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Printing Comes to the Small Screen--Harris DeWese

December 2000
It's the time of the year when, no matter what your beliefs, we seem to do our best self-examination. I know that I do and lots of times I don't like what I examine about myself. I sure hope that your year-end introspection enables you to count many accomplishments in your careers, a great sense of company satisfaction, real pride in your industry and, most of all, a variety of contributions that you've made to the community and world that you occupy.

Speaking of industry pride, did ya ever notice that our great printing industry gets no national recognition? Printing never came up once during the Presidential debates. Bush and Gore talked about energy, steel, pharmaceuticals, health care, banking, automakers, the TV networks, e-commerce and high-tech companies. But they never mentioned printing.

I guess we just don't make ourselves visible enough. We do nothing to make the rest of America aware of us. The average citizen never stops to think about the source of all the printed material they see and read. I guess the people in the printing industry are too busy working hard and fail to call much attention to themselves.

Well, this ol' Mañana Man has got a solution to our low visibility. This idea is going to make printing's candle burn bright. The good work of the printing industry is going to splash across America's TV sets during prime time.

My solution is TV sitcoms and dramas. Yep, we need a couple of popular situation comedies set in printing companies! We could also use a few one-hour dramas that happen in the high-speed, pressure-packed world of printing.

Why not? There are TV programs set in the New York Mayor's office, the White House, taverns, police stations and hospitals. Why not some shows set in printing companies?

I've taken the liberty of writing a few outlines for TV pilots. I want to run them by you.

By the way, we'll cast these TV series with big-time actors like Julia Roberts, Charlie Sheen, Heather Locklear, Hugh Grant, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Anna Nicole Smith, Jennifer Anniston and any of the other "Friends" characters. You know, actors who look just like us every-day people in the printing industry.

Okay, see what you think?

"Castaways"—Five down-and-out printing companies vie to be the last standing. That's right. The last company to avoid bankruptcy wins $1,000,000 smackers. Each week the companies resort to all sorts of dirty tricks, like under-pricing the others, starting nasty rumors and stealing each others' salespeople. Whichever company is last to file Chapter 11 is the big winner and can stay in business until the million bucks runs out.


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