FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville could gain national exposure when a production crew for the show “Today In America” arrives to showcase the area’s economic development possibilities and the good qualities of living here.
But it also comes with a price tag of more than $19,000.
“Today in America” is a nationally broadcast cable program moderated by NFL icon Terry Bradshaw. It features inspirational stories from across the country centering on a range of topics such as travel and lifestyle, business or medicine.
In the case of the local segment, the producers contacted Fayetteville officials several weeks ago to inquire about shooting the piece, said Mayor Lioneld Jordan. The production company took interest in the Fayetteville Forward economic development initiative Jordan used to ask residents what sort of community they wanted Fayetteville to be.
Lindsley Smith, the city’s communication director, said the show’s producers are also interested in taking a closer look at what contributes to what many see as Fayetteville’s high quality of life. The segment will highlight why Fayetteville is a top environment for business.
“We really want to highlight the city, and I think this will put us on the national scene,” said Jordan.
The Fayetteville spot will be about five minutes long and will include interviews with Fayetteville leaders, according to a memo Smith sent to the City Council. The project is not a typical news feature. Instead, it’s a collaborative project between the city and “Today In America.” The city will assist in script-writing by filling out a questionnaire, and gets final edit approval, according the participation agreement document.
According to the city’s agreement with “Today in America,” Fayetteville will pay $19,800 for production. The money will come from the city’s economic development fund, Jordan said.
This is a restrictive fund of about $800,000, and is money that can only be used for economic development purposes, Jordan said. The money will not come from the city general fund which has seen a number of cuts and belt-tightening the last 18 months.
“To me, $19,000 for an outside group to come in an promote the city nationwide is money well spent,” Jordan said Wednesday.
“When you can hit a national market, with it (the show) going all over the country, and we get to keep the product, I just look at that as an investment,” Jordan added.
The agreement has been placed on the City Council’s consent agenda and is set to be approved at Tuesday’s meeting.
In return, Fayetteville will gain licensing and distribution rights that will allow the city and or the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce to use the segment for promotional purposes.
Details regarding when the production company will be in town have not been worked out yet, Smith said.
The show will be broadcast once nationally on the Fox Business Network, and 19 times regionally through a combination of CNN Headline News and a regional news networks, according to the agreement.
Officials with “Today in America” could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. The show’s website indicates the company and the show has no direct affiliation with the networks on which it airs. The company purchases airtime for the show from cable providers, networks, stations and other media sellers.
“It’s a great opportunity we have to reach a national audience,” Smith told the council Tuesday. “We couldn’t afford the media time on this.”
“This is a great opportunity,” echoed Steve Clark, president and CEO of the chamber. “This allows us to reach some of the markets on the East and West coasts. Anyone wanting to inquire here, we’ve got a disk to put in their hand.”