Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Notes from the Front Lines

Sorry for a couple of day's absence...vicious intrusion of the Real World. I may do some Wednesday Gun Porn this afternoon...I'll bet you'd like a look at the new little Detonics' blaster, which does, in fact, feel better in the hand than virtually any of the small 1911s. I've also got to go into Boulder and visit my FFL guy, who tells me there's "product waiting."

In the meantime, a couple of things that caught my eye this morning:

From Daytona Beach, a little tidbit about hookers who've had enough:
Women involved in prostitution in Daytona Beach, Fla., have reportedly armed themselves and are searching for a serial killer behind the slayings of three residents.

"Rather than run from the man police labeled a serial killer, streetwalkers here in Daytona Beach along Ridgewood Avenue say they are seeking the serial killer out," Local 6 reported Tarik Minor said. "They believe the man responsible for murdering three women here is someone they have come in contact with."

"We will get him first," streetwalker Tonya Richardson said. "Yeah, we are going to get him first. When we find him, he is going to be sorry. It is as simple as that."
Good for them! Those of us in the self-defense side of the industry sometimes overlook the fact that self-defense is a basic human right for everyone. If you catch him, girls, you might want to consider turning him over to the law, however...

I've been doing some heavy reading over the last few days, media kits from some of my erstwhile competitors. For those outside the loop, a "media kit" is the pitch package to potential advertisers. The reason I've been sunk in this is I've been outlining SHOOTING GALLERY's Recommended Products Program.

What I'm going to do is have me and our experts pick products we recommend. Those products can then carry the "SHOOTING GALLERY RECOMMENDED" tag. The deal is that the "Recommended" designation is NOT FOR SALE! Companies can't buy our recommendation — it only goes to products we use and can personally recommend.

My rationale here is that we're talking about products that might be used in a life-or-death situation. I'd be more than happy to sell out if the product was, say, Jello or high-end sneakers. In fact, if any sneaker companies (or Jello, for that matter) are reading this, give me a call and I'll sell my butt lickety-split.

But we're talking about guns here. We're talking about products that are associated with shoot-outs. Suffice to say that I believe we in this industry have a moral and ethical responsibility when we recommend product and/or training to be aware of the "what ifs." The SHOOTING GALLERY Recommended program acknowledges that responsibility.

Upon reading through media kits, I found myself amazed at what other people were willing to sell — about 25% more than your average high-end call girl. At least hookers only sell their bodies...apparently some of the "professionals" in this industry are willing to sell their names, their endorsements, whatever they have to sell, as long as the bucks are there. I find it pretty repulsive.

SIGH...I guess that means I'm never going to be able to sell out for the big bucks! Crap, there goes the Lexus!

Oh, one of the biggest secrets in the industry right now is the status of ShootingUSA on OLN. According to show host Jim Scoutten, in an e-mail to me, the show is "evolving, not ending." OLN has jerked the show around pretty badly as that network begins moving in a different direction — think hockey & Survivor reruns — and rumors coming out of the network said the shooting show would not be renewed.

Yeah, we're competitors, but it's not like the airways are flooded with shows about shooting. The loss of one is a Bad Thing. Good luck on that "evolution," Jim!


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear there may be troubles for ShootingUSA. I don't see Jim's show any more than I see yours, Micahel, as I don't have the more expensive cable package with those networks. Call me cheap for not having them, but there are a couple of things higher on the priority list, as much as I would like to see the shows. (Where are the DVD's?)

Still, my feel is that any shows that are helping to get information out to people can only benefit shooting and shooters as a whole. Sort of like more ranges to allow people to have places to shoot.

Keep up the good work.


iainmcphersn said...

Sounds like "Sin City" in Daytona.

Anonymous said...

How long before the Outdoor Channel cuts out your show? After all, I am seeing more and more "4 wheeler TV", and gold prospecting, and rodeo, and remote control, etc on this channel. Yes, for now it still has plenty of shooting and hunting shows but I would wager it too morphs into something else. As a rock music fan I can look back fondly on the days when MTV played, GASP, Music!

Michael Bane said...

In truth, in Television World, you never know. At various times, SG has been the highest-rated show on Outdoor Channel history, but, as the Jefferson Airplane once noted, "don't mean s&%t to a tree." My contract is good through the end of 2006, and come early fall we'll be negotiating for 2007. I know we have shows in planning for 2007 with the full agreement of the Powers-That-Be.

The Outdoor Channel has made a pretty serious (read...a lot of money) commitment to the base, which includes shooting as well as hunting. But, yes, you're right...things have a way of morphing...the niche, though, remains in place, which opens opportunities for — one supposes — evolution.


Mr. Bruce said...

A barely relevant spelling nitpick:


If you're going to sell out, make sure you're selling out to the right people!

Michael Bane said...

I'll only sell out to LIME Jell-O!!!

I mean it!

That's my final answer!


PS: What was that MANGO offer again???

Anonymous said...

I have Dish Network, and they dumped OLN a while back. So, I wasn't able to get the [i]Shooting USA[/i] shows anymore.

It's a shame. I used to record each of them with the PVR feature and watch them (often several times)when I had the time.

Hopefully, [i]SG[/i] will last for a long time to come.

Anonymous said...

A shame about ShootingUSA. I certainly hope Jim either manages to get OLN to keep the show, or maybe (gasp!) Outdoor will pick it up? That would be great, too.

I watch the following shows religiously now:

Cowboys (I LOVE the ones dealing with holstermaking, gunsmithing, and that blackpowder show was interesting! Tell "Tequila" to ease up on the cheesy "cowpoke" stuff, though)

Shooting Gallery (my FAVOURITE shooting show, bar none. Thanks, Mike!)

American Rifleman TV (The presenters are a bit stiff usually, and some segments can be thin on info, but it's still the NRA's mouthpiece on TV, and that's a good thing)

GunTec TV (also stiff presenters, but lots of good, interesting info. I love the idea of a show mostly about gunsmithing and related things)

Hmmm... all of 'em are on the Outdoor Channel! Now, I have to pay extra ($5 per month for Outdoor, plus I get 5 or 6 other channels I never watch in the so-called "sports package"), but it's worth it.

Other shows I watch, when they're on:

Shooting USA (good show. I really like Jim Scoutten, but I admit that the week-after-week shows about this or that shooting match where the same three people win every time gets really boring, really quickly)

Sighting In with Shooting USA (better show than it's "sister". Sometimes light in info, but Jim was getting into a good groove there)

Guns n' Gears (usually light on the "guns", but it's entertaining sometimes. Too bad the "Men's Channel" just has the same 12 episodes that they rerun the heck out of)

Smith & Wesson TV (very interesting show for S&W fans, seems that Men's Channel stopped showing it, at least for a while)

Just tell Outdoor that they need to cut WAY down on all of the super-boring hunting shows, and give you and others like you contracts to make more REAL shooting shows! I might watch the channel more than three or four times a week then!