welcome to your favorite podcast. The name of the show is Isanberg. My name is Ian Isanberg. Each episode, I interview people that I find interesting. Some people I know and others I don’t. Today’s guest is KimmieBiz. She is a young entrepreneur from Georgia working to make her family business an eight figure business. Kimmie makes videos on Instagram in sign language. Today’s show has been transcribed in the show notes so anyone who can’t hear it can read it. And now, KimmieBiz.

Hi everybody. My guest today, she goes by the name KimmieBiz on social media, including Twitter and Instagram. She is a business woman who is a partner in her family business and has been blogging and making videos on Instagram, just documenting her way as she builds her own career with the goal of being a billionaire. So Kimmie thank you for being on the show.

Kimmie: Thank you so much for having me.

Ian Isanberg: Excellent. First question I want to ask is… With your Instagram, one thing that is very unique about it is how you communicate via a lot of videos where you are signing and you are going in sign language. Where did that come from and what was the interest in the sign language aspect of it?

Kimmie: Well my sister and business partner is deaf, so I grew up with sign language, and when I decided that I wanted to make a page, I wanted to make sure that it was as accessible for my sister to see what I am doing and be a part of it and the deaf community as a whole. So I just decided to include that in all of my videos.

Ian Isanberg: I think it is definitely profound and you as you said your sister is deaf, is that something when growing up that you have learnt sensibility and sensitivity and just seeing a lot of the content in the world that was inaccessible that led you to just standing up for her in that wonderful way?

Kimmie: Uhm, I don’t know if I would necessarily refer to it as standing up for her, as much as we have a very close relationship and I like to include her in everything that I can. She is my partner in my business. She is even my partner with my Instagram videos. She checks my sign language before I post them and so the world is definitely not very inclusive and it’s difficult for the deaf community to have access to things that people take for granted and I wanted to make sure that my content wasn’t one of those things.

Ian Isanberg: That is very fair and that’s something that is very understandable. So let’s talk about Kimmiebiz. I found you I discovered you on the people cooler than me show which by the time that this interview airs; I would have been a guest on. I see that a lot of your social media and your blogs and stuff are fairly new. What was it that got you into deciding to put this all out right now?

Kimmie: There were a few factors that went into it. I have been told that I needed to have interests in activity and stuff outside of work, that it is not sustainable and not healthy to only be focusing and spending my time on work and so I figured that a social media account discussing and doing what I enjoy which is work, was kind of a loophole where I am able to a remove myself from actually working in the business, but still thing about it, still discuss it and still be a part of it.


I Ian Isanberg: Yeah and I can see that there have been things that you have been writing about, things you have not been writing about. I see that you have been running in a bunch of races. Tell me about that because a few weeks ago we had another guest on my show, Anthony Smith who has very much took on running which led to a dramatic transformation of his physical self.

Kimmie: Well I wish I could say I took on running. My sister, her friend asked her to do a zombie 5k and so my sister asked me and no I don’t like running, I don’t like exercise much at all. I like being comfortable and exercise is not comfortable. I decided to do it with her and I did see when I was training for it, I had about two months that I worked myself up to running a 5k so that I would not be miserable that day. I saw a change in the way that I felt and I really was proud of myself when I finished it, but that’s the only one I have done so far and I don’t currently have plans for another one.

Ian Isanberg: Okay so you took on running even if it was just for one race. Were there any lessons that you got out of it outside of the fact that that you don’t necessarily want to do much more of that?

Kimmie: Well first and foremost, I used to think that in a zombie apocalypse, I would maybe survive and now I know better. But I think it is really important to get out of your comfort zone and to do things that you wouldn’t normally and to remove yourself from what you are used to doing, because a lot of times it’s not as bad as you would expect. I thought training for it was going to be a lot worst. I thought actually running it was going to be a lot worst, and in my head it was a lot worse than reality, so I am glad that I pushed myself to do it.

Ian Isanberg: Very cool, and where in your work life do you see sometimes those times when you are out of your comfort zone and it just feels so rewarding once it is done.

Kimmie: Oh all the time. We are working on growing while also maintaining and fixing everything. So various large customers they come to us and there is the uncertainty of how to handle it or what to do, that’s always rewarding when that’s figured out. Changing things in our warehouse, like if we change the procedures or policies or processes, making sure that those are positive changes is always really scary but when you see marked improvements in your company, that’s really beneficial. Just all the time I think being a business owner, unless you have a company that you have reached a level that you are content at and you are just maintaining it, you have to go out of your comfort zone all the time to get to the next levels.

Ian Isanberg: Got it. So what was it that got you into business to begin with and is it something which you thought of like as a child and growing up into where you are right now?

Kimmie: Well as a child and growing up I was definitely an entrepreneur. I had pet sitting and babysitting companies. I made bracelets and sold them in schools and actually got detention for it. By the time I graduated high school, I had probably half a dozen different ventures that were really pretty successful for a school aged person, and I never had the thought process of being a business owner. I grew up with my mother being an entrepreneur and that was normal to me. I never really thought much about it until she passed away and I stepped into the business more to help out my sister and I realized wait, all the stuff I enjoyed as a kid growing up that I used to do for fun, I still enjoy and I still can do now as a career.

Ian Isanberg: What was….? One thing I like to ask a lot of people is, when you were a kid, what was the first thing you ever thought you wanted to be when you grew up?

Kimmie: I used to think I wanted to be a math teacher. I really enjoy math and solving problems and just figuring things out and puzzles and stuff like that… and I enjoy teaching and talking with other people, so I thought I thought I wanted to teach math.

Ian Isanberg: The first thing that I ever thought I wanted to be was a truck driver

Kimmie: Oh awesome like semis?

Interviewer: Yeah like I have an uncle who his entire professional career was delivering major orange juice brands. It was one of those things like, “I want to drive a cup truck”, but then I realized after I started learning to drive years later was that, I don’t like driving trucks. I like the smaller cars. But it’s interesting seeing like what the first thing you wanted to do and then there is of course a lot of the far out things and there is ideas like, being the astronaut, being a president and then life happens and your learn more things and then you become who you are.

Kimmie: absolutely.

Ian Isanberg: Yeah so I know. So I have heard a little bit about your business. Tell me like what kind of business it is and what are the kinds of things that you do?

Kimmie: We are a director consumer snack manufacturer. So we are ecommerce. We don’t have a brand and retail. We keep all the margins for ourselves, and people who need it for various reasons, we have a pretty wide demographic of events that needs snacks or private labels that needs snacks, copacking or mostly business to business, and we just produce our snack foods the best way we can. We make everything to order and we ship it out and we have a lot of fun doing it.

Ian Isanberg: So hence the need for warehouses, so you can have all these snacks and just the delivery system in getting them to where they need to be.

Kimmie: Yeah, we actually use logistics companies, so we don’t personally have to do deliveries, but even interacting with and figuring that system out and dealing with those kinds of situations has been fun but hectic.

