Jesse Angelo has been an American history buff since his time studying at Harvard College. He’s long been obsessed with Alexander Hamilton and the long-running feud with Aaron Burr that ultimately killed the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. In his day job, Angelo runs the newspaper that Hamilton founded.
So when a friend called him and said, “Hey, I’m working on a project I think you’ll be interested in,” and that project was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s early workshopping of a musical based on Hamilton’s life, Angelo was in.
He attended the workshop in Hell’s Kitchen with 20 other people. Afterwards, he told his friend, “that’s going to transform musical theater as we know it.” Under Angelo’s leadership, The New York Post became Hamilton’s first media sponsor on its way to conquering the world.
Now Angelo is hands-on with another project he hopes will conquer the world: Page Six TV, a daily entertainment magazine that launches in syndication on Sept. 18.
An edited transcript of Angelo’s conversation with B&C contributing editor Paige Albiniak follows.
What was the catalyst for launching Page Six TV?
We’ve always thought about doing Page Six TV and we’ve had a number of people approach us about it over the years. I always wanted to wait until we had the right partner and I thought that the landscape was right for it. There’s a growing appetite for this kind of content.
Once I started working with Endemol Shine North America [50% owned by 20th Century Fox] and we had a pitch, our first stop was our friends at the Fox Television Stations. Jack Abernethy and Frank Cicha liked what they saw and were kind enough to give us a test run. When they picked it up and we started thinking about national syndication, Twentieth Television was the logical place. During each step in the way, we had a sister company we could talk to first.
What do you think differentiates the show in the market?
One of the key differentiators is having the entire newsroom and all of the power of the New York Post behind it. We have a big platform with more than 70 million monthly unique [visitors] on the Post digital network. We have robust PageSix. com social presence. Having all of that behind the show to help get the word out differentiates us from a lot of other shows out there.
Page Six editor Emily Smith and deputy editor Ian Mohr are involved in the show and appeared on it during last summer’s test. We’re creating a set in the newsroom for segments. My vision was to create a virtual circle from print to digital to TV show and we’ve shown how that can work.
How do you expect Page Six TV to augment the Page Six and New York Post brands in general?
The point is to make a great TV show. Is that also good for the Page Six brand? Of course it is.
We’ll have a dedicated Facebook Live area on set and then there’s a Page Six TV environment on PageSix.com that will carry clips organically using video from the show and integrating it into PageSix.com’s digital and social.
How will you integrate Page Six TV into the digital advertising presence of the rest of the organization?
Page Six is a very powerful marketing vehicle. It does great work for our entertainment and retail and luxury partners. I think that will continue to grow as the show grows. If you look at the household income numbers for the Post and PageSix.com, they are both high versus digital media.
What you are seeing in the ad market are 360 integrations that allow someone who really loves the Page Six brand to be able to own the print environment and be integrated into digital and the show and work together with the social channels. Those types of deals are where the industry is headed.
What other News Corp. brands are you eyeing as potential TV productions?
It’s possible you might see some Decider integrations in Page Six TV. I’m very interested in pushing my entire organization into the television business.
TV project No. 2 is under way — it’s going to be scripted and episodic. We already have a great producing partner and great director attached. Project No. 3 is also underway.
I see TV as a great opportunity. We have 200 years of New York history and stories to tap into. I have permission to tell all of those stories.