GLADSTONE - Views of Gladstone may soon be seen on televisions across the country, thanks to an agreement approved by the city commission at a special meeting Monday night.
About four weeks ago the city was contacted by Communities of Distinction, a national television program that features cities from across the United States and Canada, and asked to participate in the program.
"The whole segment is 30 minutes. Five minutes would be completely on the city of Gladstone. It's a program hosted by Terry Bradshaw," explained City Manager Darla Falcon.
The commission agreed to spend $24,800 from the Downtown Development Authority's $40,000 marketing budget to enter into the agreement with Communities of Distinction TV. The agreement will be presented to the DDA at the next regular DDA meeting on Tuesday, June 11.
"I know this is a little expensive, but I think this is a good solid step for us to try to participate in something on this level," said Mayor Darin Hunter.
In exchange, Communities of Distinction will produce the segment, give the city a copy of the product, and grant the city all licensing rights to the segment for promoting and marketing the city.
The completed program will be broadcast once nationally on Discovery Channel Transponder. It will also be broadcast 34 times regionally through a combination of ABC, FOX, and/or regional news networks through local cable providers. All airings will take place between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
"I look at it as we're purchasing two products. One, we're purchasing the five minute segment. The other would be the five minutes in the national market," said Commissioner Matt Gay. "We're purchasing air time, and we're purchasing a physical product that we can reuse, we own the licensing rights, and all that stuff for."
The commission discussed a variety of other uses for the five minute segment, including posting it to the city's website, running it on local channels, and using portions of the segment for Pure Michigan promotional campaigns.
"I think it's a real good opportunity and we'll actually have something when we're done that we can utilize in other formats," said Gay.
Commissioner Hugo Mattonen noted that while the agreement states the city will incur no additional costs beyond the $24,800, the city will need to budget for other uses of the video segment.
"I think we would need to come with some sort of a plan to be aggressive enough to really use this tool internally," said Mattonen. "So I'm hoping that we get a commitment from staff and from the commission as a whole to put some time and effort into this thing ... we've got a tool here to use, let's find some ways to use it."
Before the segment can air, the city will be required to sign off and approve both the script and final edited segment. Assuming the city does not withhold approvals, the entire project including broadcasts will be completed in the next 12 months.
More information about Communities of Distinction as well as video clips can be found at www.watchcod.com.