Ian Isanberg: But you make it work and the snacks I am sure are delicious. I am sure the people enjoy them and continue to buy them.

Kimmie: I mean, I am pretty biased, but I think they are fantastic.

Ian Isanberg: Here you go, they are fantastic.

Kimmie: I will send you some.

Ian Isanberg: Oh please. We will talk after the show. I would definitely want to try some and be like, “Yes this is great. You need to buy.”

Kimmie: absolutely.

Ian Isanberg: Yes, so where are you originally from and how is that a big identity of who you are now?

Kimmie: Well I was born in Florida, but right before kindergarten we moved up to Georgia and I have been here ever since. And so I don’t remember Florida as much. I mostly associate as a Georgia peach. I don’t know how I associate with it. I just am really proud of where I grew up. After I went to college I moved back to the area where I grew up. Our business is in the area I grew up…. And until you asked, I don’t think I have ever consciously realize how big of a part of my life the area I grew up in is, but it is. My sister lives here. Her niece which is my daughter is being raised in the same area and it is just a really comforting home feeling which is really important to me.

Ian Isanberg: Yeah. Is it a big part of the culture like the Atlanta sports teams and the Georgia college teams that are like a big part of where you are and who you have become?

Kimmie: Yes, I actually went to college in Atlanta which as a college student, Atlanta was such a fun place to be. The sports teams, I don’t think any of our teams are particularly fantastic. I know we went to the super bowl last year. I don’t even like football but I was enraged with how that situation happened, and I know that Atlanta is a place with a lot of pride from the sports teams to the musicians that come out of here. There are companies that start and grow here. So it’s a really comradely. I don’t know how to put that into words. It’s a feeling of comradely with an entire city which is cool.

Ian Isanberg: That is cool. I still remember like in the early 90s when those brave teams had such great pitchers and then I thought, there is no way they are going to lose in 96, except for they played my Yankees and they won, but it was always one of those things where the braves were always such a feared team.

Kimmie: yeah! See my father loves baseball and he used to coach my cousins growing up and such but, I have only ever been to one braves game and that was before we just moved stadiums and then our football team is building a new stadium next to the old one. So we take sports very seriously.

Ian Isanberg: Yeah I never got to go to Turner Field, it was one of those things where I always wanted to go. One of my goals is always been to go to an Olympics and it is crazy how there hasn’t been one in the US since the 96 Atlanta games. I still remember it was the year I graduated from high school.

Kimmie: Oh Wow!

Ian Isanberg: Yes and you can now guess my age by that. It’s one of those thing where it’s like yes. So have you done much traveling outside of the southeast?

Kimmie: No most of my traveling has been in the south east. When I graduated college I did get to go to Las Vegas and that was a ton of fun, but mostly I have just been in tenseness and the Carolinas and Florida.

Ian Isanberg: I have never been to Tennessee so you have that one on me.

Kimmie: Do you get to travel much?

Ian Isanberg: You know in the last few years no. I was talking to some friends and right now it’s the twentieth anniversary of the year I expected this, the gap year between high school and college and other than that, it’s just like Canada. I have been to England a few times, but I once took a semester off from college and travelled around the country that was a special time.

Kimmie: That sounds incredible and it is a dream of mine.

Ian Isanberg: the only time I spent in Atlanta was at the airport switching connecting flights between DC and New Orleans.

Kimmie: Oh do you know what? I have been to DC. I went to DC for the 4th of July and that was a blast

Ian Isanberg: That most interesting thing there like on Independence Day. I remember once I was on a camp trip like in High school where we went to DC and it was my birthday and the kids were not allowed to leave the hotel room or anything but they somehow ordered pizza for me for my birthday which was really cool. I was actually discussing because my camp is having a 60 year reunion and some people would be just posting pictures like “wow back when I had hair”? Amazing!

Kimmie: Oh the glory days.

Ian Isanberg: Well you know I think every day is the glory days. Yeah I miss my hair but there are a lot of things from back then I don’t miss. The fact that we have podcasts and we have social media and that we are able to communicate with people all over the world in ways that I have never imagined as a kid. I remember having the dream of owning a TV station or being on the radio. Now you can do that on your phone and everyone can listen, or even as I jumped on Instagram doing my daily videos and just seeing how it connects. Like what has been one of the biggest things you have gotten so far out of your sign language videos on Instagram?

Kimmie: I have gotten a lot of interaction from it. I get a lot of people who direct message me and I love that. It’s not just something I am doing as a hobby. As you said it is a way to interact with other people and so getting perspectives and having discussions with people all over the world. I have had people in different countries message me. It has been so cool and I have loved doing that. I love talking about business and I love my friends and so they like talking about business with me because they know I enjoy it, but they are not personally invested or passionate about it. So finding those people even though they are across the country or across the world has been so cool to me.

Ian Isanberg: Awesome. And as I said I found you through Tyler. Did Tyler just find you through the Instagram videos?

Kimmie: Yes he did.

Ian Isanberg: It is amazing how something can just stand out and with the algorithms of the social networks now where you can just find videos with your interests. Like I was watching some videos on YouTube yesterday and the auto play feature, I did not realize how amazing it was until yesterday. It is one thing when I am watching a video of one of my favorite bands and then another video shows up, but watching business videos of people I do follow and am aware of and then I find videos of people I have never heard of. I was like wow! How did I not hear about these people and immediately find their social and liked them on Facebook.

Kimmie: Yeah you are so right. We are in the glory days right now. That is so cool.

Ian Isanberg: Excellent! So the billion dollar, where did a billion come from for you?

Kimmie: Uhm well I don’t think I have a billion as a goal. I have 8 figures which is 10 million….And I have that as a goal for my company’s revenue, which is pretty arbitrary. I like to set goals that are medium plank, so that I know that I won’t be struggling to achieve a goal forever and I probably heard that on a business show or documentary where somebody referred to 10 million a year as a national brand and so I have decided that I want to make that my next goal.

Ian Isanberg: Excellent. I have seen a kick starter campaign for some band that needs a new boss, but they decided to let the goal be 100 dollars. So that they can keep all the money, realizing that that’s very low compared to it. But the idea of having a goal than having stretch goals, I think that’s definitely the way to go, just continuing and stretch and see where can you go.

Kimmie: Absolutely and every time I meet a goal I make at least one more. So I think it is important to always have goals, but to not set yourself up to not feel like you are achieving and getting where you want and need to be.

Ian Isanberg: Excellent. So it’s Kimmiebiz, would you like to plug your social media here?

Kimmie: absolutely! I am most active on Instagram, “kimmiebiz” but people can also find me on Twitter. If anybody wants to email me to have a longer conversation or anything like that “”

Ian Isanberg: And of course you have the same kimmiebiz handle on twitter and you have got

Kimmie: I do. I have that as a blog. I am not fantastic at keeping up with that. I am mostly using that as a way to transcribe the videos that I make, but in the future, I am thinking if there is a topic that is longer than the typical Instagram videos, I can expand more on it in a blog, or I have been considering doing YouTube as well, because those are longer videos.

