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Longmire Let the networks hear your voice Shentel blog

Let the networks hear your voice

Posted 23 September 2014 12:00 AM by Cindy Earehart Rinker

Often cable companies will hear from customers who are displeased with the programming on certain channels.

What customers aren’t considering is that cable companies are the ultimate middle man. They provide the wires and cables to get the programming from the networks to your home so that you can watch all of your favorite shows.

Now, if your picture is cloudy or channels go off the air, then you should call whoever is providing your TV service and find out what is going on. But if you are angry about programming changes, then don’t waste your time calling the provider. Contact the programmer.

As I write this, news has circulated that the crime drama Longmire on A&E network has been dropped by the network. This did not happen because of a lack of audience. The second season saw 6 million viewers and this past season had 5.6 million viewers (according to the Wall Street Journal). In fact, it is the second highest viewed show on A&E, only behind Duck Dynasty in popularity.

Trade publications give about three reasons that A&E made this decision. First of all, the network does not own the series. Their chance to earn long-term profits on the program is non-existent.

If there is no future in syndication, then key to survival is advertisements. And advertisers crave a young demographic because they believe youth is where the money is and young people who are willing to give brands a new look. The median demographic for Longmire is 60.  Advertisers believe older people are less willing to try something new and that they are less willing to spend their money.

All I can say is that a 60-year-old today is not the 60-year-old of the 1960s which is when advertising theories incubated. My mother, who is over 70, owns an iPad, has a Bose stereo, and is interested in new cookware and trends. Trust me; her credit card is not covered with cobwebs.

And, if I may interject an even more personal opinion, I would just like to say that this is a series that is worth saving. It is cinematically gorgeous. If you have HD, it looks more like a movie than a TV show. It is set in Wyoming which has such beautiful vistas. Walt Longmire is the sheriff of a small community, but no there is no small amount of intrigue there. The acting is strong and Longmire presents a point of view that is missing in so many other shows. It is not slick. Or high-tech. There is an Indian reservation nearby that has its own (sometimes clashing) police force and episodes frequently feature interesting native culture.

Longmire is dark and brooding, but it is not snarky or cynical, and that is probably why it is favored by people who enjoyed entertainment before it became so glossy and self-obsessed.

If you are interested in weighing in on what will happen to Longmire or to any other show that you want to save or promote, open your browser and search for others who feel like you do and join in. There is power in numbers. The Longmire fans are doing Twitter and Facebook “stampedes” and have a petition going which has garnered media attention. It can be done.

And if you are in the “older” demographic which is anything above 53 (45 in some instances) make your voice heard. I know you are spending money. I know you are buying technology, cars and washing machines. Let other people know, too.

Cindy Earehart Rinker, TV junky and 50+ streamer of content on three tablets and her smartphone, is a marketing supervisor at Shentel.