OCEAN CITY – A miscommunication between the Tourism Commission and the popular “Hooked On OC” cable television show producers could have jeopardized the show, but fortunately it’s safe and will proceed as scheduled.
When the commission voted to grant Dave Messick and Scott Lennox, the show’s creators and producers, $25,000 of the town’s advertising budget to sponsor and run ads on the nationally televised fishing program, members misinterpreted what exactly the show was requesting.
“We asked for $25,000 every six months because that’s what it costs us to produce the show,” said Messick. “So we really needed $50,000 for the year to keep the show running, but I guess there was a miscommunication.”
Commission Chair Mary Knight said she didn’t realize that the show had asked for the entire sum but noted that she does recall them mentioning “per six months.”
“We would be more than happy to hear their case again but this is the first I’m hearing about this,” said Knight. “We do like the show very much and see the value for the town in the amount of households it’s seen in, but at this time, I’m not sure what the vote would be for $50,000.”
“Hooked on OC” can be seen on the Sportsman Network, which is carried in over 14 million households. Messick said in a year the network would be available in over 22 million households.
“We love shooting the show here, and we love doing the show, but the fact of the matter is, unless we get more financial help, we won’t be able to continue the show forever,” said Messick. “I can’t go into debt any further because I want to promote the town of Ocean City.”
Fortunately, Messick said the network figured out a way to stretch the money a little bit further and the show will continue to air for at least the next year (the contract will end January 2010).
“They moved some things around for us and changed the times in which the show will air on the network three times a week, so I didn’t press the issue because it all worked out for now”, said Messick.
Messick said the new running times for the show, which includes 6:30 p.m. on Friday night. will actually work out better than the previous Friday evening slot at 10 p.m.
Two of the other slots are early in the morning, according to Messick, and though that may not seem like the best slots for a television show, Messick said the target audience should be “up” for the early hour.
“Fishermen are up that early, and it’s actually a perfect time and a perfect show for them to watch before they head out to fish for the day,” he said.