Ian Isanberg: yeah they are certainly certain things like I think it was when I first started doing my daily videos, it was when I even realized Instagram had a one minute video of it. Sometimes it has been fun just being like how much can I do in a minute but it’s just like yeah the fact that you can have much longer videos. You can have full features on YouTube. That may be a platform as well for you. So thank you so much for being on the show and I am looking forward to this coming up and I am looking forward to the snacks.

Kimmie: I am so excited to send them to you and I am excited to hear this and I have really enjoyed talking with you.

Ian Isanberg: Excellent Kimmie thank you for being on the show.

Kimmie: Thanks for having me.

Ian Isanberg: Thank you to KimmieBiz for participating in today’s interview. As a reminder, the entire interview has been transcribed in the show notes. You are listening to Isanberg. My name is Ian Isanberg. You can find our show at Thank you, and have a great Isanberg everybody.


Jason DaSilva – Isanberg Podcast Season 01 Episode 09

This episode of Isanberg features filmmaker Jason DaSilva as Ian Isanberg’s guest.  He talks with about his career as a filmmaker, winning an Emmy for his documentary “When I Walk”, what it was like to have his own film on Netflix and the AXS Map project, crowdsourcing locations that are accessible to the disabled.


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Chris Lilja – Isanberg Podcast Season 01 Episode 08

On this episode of the “Isanberg” podcast, host Ian Isanberg interviews Chris Lilja, who works in digital marketing and graphic design.  Chris talks about his prior experience in retail, his social media usage and a bit about the pronunciation of his name.


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Antoine Airoldi – Isanberg Podcast Season 01 Episode 07

On this episode, Ian Isanberg’s guest is copywriter Antoine Airoldi, who at the time of the show, was preparing to graduate from college.  This joint interview also was released as an episode of the YouTube video blog “The Antione Airoldi Show”

Ian and Antoine talk about what got them to this point, career ambitions and what led them to starting their own shows.


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Paul Kerzner – Isanberg Podcast Season 01 Episode 06

On this week’s episode of your favorite podcast Isanberg, Ian Isanberg speaks with Paul Kerzner, host of the “Are You Being Present?” podcast and an acupuncturist in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Paul talks about the importance of being present, and shares how he makes his show happen.


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Steven Santos @thatrealsteven – Isanberg Season 01 Episode 05

On this episode of your favorite podcast Isanberg, host Ian Isanberg speaks with Steven Santos, an editor based in the LA area about how he got into video production and the work he’s done with the videos of Taylor Clark, a caller into Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Ask Gary Vee Show”, on her #30daygaryveechallenge.


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Anthony Smith – Isanberg Season 01 Episode 04

On this episode of Isanberg, Ian speaks with Anthony Smith, a man who lost 62 pounds as he has reinvented his health and his life through a change in diet and becoming a runner.

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Twenty One Questions for Gimlet Media CEO Alex Blumberg for His “Audio AMA”

Gimlet Media

On the April 21, 2017 episode of the Gimlet Media podcast “Startup“, the company’s founder Alex Blumberg announced a phone number where he will be accepting questions from the audience.

While I’m sure that 99% of the questions will be asked about the elephant in the room, I decided to come up with a list of questions not about that certain mystery that I’d like to see Alex Blumberg answer.

Gimlet’s since retired “Circle G” logo
1. Why did Gimlet drop the “Circle G” logo when it changed the artwork for all of their shows? It seemed like if AT&T dropped the globe or if NBC got rid of the peacock.
2. Why did Adam Davidson leave “Surprisingly Awesome“?
3. Is it safe to say that Adam McKay left “Surprisingly Awesome” because he’s generally too busy in his day job as a major Hollywood film director?
4. Are the doors open for Adam and Adam to return for (an) eventual “Surprisingly Awesome” reunion show(s)?
5. Is “Homecoming“, which features name actors like Catherine Keener, David Schwimmer and Oscar Isaac more expensive to produce than shows that involve travel like “Heavyweight”?
6. Why did Gimlet choose not to interrupt the episodes of “Homecoming” with commercials, instead opting for a cable TV-like “aftershow” with a sponsor?
7. Why do you mention the musicians that perform your shows’ theme music (particularly songs from established bands like Vulfpeck and The Weakerthans on “Heavyweight” and “Open For Business“) but not the titles of the songs?
8. Why was Nazanin Rafsanjani‘s marriage to Alex Blumberg not mentioned in her episode of “Twice Removed“?  She was introduced as an employee of Gimlet but not as the wife of the CEO.
9. How come “Startup” has not, up to this point, addressed any criticism that Gimlet and its shows have received during its shows?
10. Has Gimlet considered releasing its show pilots Amazon-style, to get listener feedback before committing to making them into series?
11. Why don’t any of your shows have a sponsor synonymous to it like how “Serial” has MailChimp and “Talk is Jericho” has DDP Yoga?
12. Why did Gimlet, who discussed why they turned down a branded podcast from the Department of Defense decide to allow Goldman Sachs, another very controversial organization, as a sponsor?
13. What lessons have Alex Blumberg and Gimlet learned from viewing the launch of “Serial”, particularly it’s second season which was not as successful as the first?
14. Why does Gimlet feel more comfortable with cancelling shows, after the short runs of “Sampler” and “Undone”?
15. Is “Startup” essentially three different shows now, with the styles of seasons 1 (focus on Gimlet), 2 (focus on one company other than Gimlet) and 3 (focus on multiple companies) showing up during various times of the year?
16. Is Gimlet open to being acquired by a larger company or merging with other companies?
17. How does someone with no experience in podcasting/producing/audio production get a job at Gimlet?  Should they intern, make their own podcasts or other things?
18. What production equipment and editing programs does Gimlet use?
19. Has Gimlet, who uses for their domain, attempted to buy, owned by a cybersquatter?  How much are they asking for?
20. Did Alex Blumberg know Zack Braff before he made “Startup” into a sitcom pilot for ABC?
21. How did get their name?

Jason Feifer – Isanberg Season 01 Episode 03

On this episode of Your Favorite Podcast, Ian Isanberg talks to Jason Feifer, Editor In Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine and host of the “Pessimists Archive” podcast.  He talks about his career and the constant embrace of new technology to improve his storytelling.

Jason Feifer can be found at @heyfeifer on Twitter and at
Pessimists Archive can be found at and wherever you listen to podcasts, while wearing headphones when you cross the street.

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Rob Schmidt AKA Cookie Monster Podcast

On this episode of Your Favorite Podcast “Isanberg”, Ian speaks with Capitol Theatre super fan Rob Schmidt.  He talks about how Cookie Monster became part of his identity, the story of how he took home Marco Benevento’s keyboard from a Joe Russo’s Almost Dead show, and advice on how to make the Beacon Theater a better venue.

