Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) is extending its media presence into television with a half-hour magazine-style program premiering in April 2001 and airing weekly on The Nashville Network (TNN).
“RV Today,” which will be taped across the U.S., will include features on RV destinations, road tests, “how-to” technical segments and profiles of RVing personalities. The show will be hosted by two Boomer-age television personalities and will air on Saturday afternoons – a time period TNN customarily reserves for outdoor-oriented programs.
“We’re going to draw viewers in by offering information in an entertaining way,” said host/producer Stew Oleson, a veteran television producer and RVer. “We’ll hopefully interest people who are not necessarily familiar with the RV lifestyle and bring them into the fold.”
Oleson will be joined on the air by co-host Jeri Sager, a former Broadway theatrical performer who became familiar with RVing through her husband, who drove a Prevost bus conversion on show tours.
Also appearing on the program will be editors from AGI-affiliate TL Enterprises Inc., who will cover technical aspects.
“The show will be a spin-off of our magazines, Trailer Life and MotorHome,” said Bob Livingston, associate publisher for TL and executive director of the show.
Livingston will work with Oleson in developing the content of the program, which is designed to offer a wide variety of segments in a fast-moving format.
“RV Today will open with our host and hostess traveling in a different RV each week in a different place,” said Joe St. Lawrence, president of RTM Productions, a Nashville-based television company that will tape and edit the segments.
“We actually test RVs each week – everything from motorhomes down to folding trailers. These segments will involve the front guys from TL who are known among RVers, like Livingston and Bill Estes (vice president/publisher of RV Consumer and Trade Publications for TL).”
St. Lawrence, who also produces TNN’s “Car and Driver” (the companion television program to the magazine) and “American Shooter,” said that a Saturday afternoon slot bodes well for the program. “We’re projecting a .6 rating,” he said.