DESCRIPTION OF NETWORK:
Here's how they tell it on their very own, exclusive website:
"The only network exclusively dedicated to travel entertainment targeting veteran, novice and armchair travelers. Travel Channel is a dedicated and trusted window on the world, bringing knowledge, insight and information to a community of people who want to experience their world and satisfy their curiosity. Approaching travel as a life cycle, Travel Channel engages veteran travelers ready to plot their next trip, novice travelers not quite sure where to go, and armchair travelers who are just along for the ride.
"From the inspiration on-air, to the planning and booking online, to providing mobile text, audio and video content on the ground, to creating an online travel community for consumers to share their experiences when the voyage is over - Travel Channel is part of the journey every step of the way."
Via recent RFPs, here's what programming is always looking for: "programs that meet at the intersection of 'Lust for Life, Immersive Exploration and Credible Authorship', producing a program with and for the 'Impassioned Insider.'"
It was announced on November 5, 2009 that Scripps is acquiring a controling stake in Travel in a deal valuing the business at $975 million dollars. Scripps chairman Kenneth Lowe is quoted as saying about the deal that it will further develop Scripps as the premiere lifestyle brand and improve the prestige of their brand to "media consumers, advertisers and programming distributors."
GENRE(S) OF PROGRAMMING:
Travel, Documentary, Adventure, Cooking, Games, Lifestyle, Reality, Expedition, Culture, Food.
NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS:
Scripps (majority stakeholder) & Cox Communications
DIY, FLN (will become Cooking Channel in 2010), Food Network, GAC (Great American Country), HGTV
Main Address: 5425 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 500, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Main Phone: 240-662-2000
SVP, Content: Michael Klein
VP, Programming: Carey Kyler
Director of Programming: Matt Butler
PROGRAM SUBMISSION PROCESS
Best place is to start with a character - a credible, passionate authority who is hopefully a bit quirky.
Then head to their "Producing for Travel" portion of the website, here: http://www.producerspassport.travelchannel.com/
In their latest RFP, here's how to submit (in this case, for a particular need - more in a bit):
Submit via: Submissions@Travel.Channel.com
- No more than 2 pages, please
- Include examples of episode topics
- Explain innovative new media ideas
- If pitching a hosted program, please include talent ideas
- Talent tape/demos encouraged
- Please include indication of cost
Contact: Anna Garwood
Program Development Manager
The Travel Channel
But there's another way to sneak in the doors: TRAVEL CHANNEL ACADEMY. Here's what they say: Now, is your chance to get involved with Travel Channel - to learn the art and science of digital filmmaking, and open up a possibility to share your stories on our television, online and mobile platforms. We'll teach you how to produce your videos in just 4 days.
Introducing Travel Channel Academy - the only professional-grade, travel-focused digital filmmaking boot camp on the planet.
Here's the link for that: http://www.travelchannel.com/Academy/Academy_Home
As always, a pilot/presentation tape is necessary for talent or for a complicated concept. Not so for most ideas. But as you can see from the schedule, their most successful programs seem to be talent-based: BOURDAIN, ZIMMERN, MARK AND OLLY (the TRIBAL guys), DECARLO, RATZENBERGER; SAMANTHA BROWN, still hanging in there. IAN WRIGHT got off to the wrong start - might that mean hard times for another of their Brit hosts, Lawrence Beldon-Smythe and Anthony Andrew? - anyway, with talent in a pitch, a video of the presenter is mandatory.
However, if a program is not a commission, good luck making the deficit back around the world with that host in it. Unhosted travel is what the global market looks for, unless it's ANTHONY BOURDAIN or JAMIE OLIVER. (Full Disclosure: Sister company CABLEready distributes A COOK'S TOUR, another ANTHONY BOURDAIN series, internationally.)
Discovery, TLC, Food