Friday, May 1, 2009

Host Leonard Maltin: We're Lean and Mean!

Last week we got into the Reelz Channel Grand Opening on the ABQ Studio lot at Mesa Del Sol.

Lots of VIPs attended the event including film critic and "Secret's Out" host Leonard Maltin. He was joined by Hubbard Media CEO and Studio Chief Stanley E. Hubbard, Lt. Governor Diane Denish, Mayor Martin Chavez, Lisa Stout from the NM Film Office and Ann Lerner from the the City of Albuquerque's film office, plus all the local employees hired to work on the lot.

Listen to our audio interview with Leonard Maltin, recorded the morning after he taped the first episode of his show "Secret's Out" on the new set in ABQ. Maltin says the studios are operating "lean and mean", but everything is going well.

By the way, if you haven't tuned in the ReelzChannel yet it's now available in Albuquerque on Comcast (Channel 161). Hubbard told us Reelz' You-Tube channel got more than 95 million unique hits last year.

Maltin told the crowd he was initially "skeptical" about Albuquerque becoming a film hub and home for Reelz. He says Reelz is building it's audience with enthusiastic people who live and work in Albuquerque.

Lt. Governor Diane Denish welcomed ReelzChannel as the state's first television network and recognized the importance of the network's move to Albuquerque as another milestone in the state's pursuit to make New Mexico a destination for the movie and television industry and a real economic development opportunity.
ReelzChannel held a successful job fair in January and has filled most of their positions with local talent just three months after our administration announced that we had lured the network to New Mexico. I am excited by the variety and quality of jobs ReelzChannel has created and expect numerous local businesses will benefit from the network's presence
Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez added:
We are thrilled to welcome ReelzChannel to New Mexico and to celebrate this historic event. We set out to make our city a world-class entertainment hub, and of all the networks to bring to New Mexico, it is particularly fitting that the first one is a TV network about movies.
Hubbard explained the reasoning behind the bold move from Los Angeles and the Twin Cities to Albuquerque, adding:
Hubbard Broadcasting was already familiar with the business-friendly climate of New Mexico as we have been operating KOB-TV for over 50 years. But when we saw what was going on here in the entertainment industry, we knew that it would be a great fit for ReelzChannel, as well. With the level of support and the warm welcome we have received here, we are now even more convinced that this is the right move for us.
Leonard Matlin talked about the network's appeal to movie fans and his passion for the "hidden gems" he highlights each week, including some of his favorite movies shot in New Mexico. ReelzChannel's other on-air talent hosted tours of the network's state-of-the-art, all-digital studios and facilities for media and film industry guests.

The Reelz Channel headquarters marks the first time that the programming, production, web development, affiliate relations, creative services, marketing and communications divisions will operate from a single location, facilitating ultimate production and operations flexibility. The streamlined operations also allow the network to operate all aspects of production and delivery in-house, including live broadcasts and post production.

While Maltin was in New Mexico he visited the Governor in Santa Fe.

On the lot we spoke with up and coming production employees Dan and Brian Gutierrez who got jobs after attending the ReelzChannel job fair in January.

They tell us they're having the time of their life.

"It's awesome," said Dan, who produces the Director's Cut Radio Show and Podcast (a movie discussion show, of course).

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