In case you haven’t heard, Goodtaste With Tanji is headed towards TV. Express News Columnist Jeanne Jakle did a great job of breaking the good news, so I’ve included her recent column below. I am thrilled to be working with the pros at KLRN and am looking forward to showcasing a lot of the great food and fun places we have in San Antonio to the rest of the nation. As Jeanne mentions in the column, the next step in the process is securing the underwriters/advertisers for the project. In traveling to wine regions here and around the world, Mike and I have met some incredible families who inspired us to pursue our passion for learning more about wine, food and cultures in other countries. I cannot wait to bring their stories to you! I’ll keep you posted on our progress.
Web Posted: 12/05/2008 12:00 CST Jeanne Jakle: Patton TV show heads toward PBS
Jeanne Jakle – Jeanne Jakle
Former newscaster Tanji Patton is returning to television, and if all goes as planned, the S.A. blonde with the infectious smile won’t be seen just locally, but will grace TV screens across the country.
PBS station KLRN has given the ex-WOAI anchorwoman the go-ahead for her dream show — a half-hour devoted to wine, food and travel — to be distributed to PBS stations across the country. Target date for the premiere of “Goodtaste with Tanji”? Early 2010, she said.
“It’s an incredible opportunity,” Patton said after learning her show had been green-lighted after talks with S.A.’s public station and a presentation DVD. “So many people approach PBS with projects, and I feel honored KLRN has the confidence in me to help make this happen.”
Patton, however, has a hard road ahead before she can start shooting the 13 shows promised. As she and her husband, Mike Patton, own the show, it’s up to them to find underwriters to finance it. It won’t be cheap; the budget not only includes production costs, but also lots of domestic and international travel — to wineries, homes, restaurants, etc.
She’s still working to finish the pilot with the aid of Shootz Productions here. However, she already has an impressively packaged presentation book — full of information on herself, her show, research on audience demographics and consumers — to present to potential sponsors.
Charles Vaughn, KLRN’s vice president of telecommunications, said he’s excited to work with Patton on launching a program with such variety. KLRN is offering the station’s production services to Patton and will provide the platform to present the show to PBS affiliates across the country.
“If it had been just another slice-and-dice cooking show, we probably would have passed. That’s such a crowded field,” Vaughn said. “But hers is a nice mix of wine, travel, food and lifestyle.”
He also loves the fact that, as host, Patton’s so comfortable with the camera and has a warm way of relating to people.
People, added Patton, are at the heart of her project. Her goal is to make an “emotional connection” to the viewer and to the people she interviews for the show.
Though it will include information on luxurious travel and culinary delights, “Goodtaste” won’t be just geared to “the highfalutin,” she said. It will have a “best buy” segment, for instance, that
will appeal to the many out there who need to watch their budgets. Among other things, it will feature good wines under $15.
The highlights reel I viewed was informative, entertaining, even funny, and featured fun footage from a recent trip to Italy. It focused heavily on wine — which is a subject relatively untapped in today’s many lifestyle and cooking shows.
She even pointed out how the combination of a bath and wine can be a delicious experience. “I’m a real bath person,” she said. “And it’s true that aromas in certain wines are improved when paired with the aromas of certain bath oils.”
Hmm. She also feels the timing for the show is right, as in this tough economy, people not only are looking for a visual escape, but also “really appreciate the little things in life,” she said. “They’re sick of bad news. I want to show them how to make a night at home, with good food and the right wine, a wonderful experience.”
As a woman of 49, Patton knows what it’s like to feel ignored by network programmers. “So much of TV these days is aimed at the under-40 audience,” she said, adding that her goal is to appeal to all age groups — older and younger.
She’s eager to give San Antonio and its uniqueness good exposure; for instance, she spoke of a local Italian family that builds their Sundays — six hours sometimes — around family. “They eat, enjoy wine, play games,” she said.
However, her goal is to distribute the show nationally, so she’ll feature lots of places across the globe.
If the success of other TV shows that emphasize food and travel are any indication, “GoodTaste with Tanji” has a good shot at succeeding. Vaughn said KLRN’s Saturday lineup of PBS shows that focus on home and travel are especially strong here.
He doesn’t expect Patton to make a profit — at least not initially — off the show itself, but eventually, she has the potential to make money from DVD and cookbook sales.
Patton already has a head start with her Web site — www.goodtastewithtanji.com — which, so far, is geared to San Antonio and the Hill Country. It’s a good daily read and has drawn several sponsors.
She can’t wait to see what happens next. “I feel like everything I’ve done before this has prepared me for this moment,” she said.
As a fan of adventurous eaters and travelers Anthony Bourdain, Samantha Brown and Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel, I’m psyched to see what Patton’s new show has to offer.
It’s also comforting that someone who, less than a year ago, was let go by her station of nearly two decades was able to pick herself up so fast.
In short, here’s a toast to you, Tanji — one I’m sure is shared by many fans who still grumble to this column about missing you on the local news.
Jeanne Jakle’s column appears Wednesdays and Fridays in S.A. Life and Sundays in tvnow.