Bloomfield to spend nearly $20,000 on a promotional video about the township, but two days later, the township reversed course.
On Monday, the council voted 6-1 to hire U.S. Media Television Inc., a company from Florida to film a 5-minute “infomercial” about Bloomfield and air it on a national television show called “Viewpoints.” The cost of the project – which the company said would feature former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw -- was $19,800.
The film was to be shot in mid-August and aired in November, according to U.S. Media.
But on Wednesday, Township Administrator Yoshi Manale said the council has reconsidered and has “decided to move in a different direction.” Manale said the decision to hold off on the project came when town officials researched the television production company and had concerns after speaking with the vice president of the company.
Manale said township officials had a conference call with Jim Nicholas Veser, vice president of U.S. Media Television Inc., on Tuesday. He said that Nicholas-Veser, “got defensive when they found out we were mentioned in the Patch.” He said the township made additional inquiries and decided to back out based on a gut feeling that, “there’s something just wrong. We don’t want to take the risk.”
Bloomfield Patch repeatedly reached out to Veser on Wednesday for comment and was able to speak to him on Thursday. He stated that he was not the person who spoke to township officals on the conference call. "It was a senior producer," he said, but was not sure of the producer's name. He said he would check into the matter.
In a conversation with Bloomfield Patch on Tuesday, Veser said, the television program "Viewpoints" had been in production for about a year, but the show itself has only been on networks a few months.
Bloomfield appears to be the latest in a number of New Jersey municipalities approached by the company. One community that seriously considered the television deal was Parsippany, which for the company to produce a 5-minute segment hosted by Bradshaw that would highlight their town. Later the , according to articles published on Parsippany Patch, amid concerns about the media company.
However, the media company’s offer and is planning to have a one-day video shoot in late May or June that will cost the community of Clark $19,800.
Veser was quoted as telling Clark township officials that the five-minute segment will be aired nationally on the Fox Business Network, the Discovery Channel, regionally on CNN Headline News and possibly other news networks. He said Bradshaw, a football analyst on Fox Sports, would not be visiting the New Jersey town but would voice the “intro” from the Florida studio.
In that article, Mayor Bonaccorso defended the decision saying, “There’s certain licensing fees, and they were very up front and explained that to us. But for this kind of big time exposure, that’s inconsequential. It's a show, that's the best way to describe it – it's not News 12 NJ. We listened to them and read up about all this and said, 'Absolutely.' It’s an honor to be considered’."
Another New Jersey community made a different decision. In February, that the municipality had balked at the $19,800 price tag of the show, proposed to many New Jersey townships as “Today in America” with Bradshaw. “It came down to money. [Township officials] didn't want to spend anything on a promotional spot,” said Fairlawn Patch Editor Zak Koeske via email.
"We liked the idea [initially] but now we're considering the option of hiring our own production company, once the township development is done," Manale told Bloomfield Patch on Wednesday.
Councilman Bernard Hamilton was the sole dissenting vote against the show on Monday. He cautioned, “Any time you have to pay for an award you have to be careful. It’s like a bait and switch.”
UPDATE: In a telephone interview on Thursday, Vice President of U.S. Media Television Jim Nicholas Veser talked to Patch about some of the issues addressed in this article. Check back soon to see what Veser said.
Click here for information on U.S. Media Television Inc. from its own website.