“Vision Media Television,” after getting exposed in a NY Times story as a ripoff production company, has changed its name to “GreatAmericaHD” and is back to its same tricks. The way it works is they call up non-profit organizations with an alluring pitch: a chance to be featured in a nationally-broadcast PBS show anchored by established broadcaster. In this case, Hugh Downs. What they don’t tell you is that you’ll have to front upwards of $20,000 in production costs, and the “program” they shoot will never see the light of day.
The company defends its actions, saying that it only distributes the programs to public television stations, which air them at their “discretion,” and blames its “customers” for confusing public television with PBS. Judging by the fact that PBS has an explicit disclaimer on its website denying any relationship between itself and Vision Media Television and other similar groups, this appears to be a confusion that Vision Media Television is not, shall we say, working very hard to erase.
Center for Science in the Public Interest says, “We got a call from them today, probably by 10th such overture in the past 7 or 8 years I’ve been at CSPI. Which is pretty funny since we helped expose the same exact scam when it had Walter Cronkite and Morley Safer as “hosts” back in 2002!”
Beware, nice organizations looking for exposure!