A message from TV or Not TV — for LA & OC...
... wherein we survey the lay of the land
Friends, Romans, countrymen — and publicists, presenters and programmers, former coworkers and colleagues, and all other subscribers — lend me your ears … and I'll sing you a song, but only if you stick around till the end of this email.
As most of you already know, I’m Matt Cooper, former listings coordinator for the LA Times Calendar section. I'm about six weeks in on this newsletter project in which I attempt to re-create the comprehensive arts and entertainment listings my former employer no longer provides. Whether it proves successful or not, it just feels good to be back doing a job I did, and loved, for so very many years.
I am pleased to report that I am slowly but surely learning the ins-and-outs of the Substack platform, while also taking my old workflow and building back better to meet a new set of daily deadlines while crafting a publication schedule that seems logical and that I might actually be able stick to, as follows:
SoCal Movies — spotlighting new release movies plus film festivals, events and revivals, sent Wednesday mornings and covering Thursday through the following Wednesday
SoCal Kids & Families — fun and artsy offerings such as children’s theater, museum experiences, etc. that parents can take their young’uns to, sent Thursday mornings and covering the coming weekend and beyond
SoCal TV — broadcast, cable and streaming TV highlights, sent out Friday mornings and covering Sunday through Saturday
SoCal Arts & Culture — the big one: new and continuing stage productions at local theaters large and small, plus classical music, dance, jazz, comedy, poetry, spoken word and the odd book-related event; sent out Sundays and covering the coming Monday through the following Sunday
SoCal Museums — a monthly roundup of new and continuing shows and related events at area museums, sent out a day or two in advance of the coming month
There will also be seasonal roundups for arts-related events, like my recent posts for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, as well as the upcoming supersized compendium of local productions of A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker and just about everything in between. That one is currently in progress, but I hope to have it ready to go before Thanksgiving.
And if all goes well, there will be future roundups for New Year’s Eve, the MLK Jr. holiday, Memorial Day weekend, Pride Month, etc. etc. These roundups, and the kids & families posts, will remain free to all, as an enticement to bring in potential new subscribers, but also in the spirit of the season, and because I was a theater kid myself and I would like to encourage any so inclined.
The next step will be to ramp up my Substack’s social media presence and to look into digital advertising, and maybe even print — and perhaps at the paper of record right here in our fair city. Inquiries are being made.
The goal of all of this, of course, is to reach the point where I can turn on the paywall and start taking on paid subscribers, though I don't expect this project will ever bring in enough to keep me in the grand manner to which I have become accustomed.
But if it proves viable, I can then focus mostly on these newsletters — they are pretty labor-intensive, after all, the bigger ones especially — and then pick up some part-time freelance or other work to make up the difference. My tentative “official” launch date is currently December 1st.
Which brings me around to my point, finally: I desire feedback. To wit…
What do you like about these newsletters? What don’t you like? Which ones are you most interested in? (I know many are here just for the TV highlights and some just for the art listings. And, I assume — or at least, hope — that some are here for the whole kit and caboodle.) Does the publication schedule set out above work for you?
There are no wrong answers. I know everyone is very busy these days. I sure am. But if you have a moment to share your thoughts on any of this, I would truly appreciate it. And I would also be forever grateful to any who forwards these newsletters to their own personal and professional contacts, or links to my site on Facebook, etc. I am at your service, but I will take all the help I can get.
Thanks for reading.
And now, come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway…
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