Rob Schmidt can be found on Instagram at

Mini Cookie Monster can be followed at

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Rob Schmidt AKA Cookie Monster – Isanberg Season 01 Episode 02

On this episode of Your Favorite Podcast “Isanberg”, Ian speaks with Capitol Theatre super fan Rob Schmidt.  He talks about how Cookie Monster became part of his identity, the story of how he took home Marco Benevento’s keyboard from a Joe Russo’s Almost Dead show, and advice on how to make the Beacon Theater a better venue.

Rob Schmidt can be found on Instagram at

Mini Cookie Monster can be followed at

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Comedian Vincent James – Isanberg Season 01 Episode 01

On this episode of “Isanberg”, Ian Isanberg interviews Comedian Vincent James.  He talks about his upbringing in Port Chester, NY, his comedy career and his upcoming gig as a first time father.

You can check out his website at and his Facebook at

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Angela Vitiello and Chana Mason – Isanberg Season 00 Episode 01

This is the first episode of “Isanberg”, a podcast hosted by me, Ian Isanberg.  It was originally released on Soundcloud in 2016

The first guest on this episode is Angela Vitiello, a woman from Ian’s hometown of Port Chester, NY.  Angela left the US first for South Korea, and then moved to The Netherlands.

The second guest is Chana Mason.  Born in Colombia and raised in South Florida, Mason spent time living in Austrailia before settling in Israel.

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Four Questions for Taylor Clark to answer as she attempts Gary Vaynerchuk’s challenge to start a business in 30 Days

Taylor Clark is attempting to start a business in 30 days, on a challenge from Gary Vaynerchuk

As a fan of attempting challenges over a set period of time (like my current ambition to not only produce a second round of 90 videos in 90 days, but to also produce a podcast of at least 10 episodes), I have been drawn to 22 year old college graduate Taylor Clark’s attempt to start a business in 30 days.

Clark, and her project The Fabulous Journey came to fame when she was a call in guest on entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk‘s Ask Gary Vee Show in March 2017.  The phone call, which Vaynerchuk has repurposed into a podcast and article on his website, included powerful coaching from him about getting to work, ignoring the social media success of friends (and Kardashians) and building for the long term.

Here’s that episode (Her segment begins at 17:15 into the video):

The call ended with Taylor Clark agreeing to email Gary Vaynerchuk 30 days later. She has been producing daily content promoting her challenge with the hashtag #30DayGaryVeeChallenge. Daily content has been produced on her YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram and her website at

Here are some questions for her (and anyone else attempting a similar project) to ponder, as Taylor Clark works to make her fabulous journey a successful one.

1. What are the specific goals that she needs to achieve by Day 30 to “start a business”? Does she need a specific business structure (Like LLC or sole proprietorship) established? Does she need her first paying customer?

2. What is the business that she plans to start? How does she want to make money through this businesses? How does she plan to have this business make money right now?

3. How transparent should she be with her content? Up to this point, she has not mentioned much about her personal life, outside of her travels, not that she needs to. There is video she took from the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Buffalo, NY, where none of her friends she attended with were identified by name.   There is no mention of a significant other, whether there is one or not.  Do these things need to be included?  There is no clear yes or no answer as that is up for her to decide.

4. What does she need help with? Should she ask her audience for specific needs? Does she need mentorship in different aspects of starting a business?

In the first few days of her project Taylor Clark has been showing through her content that she is working toward her goal.  If she answers these questions, whether publicly or privately, it may make achieving that goal, and realizing what that goal actually is, a greater possibility.

What I learned from making one video per day for 90 consecutive days

Now that it has been a few months since I completed my #90videosin90days project, I have had time to reflect on it, what I learned, and what lessons I have taken from it moving forward.

As you may know, back in the Fall of 2016, I produced and published one video per day for 90 straight days.  The videos were uploaded to both Instagram and YouTube (with some videos posted to Facebook on a page I started.  This was a very fun project where I learned a lot.  By the end of the 90 days, my intention was to increase my experience in communicating via Internet video, and I believe I accomplished that.

To me, this was about way more than making videos, and more than becoming a better video creator.  This is a way to finally start consistently producing content.

The videos were daily.  If I missed a day, I had failed.  I could not take a day off and make two of them one day. (For those of you who have been using Facebook to watch my videos, I did not posted them there every day since uploading them from mobile is a pain).

One thing that was wonderful about my project is that it was a great experiment.  I continually added new things to it, to ultimately find out what worked and what did not.  My biggest surprise was that the videos got the most traction on Instagram over other formats!  I had barely used Instagram before this, but had been experimenting with it (along with Snapchat) in the months prior before jumping into this series.

This was honestly not something which was well thought out.  One day, on the way to work at Costco, listening to the audiobook version of Gary Vaynerchuk’s 2009 business book “Crush It”.  I was listening to it on repeat as I borrowed it from the library (I since purchased the audiobook to go along with my Kindle version).  I pulled up into the parking lot, and decided to record my first video.  Five minutes later, it was on YouTube.  Then, on a whim, I decided to put it on Instagram.  It was up, and I now had made the entire Internet (or at least people that I was connected to online) accountable.

I was more interested in making the videos then getting a huge reaction to it.  I did not promote it on my regular social media feeds (particularly Facebook) for at least a month.  I was learning how to make great one minute videos on a daily basis.  Each day, I asked a question of the day.  I found the ones which resonated the best were ones where I would react the next day.  There were videos where I asked the audience to ask me questions to answer the following day:

There were setbacks too, like the fact that I failed to read the book that my viewers suggested I read for an impromptu book club.  One day I may get to “The Professor and the Mad Man” by Simon Winchester, but it did not happen within the initial 30 day time frame, and ultimately the 90 days.  I’m human, and the videos went on despite one of my initiatives not coming to fruition.  It was a lesson of what my strengths are and aren’t, within this framework.

Another thing that happened through the course of the videos was to strive for creativity.  I liked finding different locations to shoot and different clothing combinations.  I had “special guests” like both of my nieces and both of my cats.  There was a point where my question of the day was a constant stream of “What is your favorite (something)?” that became monotonous at times.  But I wouldn’t have it any way.  The three dollars I paid to Times Square costumed characters made great online video!

Since I completed my videos, I have been asked what I will do next.  I have let it marinate.  Do I make 90 more videos in 90 consecutive days?  Should I focus on finally launching my podcast?  Do I make something else?

What I am doing next actually will combine the 90 videos with making a podcast.  My #90videosin90days has begun #season2.  In the next 90 days, I will make one video every day, as inspiration to finally make this podcast a real consistent thing.  By Day 90, my goal is to have ten episodes of my podcast live on iTunes and all other major places where podcasts are available.  My video audience will be there to keep me accountable.  Let’s go!

It is Day 1 of 90.  Again.

Chasing Season 2 of my favorite podcasts (and Episode 2 of my own)

Mystery Show was dropped by Gimlet, announced 14 months after Season 1 ended.
Mystery Show was dropped by Gimlet, announced 14 months after Season 1 ended.

Do you have a favorite show?
Are you excited when it has its season premiere?
Are you upset when that season premiere is delayed?
Are you angry when that season premiere date has not even been announced yet, despite the previous season ending months before?

