Ben Swann: Needs a reality check?Submitted by Daily Rube on Sat, 06/15/2013 - 16:41
Ben Swann, largely known for his television show "Reality Check" for Fox affiliate WXIX in Cinncinatti, became a popular beacon of balanced/objective journalism/reporting during the 2012 election cycle. His original audience in Cinncinati, was ultimately dwarfed when Ben's videos went viral online and skyrocketed his reach nationally/globally (10 million YouTube views in over 140 countries).
Thirsty to better connect to this new audience, Ben Swann left his gig at Fox to pursuit an independent venture of his own, "Ben Swann Full Disclosure," allowing him full editorial discretion. A large and risky undertaking, Ben is now relying on his audience to not only support his vision... but pony up $1.25 million to make it a reality. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/439668500/liberty-is-ris...
$1.25 Million? Does Ben need a reality check?
Aiming for 100, 5 minute episodes... The math breaks out to $12,500 per episode, $2,500 per minute.
Is that a reasonable ask? Many liberty supporters are both emotionally & financially drained from the 2012 election, fresh off numerous money bombs. Not to mention it's an off-cycle political year.
Business partner Jeremy Richter, heading up the video production and marketing of the new series, claims "that's what this stuff costs". http://www.dailypaul.com/288822#comment-3104786. But does it? They're asking for world class production value without a world class means to deliver the content. Jeremy compares their budget with feature films, celebrity kick starter budgets, and the #1 cable news show on television.
Reality Check: these webisodes won't be broadcast on National TV with national advertisements and a multi-billion dollar media infrastructure. These videos will need to go viral, with little budget and competing in a very noisy market... On an off-cycle election year.
Are Ben & Jeremy putting the cart before the horse? Others have been just as successful, if not more, on a fraction of the cost. For example, Reed Timmer, gained popularity from the show "Storm Chasers" on the Discovery Channel. The show aired for six seasons before being cancelled. After the show, Reed similarly looked to kick starter to keep the dream alive. His ask: 12 HD, high quality episodes, ~20 minutes each for $75,000. That's $312 a minute.
The results were fantastic (check out 2012 season here: http://tvnweather.com/). They're driving thousands of miles each year in what is essentially a gas guzzling tank designed to survive a tornado.
So, I ask again. I want Ben Swann to succeed just as much as anyone else... but, is he in need of a reality check?