Erika Engle

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Local companies get
a new television show
to promote their wares

THE show "Made in Hawaii TV" debuted earlier this month on OC 16, the all-local-programming channel of Oceanic Time Warner Cable.

Airing six days a week -- check your local listings for times -- the half-hour show hosted by John Noland and Lani Medina is a showcase for made-in-Hawaii products that can be ordered at 888-292-2378 or at www.madeinhawaiitv.com.

"We're excited because we've had great conversations with Oceanic about taking it to another level," Noland said.

"We're really a convenience."

John Noland
Co-host of "Made in Hawaii TV"

Separately, the show also will be seen in hotel rooms receiving visitor information programming from Network Media Inc.

Waikiki is a natural market, Noland says, because of the hassle of taking a lot of stuff through the airport in this post-9/11 world.

"We're really a convenience," because visitors' orders can be shipped directly to their homes or to the homes of intended gift recipients.

Noland also is exploring exporting the show beyond Hawaii's shores to those longing to revisit the islands, if only with a spread of tropical jam on toast or the sparkle of a bit of Hawaiian jewelry.

For now, "we're just trying to move with baby steps and grow as this thing is growing."

Noland is better known to Oceanic viewers as one of the sports guys on "Sports People Hawaii," the broadcasts of Hawaii Pacific University and the Interscholastic League of Honolulu. He wanted to test the waters of branching out.

The actual debut of the show was in 1999 on the local PAX-TV affiliate, but it aired only once. Not long after that, a family illness changed Noland's focus. Following the death of his father last year, Noland decided to try again with the show and to use a circa 1940s picture of his dad on a koa surfboard as its logo.

In addition to co-host and cousin Medina, who by day serves as marketing and promotion director for Maui-based Alii Kula Lavender, Noland's business allies include Linda Kramer, owner of Hawaii's Best Fulfillment Inc., who tackles telemarketing and order-filling; and Larry Le Lievre and Ian Chang of Xhype Communications LLC, for Web and e-commerce services.

So far there is only one episode of "Made in Hawaii TV" that will air on OC 16 through Dec. 30.

From there, Noland and Oceanic will meet to evaluate the next step, such as whether to keep it on OC 16 or move it to another channel, such as "78 Hawaii" on Channel 78. "That channel basically has a lot of shows that sell products," said Lianne Killion, programming manager for Oceanic. The shows include local infomercials, but the channel also airs mainland-generated programming from the Shop at Home Network and concerts from Music Choice concert series.

So how does one pitch a local show to Oceanic?

"We like to see an actual spec (sample show), like a 10-minute spec of the show, just to see what their production quality is. It's always easier than to read it off a script," Killion said.

If the show has promise but needs production assistance, Oceanic and the proposed show's producers will meet and discuss how best to proceed, "and then we take it from there."

"We're always open to anything -- and believe me, we get anything," Killion laughed.

While cable shows are not bound by broadcast decency rules, OC 16 isn't likely to stray too far from community standards of what is appropriate, according to Killion.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: eengle@starbulletin.com

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