This seems to be the story of the world of podcasting.  Unlike the hard release dates for television shows, podcasts tend to make their own schedules.  Sometimes, these shows have long waits between seasons, with new episodes sometimes being released with no prior announcement that they will!

I was inspired to write this post after the announcement that one of my favorite podcasts, “Mystery Show”, will not continue to be produced by podcast production company Gimlet Media.  On October 6, 2016, the show’s host Starlee Kine wrote a post on the show’s Facebook page that Gimlet ended her employment with the company in April 2016, about six months before the announcement.  Gimlet themselves wrote their own response that they are in negotiations with Kine to allow her to continue the series without them.

This is a story of how “Serial” led me to “Startup“, which in turn led me to “Mystery Show“.  This is also about testing my own patience in between seasons of shows that don’t have a traditional release schedule.

Serial started my real love of listening to podcasts.
Serial started my real love of listening to podcasts.

It began with “Serial”.  For me, a big part of the Fall of 2014 was listening to the “Serial” podcast.  It was a gigantic hit, beloved by many people besides myself, and popular enough to be parodied on “Saturday Night Live”.

A big part of 2015 for me was wondering “Where is the second season of “Serial”?  The show’s producers, including host Sarah Koenig continued to claim that it would start in 2015.  It finally launched on December 10, 2015, almost at the last minute to be “on time”.

In the meantime, beyond very much liking “Serial”, I decided to give other podcasts a try.  I even ordered a microphone and recorded some interviews to make a podcast of my own! (Check out my podcast “Isanberg” at  As I publish this, only one episode has been produced.  Tell me what you think!)

Startup was my next favorite podcast after Serial.
Startup was my next favorite podcast after Serial.

The podcast that excited me most, post-listening to”Serial” was one called Startup.  This series followed a man named Alex Blumberg, as he told the story, in real time, about him quitting his job as a producer on the very successful radio show “This American Life” (which itself produces “Serial”) to start his own podcast production company.  That company is Gimlet Media  They also produce a bunch of different series, like “Reply All“, “Surprisingly Awesome“, “Science Vs.” and “Heavyweight“.

Oh, and in the Summer of 2015, they debuted “Mystery Show”.  In each episode, host Starlee Kine would solve a mystery by a listener or friend that could not be solved on the Internet.  Some of these mysteries included the height of actor Jake Gyllenhaal and the weird picture on a “Welcome Back Kotter” lunch box.  The final episode was released in August, 2015.

Just like my pursuit of a premiere date for a second season of “Serial”, I was clamoring for a new season of “Mystery Show”.  In both of these cases, the second season had not started (or had an announced release date) on the one year anniversary of the final episode of their first seasons.  (“Startup”, on the other hand, has constantly produced new seasons, with a few months between them.)

As I mentioned earlier with “Serial”, its second season was released without warning.  There was no transparency about why it took so long to come out, and why they did not announce a release date, or the season’s subject, in advance.  While Sarah Koenig and crew had no obligation to share those details about how the new season came to be, it would have been nice.

Now that the announcement of “Mystery Show” leaving Gimlet has been out, I feel a kind of relief.  It does not have to be in the back of my mind.  Yes, I’m super disappointed that there is no Season 2 (yet), but I know that it is not coming any time soon.  Yet, unlike “Serial”, Kine and Gimlet each shared a bit (although not everything) about how this came to be.  And that’s OK.

In the meantime, you can check in with this question about the release date for Mystery Show’s second season on Quora.

No, I did not invent the Game Boy (but I thought that I did for a moment)

The original Nintendo Game Boy, which I did not invent.
The original Nintendo Game Boy, which I did not invent.

When I was a child, I had an idea that I thought was so revolutionary that it had to happen.

As a Nintendo addict, I wanted to play my video games all day, even when I was at school.  Or at least during recess.  Until then, my issues of Nintendo Power (and later Electronic Gaming Monthly) just had to do.

The idea was, you guessed it, a portable video game console, kinda like the little arcade machine replicas, where you can play Pac-Man or Donkey Kong or something.  Except, this machine was a Nintendo Entertainment System, and can play NES cartidges.

My inspiration for a portable video game console.  The actual Game Boy was nothing like this.
My inspiration for a portable video game console. The actual Game Boy was nothing like this.

With my “brilliant” idea, I wrote a letter to Nintendo asking that they can make it.  To my surprise, I got a letter back stating thanking me for my suggestions and that they are considering making a portable system.

I thought that I invented the Game Boy!  I bragged all about it through my elementary school, with all of the details of my idea.  I thought that this major company listened to this little 7 or 8 or 9 year old kid!

Of course, it wasn’t meant to be.  When Nintendo announced the Game Boy, with a very different design that played its own, smaller cartridges, I was disappointment, but still thought that I, Ian Michael Isanberg was the inventor of the Game Boy.  I thought that I deserved compensation, if not money then a Game Boy for myself!

That lead to my second letter to Nintendo.  Once again, they responded saying that many people sent them letters and requests to make a portable system and that it was not just my idea for it.  Back then I was upset but as time went on, I accepted it as the funny story that it was.

In the end, I never owned a Game Boy, but I had a Game Gear, my only Sega product, with a color screen!

Raspberry Pi Mini Arcade Cabinet
Raspberry Pi Mini Arcade Cabinet

Fast forward to today, and anyone can build a mini-arcade system like the one I wanted as a kid using a Raspberry Pi.  I’m not itching to do it myself but it would be a nice birthday present.

Starting again

I had a blog before there was blogging. I made a lot of content. Texts, pictures, poetry and even an animated GIF. It was cool having a homepage. I kept on changing the layout over and over again.

And then the rest of the world caught up. Time passed and new generations started creating content. Some are even making a living out of it!

Over time, I have learned the different social media networks, including the increasingly big space of mobile only stuff.

Welcome to this modern, professional, adult version of the website I made and maintained in college and throughout my 20’s. I have been inspired by a bunch of social media icons over the years like Chris Brogan, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jeff Pulver, Chris Dessi, Rony Seikly (former NBA player turned highly sought out club DJ?) and others. OK, maybe not Rony Seikly, though I am very fascinated by the fact that he isn’t just a DJ but a popular one.

Here, my goal is to provide valuable insights to enrich your lives, personal and professional. I will share facts (like that I like ice cream), opinions (Ben & Jerry’s made a mistake in retiring Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Snack, replacing it with The Tonight Dough) and other enjoyable stuff!

Post-Hack, Sony should rebrand its film division as Columbia

Retro Columbia Pictures Logo

There’s been so much written about Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) since its servers were hacked in November, 2014. As a lot of private information, including emails and full copies of unreleased movies were made public without permission. It has been a PR nightmare for the company in many ways, with calls for executives to lose their jobs, amongst other things.

The SPE brand, and actually the entire Sony brand is currently in trouble. As a result, Sony could drop its name from its film and TV entertainment properties and rebrand under the name of its flagship film studio, Columbia Pictures.

