|Sat Jan 21 2012 21:38:08|
Antiques Roadshow Embroiled in Appraiser Controversy
By: Ina Steiner
|Before "Pawn Stars" and "Storage Wars," before "Cash in the Attic" and "Collector Inspector," there was the "Antiques Roadshow." The nine-time Emmy Award-nominated program that airs on PBS public television stations around the country celebrated its 15th season last year. |
Now, a dispute between an appraiser, Gary Sohmers, and the "Antiques Roadshow" gives a rare glimpse into the workings of the show, described in an article in Sunday's EcommerceBytes Update newsletter. (For example, did you know that independent appraisers pay their own way to various cities just for a chance to appear on the show?)
The dispute focuses on the restrictions the show places on appraisers to do outside media appearances. But by tightening up the way it enforces this provision, the Roadshow is missing out on free publicity!
With his long ponytail and Hawaiian shirts, Gary Sohmers is a unique brand and a tireless self promoter. Kenneth Corbin mentions in his EcommerceBytes article an alleged incident in which Roadshow producer Marsha Bemko confronted Gary for appearing on a radio show in Miami. But who among us wouldn't love a small army of people helping to promote our brands on radio and TV, as long as they were clear about their relationship? The question is especially relevant in this day of social networking.
As we were going to press with the article, we learned of new developments. Sohmers sent us a letter he received from WGBH corporate counsel Eric Brass who wrote, "WGBH is revising its practice for the Antiques Roadshow website so that the contact information of past appraisers will be generally available."
In a reply Sohmers drafted, he writes that the letter from Brass failed to address "90% of the issues," and writes, "The question remains …will I be invited to appear as an appraiser this season and in an environment that is not hostile to me? "
We regret that WGBH, which produces the program, wouldn't share more with our reporter about the dispute. As a fan of the show, I hope it is quickly resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
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