Sedona’s Televisionaries

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“We had these ideas for these tiny shows,” Glenn recalls. “But we’d had it with living in big cities. We knew we wanted to be in Sedona. So, OK, we started thinking, ‘How do we do these shows in Sedona and still be able to make a living?’ We were literally flipping the TV here and we saw Channel 18 was blue.” The wheels started turning. “We started thinking, if we had a TV station, develop programming for Sedona, kind of as a test market, sell advertising time and make it a sustaining business, then the pressure is off having to sell these show ideas to bigger markets right away,” Jude says.

The ability to turn the dream into a reality came when they met Pat Hickey, the woman who originally loaned them the startup cost for the local station. “We are so grateful to her,” Glenn says. “Her on-air talent and visions for the station has played an important role all along the way.”

And next thing they knew, they were local media moguls. “Where we came from emotionally is, if [selling a show nationally] is to happen, that is fantastic. If it’s not then we have this great life in a place where we want to live with a business that we’re growing,” Glenn says. “When we heard from Wisdom, it felt like such a natural flow. We have created an environment where we can pitch without the pressure. Which is a beautiful place to work when we do go into these spaces creatively to do these shows. Because it’s not like we had to sell everything to do a pilot for Wisdom, worrying that we will run out of money. You know that vibe?”

Their vibe – and Sedona’s – mesh easily with the fledgling Wisdom Channel, which is developing a slate of programming dedicated to personal growth and spirituality, with the tagline “Mind. Body. Spirit. Earth.” When Glenn and Jude got in touch, the word “Sedona,” which has come to represent all of the above, quickly opened doors.

Over the course of the past two years, the programming Glenn and Jude have developed for the local station lent itself  naturally to a compilation for Wis­dom’s target audience. The two host the show, taping new introductions to lead into the segments that introduce the rest of the country to the people and places that make Sedona tick. The show premiered with a profile of artist David Sine of the Yavapai-Apache nation, and visits to the Institute of Eco-Tourism and the Sedona Creative Life Center. Future segments include a history of Tlaquepaque with managing partner Wendy Lippman, wellness at the Sedona Spa, and visits to Native American sacred ruins.

And to think it’s all a homegrown operation. They’ve done it their way. “We went through the phase of getting a fancy office,” Glenn says. “But then we asked ourselves, Do we really want to cross that line? What are we doing, why do we want to go there? [Keeping it small] is like the best situation possible.

“We have grown a great crew of people,” he continues. “It’s not a large group; less is more when you are dealing with people. We have a wonderful editor, Dave Park, who also works camera. Our sound guy, Robert Cory, Rick Forman who does sales for us. But Jude and I do all the creative brainstorming, provide the spark. And then we all work as a team and put it all together. We built a team in Sedona. We are very grateful for that. When we look for people it’s not only about what they know creatively. It’s how we all interact as people.  Because this business is too hard to do. The people that work for us, it’s like a little family, a clique. A corporate thing will not work for us. In a big city you have a lot of people but not everyone gets along and that’s not worth it. We didn’t move away from that to do that again. So that’s the biggest lesson with whoever comes into our space and works with us. It has to be a jammin’ thing. That’s very important to us.”

“One of the things that we love about this TV station is we don’t know how to run a TV station,” Jude adds. “We had never done it before. We have both worked in production but as far as a TV station goes, it has made us grow as human beings because we get to push ourselves in areas that we have never been. We didn’t realize when we started here that we were getting into the media business. We just wanted to make some fun shows.”

MORE SEDONA MONTHLY INTERVIEWS: Susan Sarandon, Tony Curtis, Joan Collins, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Lea Thompson, Don Black, Beatrice Welles, Frances Fisher, Gary Sinise, Rita Rudner, Michael Moore, Tim Daly, Maynard James Keenan, Richard Schiff, Connie Stevens, Don Hahn, Ed Harris, Marla Sokoloff, Bill Plympton, Jane Seymour, Robert Osborne, Robert Shields

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