Now Sony, a Japanese company who’s primary business is home electronics, has gone the opposite way in recent branding. For the past few years, the Sony logo has appeared before the logos of its multiple film & TV brands, including Tri-Star, Castle Rock and of course Columbia. This same approach has been used in promoting Sony’s PlayStation video game consoles. The term for finding new places for a company to plaster their logo everywhere, coined by writer Paul Lukas is “logo creep“.

That is way too much Sony in Sony’s branding.

A few years ago, one company that failed to rebrand when there was a crisis was BP. After the BP oil spill, the company could have renamed it US business to the previous name, AMOCO or something else. As much as BP keeps its name and logo, they will continue to be known as “The Oil Spill People”, no matter what good they’re claiming to do.

Sony Pictures Entertainment can start the rebuilding of its brand as simple as becoming Columbia, and downplay its Sony corporate ownership.

Different approaches to streaming live concert video

One great thing about broadband video is that programming can exist for niche audiences.  These are shows that might not have a big enough audience to air on broadcast or cable TV.  However, they have fanbases passionate enough to pay for them.

Live video of concerts are a perfect format for the Internet.  Fans now have the opportunity to watch a concert that they might have been shut out for tickets or taking place in another town, in their own living room.  This sensation is commonly known by live music fan as “couch tour”, and there’s a few companies currently getting in on the action.

1. This is a company who’s primary product is audio recordings of live concerts.  Their existing relationships with live acts, big and small has led to live webcasts of concerts.  Since Nugs.nets offers audio downloads of concerts, they can sell the live video stream and audio of the concert in a package deal.

2. Tourgigs Based in Austin, TX, a music/tech hotbed centered around the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) music and tech conferences, Tourgigs offers the option to own concert video after the fact, besides showing it live.  Tourgigs also boasts Roku access, unlike

3. Live Nation/Yahoo Being the largest concert promoter and venue owner in the US, Live Nation has the most cloud on this list, and could possibly acquire one or all of these music startups.  Live Nation has been streaming free webcasts of major artist through the Yahoo Screen service.

4. Qello Unlike the other services mentioned, Qello is a service that shows previously recorded concerts and documentaries.  It is essentially a Netflix for live music.

5. YouTube The top video site in the world streams live concert videos, particulatly festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella.  YouTube also has a plethora of live concert footage, recorded professionally and by amateurs.  This may include video that is up there without permission from copyright holders and could be removed at any moment.

Live streams of concerts are (still) in its infancy, with room for tremendous growth.  As the services listed above, as well as others not included in this list (and those which do not yet exist), the “couch tour” experience will continue to improve.

Does the Fall TV season still matter?

Fall TV

This question has been going through my head for the past few months, as a new TV season has begun.  Just like every year that I remember, the broadcast television networks brought back many of their biggest shows for their season premieres.  Also, new series debuted with the hopes of becoming big hits on their own.  Many of those new shows get cancelled while others live on to “maybe” to become a big hit, lasting numerous seasons and making stars of its cast.

However, as time goes on, competitors to the TV season have emerged in numerous places, to the point that the fall season is increasingly losing significance.  There are other times of the year/ways to watch television that are increasingly competing with the status quo.  Here are some examples.

1. Netflix/Hulu/Amazon: Their original programs tend to premiere outside of the Fall window.  “House of Cards” seasons have launched in February.  “Orange is the New Black” premieres during the summer.  Amazon has been an exception, with its original shows like “Transparent” going live in the fall.  Outside of their constant new programming, these services have entire runs of series that are no longer on the air, but were huge successes.  Why watch a new series on CBS when Netflix has every episode of “Lost” or “Breaking Bad”?

2. Cable: Speaking of “Breaking Bad”, AMC will bring its spinoff “Better Call Saul” to air in February.  The cable networks have year-round launches for new shows.  HBO has some of its biggest hits like “Game of Thrones” and “Girls” premiering early in the year.

3. The increasing role of the “midseason replacement”.  NBC programs its spring schedule around the fact that “Sunday Night Football” only happens in the fall.  Fox only airs “American Idol” (which spent most of the 2000’s as the highest rated show on TV) in the spring.  No longer is the cream of the crop of broadcast offerings reserved for just the fall.

4. Cat videos, and other non-“TV” video entertainment.
Autumn is still an important time for the entire commercial world to begin, especially with the school year (and major ad campaigns targeting the back to school crowd) starting.  However, it is only one venue now to launch new and returning TV shows.

In light of “Too Many Cooks”, how viable is a sitcom today?

If you haven’t seen the sitcom parody “Too Many Cooks”, watch it now. Be warned, it is eleven minutes long.

One of the observations that I had from this video (which I personally found to be funny), was a reminder of how less relevant the 30 minute TV comedy has been in the past decade. The last super mega comedy to air on TV was “Friends”, ending in 2004, ten years before “Too Many Cooks” aired.

In the decade since, TV comedy has become segmented. The biggest “hits” have mainly been on CBS, like “Two and a Half Men”, “The Big Bang Theory” and the recently ended “How I Met Your Mother”. CBS has a business model different from their broadcast TV competition, as their goal is to get the largest audience altogether, and not just winning a specific age demographic.

There were also shows like “The Office”, “30 Rock” and “My Name is Earl” on NBC, one camera comedies that were critically acclaimed, yet did not have much of a big office. Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” fits that mold (it’s run by a bunch of people that worked on “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”), where the show was saved by its surprise 2014 Golden Globe wins. ABC, through the success of “Modern Family”, has been lucky to have a comedy hit, even though it’s far from the network’s heyday of “Home Improvement” and the TGIF lineup on Friday nights.

A hit sitcom is the holy grail for the studios and production companies that make them, particularly for the rerun rights. A show that can air 5 nights a week in syndication is money. A hit show is even more valuable. The cast of “Seinfeld” never have to work again, because the show’s still popular in syndication 16 years after the final episode aired. I personally believe that Seinfeld’s success actually hurt the development of sitcoms for years, due to how it was so different from the norm at the time, and changed viewer interests.

So, back to my question of the state of sitcoms in the light of “Too Many Cooks”. There will probably never be another comedy (or scripted TV show) that captures the entire nation/world at once. With so many entertainment options, including cable TV and the endless video online, there will still be hits, but there just may be Too Many Comedies to watch them all.

FCC just might let Aereo be a cable company after all (if they don’t go out of business first).


As I have previously written, I was an Aereo subscriber until a number of court rulings led it to shut down, at least temporarily. However, the FCC is considering rule changes to allow Aereo, and other online providers of broadcast channels to legally exist. The saga known as Aereo currently stands as follows:

1. Aereo was determined to be breaking the law by transmitting broadcast TV signals to paying customers without permission of those broadcasters. The Supreme Court ruled that Aereo was acting like a cable company, providing TV channels to subscribers for a fee.

2. A number of lower courts ruled that Aereo could not legally be a cable company, because they didn’t provide actual cable wire or satellite in customers homes.

