ON THE AIR Q&A: USA Network’s “Ted on TV”

Tedontv
USA Network last week officially announced its official Twitter destination for all things behind-the-scenes at the cabler. Program research vice president Ted Linhart is the man behind @TedOnTV, which the outlet calls its “direct line to the network.”

Ted, who just passed the 2,000 follower mark (ooh, getting close to @FranklinAvenue — shameless plug), has actually been on the social networking site for some time, answering viewer questions and geeking out on various TV and USA Network questions.

Now that he’s gone live, I asked Ted to tell us a bit more about how he got to be the Twitter face of USA. And I compare our TV nerd cred:

ON THE AIR: OK, first off, I’m going to try to out-geek you. I collected TV Guides as a kid, and programmed my own imaginary TV station. Top that.

TED ON TV:Top it I shall, sir. I also collected TV Guides (now own Near-Mint copy of TV Guide #1) and scheduled my own fantasy network as lad but also 1) Read Variety at age of 10 (no joke) – we got the weekly edition in my house as my dad worked in the music industry – and I was hungry for box office gross and TV ratings 2) Wrote Aaron Spelling a fan letter in 1985 – to which he never responded 3) My hero growing up was Brandon Tartikoff and I wrote a college admissions essay about him 4) At age 13 I exchanged about 5-10 boring Bar Mitzvah gifts at Bloomingdales to get a remote control television for my room 5) Do I need to go on?

(On the Air adds: Hmm, that’s good… but I was also programming an imaginary TV station and separate network, while recording mock radio shows and publishing a monthly fake newspaper. Your turn, Mr. Linhart.)

How did the TedonTV Twitter come about? And how did USA sanction it?

It actually all happened quickly. At Bonnie Hammer’s senior staff meeting one week we were talking about social media and our head of development Jeff Wachtel suggested we have a personality on Twitter, similar to what Craig Engler does at Syfy. I really wanted to do it and before I could speak up someone else suggested me so I quickly said “I’d love to.” Everyone else agreed and Bonnie signed off then and there. I started tweeting a few weeks later and have been having a lot of fun interacting with fans since that time.

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