Haute Spot: You’ve had quite a career on the national stage, from working on “The View,” and “Today” to being Meredith Vieira’s producer. What brought you to LTV?
Angela LaGreca: I’ve had a pretty intense TV career in the city, with long hours, and I was looking to change it up. I’ve had a house in Springs for 15 years, and always said ‘I wish I could work out here.’ LTV allows me to pursue the many ideas I have, working in a part-time, flexible capacity while still juggling my other commitments.
HS: What are your hopes and goals for the station?
AL: We want people involved. My goal is to help empower more people with interesting ideas to do shows at LTV and to eventually go out and cover things that matter or are of interest to them. To be a real media hub and a place where people come to create and learn and share.
HS: What types of programming can we expect in the near future?
AL: There is such a variety of programming on LTV already. Talk, cooking, topical, political, personal, environmental, musical, theatrical, community – it’s all there. And I have a zillion show ideas, but of course we have a limited staff and budget. So part of my job is outreach, and trying to get some underwriting for series that we are either currently doing or for new series’ programs that we want to do, such as ‘Who’s Your Neighbor?,’ a new half-hour show I host and produce, featuring three different people from the East End—wildly different but each with an interesting story.
The first one features Academy Award-winning actress Mercedes Ruehl, Devi Kroel store manager Randall Hemming, who is also a master baker with over 70 cookie jars, and up-and-coming singer/songwriter Bobby Priel, whose music videos are going viral. There are so many fascinating people/stories and I’m excited to be shining a light on them.
Then there’s the Creative Salon Night. And other new programming we’d like to do: a doctor call-in show with Southampton Hospital, a ‘what’s up for the weekend’ news magazine show hosted by different news outlets, a financial empowerment show, a show featuring East End kids, and shows featuring the Latino community. It’s an endless list! But again, it’s not NBC with a huge staff and budget. So, it’s a creative challenge for sure.
HS: How did you come up with the idea for LTV’s new Creative Salon?
AL: The concept of a Salon goes back centuries to France, when artists and writers gathered under one roof to share, to amuse, to socialize. I started doing these Salons at my house in Springs many years ago, inspired because I have a background in performing (comedy and singing) and was missing that life. It was always interesting and inspiring and just fun.
When I got to LTV I thought, ‘why can’t we do a Salon here – there are so many interesting, dynamic, creative people out east – let’s bring them all together under ‘the LTV tent’ so to speak. It was really gratifying to see not only such support in attendance from the community, but to have such a diverse group of artists represented. And the feedback we got was so positive. The next Creative Salon at LTV is Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m.
HS: Why is LTV so important to you, and the community?
AL: I was watching some archival footage recently, and I think Joan Hamburg, aka ‘The First Lady of Radio,’ said it best when she accepted the LTV Media award in 1998. Public access is about the local community, the person who sings in the church, the student, the teacher, the local firefighter—not necessarily the person who attends a dinner for $5,000 a head—and we have a moral obligation to support LTV and this kind of public access. As far as fundraising and outreach, we are always looking for sponsorship and donations to help develop our production facility and getting in new equipment that we can lend to the community.
HS: Anything I haven’t asked that you think is important to share?
AL: I think a big frustration, at least what I hear most often, is from people outside of East Hampton Town say, ‘I don’t get LTV, how can I watch it?’ The good news is that you can watch LTV shows on our website. We offer live streaming of programming and you can also search and watch shows at www.ltveh.org. And I’m always open to hearing ideas and input. Reach me at [email protected]
Photos courtesy Lisa Tamburini