The rules and laws that currently answer the question “What is a cable company?” are clearly in the favor of the status quo cable/satellite/telco companies that don’t want to lose their legacy subsciption businesses.

The success of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. has shown there is a market for “TV” available online. With Dish Network negotiating to launch a digital “cable” service (and enduring negotiation issues with Turner over some rights), it may become a reality soon.

With Aereo laying off employees, including their entire Boston-based staff, they may not neccesarily still exist by the time they become legal, but digital multichannel video services may soon, legally become a reality.

Amazon’s “Transparent” shows that “Binge Watching” works.

Jeffrey Tambor in “Transparent”

How much of “Transparent”‘s success is due to Amazon’s decision to release it’s first season’s episodes in a Netflix-like “binge watching” approach?  Based on results, the approach works.  The entire season was released on September 26, 2014 and already renewed for a second season on October 9th, less than two weeks later.

This is clearly a reflection of Netflix, who has released its entire seasons of original shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” at one time.  A year ago, Amazon’s first two original series, “Betas” and “Alpha House” were released in the more traditional manner of one new episode debuting each week.  It took Amazon a few months from the premiere until the announcements to renew or cancel.  “Alpha House” was given a second season while “Betas” was cancelled.

Amazon has announced that Season 2 of “Alpha House” will be released all at once, unlike it’s first year of episodes.

Amazon, Netflix and other services like Hulu are in the infancy of releasing studio quality “Television” shows on their online services.  They are still fine tuning how this process works, from the time of year to release new shows and the choice between coming out with the entire batch of shows at once or releasing them on a weekly basis.  Hulu has taken the weekly approach with “The Awesomes”, an animated superhero parody led by Seth Meyers, and featuring the voices of Meyers and other comedians from the SNL / NBC / Lorne Michaels camp.  The show has completed two seasons, with a third on the way.  However, its buzz is quite weak compared to the successes on Netflix, Amazon and traditional TV shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad”.

Obviously, the entire season can’t be released for everything.  Chelsea Handler’s new late night series for Netflix will likely be topical, and wouldn’t make sense to release more than one episode of a time.  However, for most traditional TV formats debuting on an online VOD service, the entire season approach has seen the most success.

This is where cord cutters will (probably) watch the Stephen Colbert Late Show (not Hulu).

Stephen Colbert on the Late Show with David Letterman

One of the biggest questions about Stephen Colbert’s move to CBS has likely been answered, with the network’s announcement of a new online service.

“Will the Late Show, hosted by Stephen Colbert, be on Hulu on another digital service for set top boxes like Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, etc.?”

The answer is likely not Hulu, but probably the new CBS All Access.  This $5.99/month package will feature new and past episodes of current and former CBS programming.  It will also include live streams of it’s local Owned and Operated CBS stations in markets like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other big cities.  The one thing that it won’t have at launch will be live NFL games.  While it is launching on PCs and mobile, set top box support will follow.

What the press release didn’t mention was Colbert.  My guess, is since CBS will own the show (compared to Letterman, who’s Worldwide Pants company owned his show and the Late Late Show), and will not have licensing problems to put Colbert on its online pay service.

Colbert is probably going to be a big selling point for this new service, as his current show, “The Colbert Report”, is on Hulu Plus, along with virtually all late night talk shows that are not on CBS.  I have long argued that there would be a backlash if the Colbert Late Show is not widely available online at launch.  This is not merely being available on the CBS website, but also on mobile devices and set top boxes like Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

Sports Media: Not just ESPN anymore


I used to constantly complain about ESPN.  They are the (self proclaimed) Worldwide Leader in Sports, and they’re telling the truth.  I actually took an entire year off from watching any ESPN content, back in 2011, and have watched less ever since.

The good news is that ESPN now has competition.  The bad news is that they’re not close to matching and beating the Worldwide Leader yet.  The good news is that they are primed for growth.  Here are the existing players, and my take on them.

1. NBC Sports Network (Formerly OLN/Versus).  They have the NHL, and little more.  They desperately needed to get either MLB or the NFL in their last contract negotiations, and failed.  They reportedly lost out on NBA in 2016, but its not the best fit for them, despite nostalgia for John Tesh’s “NBA on NBC” theme.  Shockingly, they haven’t produced a Sportscenter-like daily highlights show.  Instead, it’s all about English Premier League soccer (which they have gotten positive reviews for), Tour de France and smaller conference college football and basketball.

2. Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports 2.  They got the MLB package (baked into Fox’s already existing national broadcast and regional cable relationships with the league), which is a huge start.  Add to that a nightly sports highlight show anchored by a team they poached from Canada, and a simulcast of NY radio host Mike Francesa during the afternoons, and they’re off to a good start.

3. CBS Sports Network (Formerly CSTV/CBS College Sports).  This entity is surprisingly profitable despite having no major live pro/college games.  They mainly have shoulder programming about CBS’ broadcast properties: the NFL and college football/basketball.  Most of their college games are overflow from ESPN, NBC and Fox’s contracts.  This approach makes this network available in fewer cable households, but it gives CBS an expanded presence.

There are also the league-owned networks; NFL Network, MLB Network, NHL Network and NBA TV which do a good job focusing on their leagues for those who want to pay extra.

These networks have shown that sports media continues to expand beyond ESPN.

One year without Current TV

Original Current TV Logo

Current TV would definitely be discussed in the classes that I teach.

The original format of Current TV is my all time favorite concept for a cable network.  Its 4-5 years on air were something special.  It is heartbreaking, at least to me that it is no longer on the air.

The network, which launched in 2005, was owned by Al Gore (who you all know) and a guy named Joel Hyatt (who you probably don’t know).  Instead of traditional programming, it showed what they liked to call “pods”.  They were short news documentary pieces produced by not only their in house staff, but also by viewers.  If a viewer got their video on the network, they were paid a minimum of $500.

Like many cable networks, especially those not owned by a big media company with a lot of other channels to its name, it had trouble getting distribution.  Cablevision never carried it.  (I even created a “Get Current TV on Cablevision” group on Facebook, since I was so passionate about it).

In 2009, Current changed its format to more of a traditional news channel, anchored by Keith Olbermann.  It was the beginning of the end.  Olbermann didn’t last a year.

Current was eventually sold to Al Jazeera, using its assets to start Al Jazeera America.  Part of that is an online network called AJ+, based out of Current’s former San Francisco office.

The original format of Current TV was brilliant.  I was surprised that it never was duplicated.

If Fox buys Time Warner…

I don’t know how real the prospect of Fox (through its year old post-News Corp split parent company 21st Century Fox) is, but its quite intriguing.

Here, in 2014, there are a small number of companies that own a lot of (traditional) media properties.  They are:

Comcast (owner of NBC Universal)
CBS Corporation (spun off from Viacom)
News Corporation
21st Century Fox (spun off from News Corp.)
Time Warner

That is only seven companies, or 5 if you consider the pairs of Viacom/CBS and News/Fox as single entities due to the same ownership.  The Big 5 can go down to 4, if a Fox/Time Warner deal actually happens.

This is very dangerous for many reasons.  I may share those reasons in depth over time, if  I feel like it.  However, it is very simple.  The few major companies that control much of the media may become fewer…

Microsoft kills their original TV project, as part of their layoffs.

As part of Microsoft’s mass layoffs, they are abandoning their plan to produce TV-esque video content exclusively for XBox. Some of the announced or rumored shows included a Halo TV series (with Steven Spielberg as an Executive Producer) and a reboot of Heroes (which is ultimately going to air on NBC sometime in 2015).  In 2010, there were even reports of Microsoft making a bid to Conan O’Brien to host a late night talk show on XBox, before he ultimately went to TBS.

My opinion is that this was a great move by Microsoft to kill this plan. The ownership of XBoxes (the new XBox One and the previous generation XBox 360) is too small an audience for exclusive content.

Imagine if, say, Orange is the New Black played exclusively on XBox. It would not be the buzzworthy hit that it is today. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon instant video are available on a number of devices. The platform is the software and not the hardware.

This is not to say that a show can’t launch on XBox (or Playstation). Microsoft could take a page from DirecTV’s playbook, and have an exclusive window to a show for a while, before it airing elsewhere. DirecTV did this with the final seasons of Friday Night Lights and Damages. Damages, which originally was on FX, was actually a DirecTV exclusive in its final years, before going to DVD and Netflix.

And now, I have officially launched!

Hi all,

After a few weeks of posts, and now that my birthday has passed, I have decided to tell the world that I’m doing this!

In four years, 2018, I will be teaching media classes on a college level.  This is MY declaration.  This is what I want to be doing, regardless of what you think.

Please support me in my goal.  I do not have a clear path (yet) on how to get there, but the standing image is of me, in a college classroom, teaching students about the media, who owns it, how it came to be and how to become part of it, is a driving force of my professional and educational goals.  Thank you!

The case to develop beyond the newest OS.

I have a friend who recently graduated from the Flatiron School, an intense Ruby-on-Rails training workshop.  As part of the class, he built an iOS app.

I was excited to download it, but I couldn’t.

Why?  Because I have made a choice to keep my iPhone 5, purchased when it was released in 2012, with the operating system that it came with, iOS 6.  As of July 2014, iOS 7 (which is a requirement for my friend’s app) is the current OS, with iOS 8 slated to be released in fall 2014.  I don’t like upgrading the OS on my hardware (computers and mobile), as I risk slowing them down, with no turning back.

Bells and whistles are great, and the latest and greatest technology can do amazing, previously unseen things.  But I won’t allow an obsession with what’s new alienate the parts of the user base that have not upgraded just yet.

When I used to design websites back in 2000-01, when the world was still moving away from dialup modems (and AOL) to broadband, I would test my sites for both speeds/connections.  I even ran stuff on my old 1994 Macintosh Performa (which never slowed down, although software would eventually not be compatible with it).

While there needs to be a cutoff to make most apps financially viable, I would suggest to not alienate those using older devices and hardware.

Could Opie and Anthony (or any other talent) WOW on an online-only platform?

Opie and Anthony from their WNEW heyday
Opie and Anthony bumper sticker design from their WNEW heyday

Over the July 4th weekend, Anthony Cumia of the long-running “Opie and Anthony” radio show was fired from SiriusXM, where they have been since being kicked off terrestrial radio.

For the point I am going to share, why he was fired and/or the question of if he should have been terminated in the first place are irrelevant.  There’s plenty of discussion about that elsewhere on the Internet.

The question I am bringing up is if O&A (as they are sometimes abbreviated) could bring their brand of talk to their own online channel, independent of a major communications company like SiriusXM or CBS (where the duo previously resided).

The closest equivalent at the moment are brands in the video space, particularly Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze”.  Beck, formerly of Fox News, and CNN before that, has an online over the top channel with his show and similar content.  There are reports that The Blaze is underfunded and unprofitable, but that is a discussion for another time.

I myself am a subscriber to SiriusXM, particularly for the Jam_On channel.  I have fantasized about creating a competitor to it, but the headaches of music licensing put a stop to that.  Pandora and Spotify reportedly pay most of their revenue to licensing agencies, far more than SiriusXM and terrestrial radio stations.

Talk radio doesn’t have those huge licensing liabilities.  Blogtalkradio is a service that has been around for almost a decade, hosting professional semi-pro and amateur talk radio shows.  No licensing = less problems.  I’m surprised that there are not competitors to BTR in the nice successful niche they created for themselves.

Could an online-only paywalled radio network launch with Opie and Anthony leading the way?  Possibly.  Will they (or someone else) start one?  Only time will tell…

Slingbox is legal but Aereo isn’t?

Aereo doesn't work anymore...
Aereo doesn’t work anymore…

The Supreme Court ruled that Aereo is illegal, and violated copyright laws.  The winning argument was that Aereo was rebroadcasting broadcast TV over the Internet without the permission of those stations.

However, since Slingbox, which has been around for a decade is legal, and Aereo is not, I am confused.

Slingbox is a device that plugs into a cable box (and or TV antenna) and broadband router, and lets people watch that broadcast content over the Internet.

Theoretically, one could rent an apartment or hotel, pay for Internet access and a TV antenna, plug it into a router, and never actually live there, yet have live broadcast TV over the Internet.  Essentially, that’s how Aereo was run.

However, since such a service was designed to serve many customers, the Supreme Court classified Aereo in the same level as a cable provider, and would have to pay cable companies fees that they successfully negotiate with each other (not a sure thing), if they want to continue to exist.

So, Aereo-like services are now only legal (for now), if they are private.  I guess I need a device like Simple TV if I want to stream broadcast TV to my Roku and mobile devices…

Why I don’t a TV station.

UHF, the Weird Al movie

One of my childhood dreams was to own a broadcast TV station.  I fantasized about being like Weird Al’s character in the 80s movie “UHF”, where he runs a TV station of independent programming, that the community loves, and fights to keep in the air.  I said that I can make my own station and program my own game shows, sports highlights and interview programs.  Sure!

However, here in 2014, broadcast TV (and radio) in my home country is a money pit that was created by overregulation by the government.  At least that’s my opinion.  Most stations are parts of large station groups and are affiliated with a broadcast network.

The airwaves are owned, in the United States by the public.  Not the owners of the broadcast TV stations, but the public.  However, I have learned from my own college professors in the communications department at SUNY Plattsburgh that the lobbying power of businesses have continuously taken that control for themselves.  The “public” airwaves have been controlled by private interests, and they pay like crazy to keep it that way.

However, the Internet, and high speed broadband has created a new level of media ownership.  Services like Netflix and Hulu (and YouTube and UStream, among others) have bypassed broadcast and cable to bring content to your home.  Or Laptop.  Or phone.  Or tablet.

One of my goals of being a comm professor is to inspire students to become the creators of their own shows, and perhaps the owners of their own channels.