In April, NPR reported on how Vision Media was calling up non-profits, promising them a Hugh Downs-anchored PBS special. All they would have to do is underwrite the production costs. Instead, those who signed up and paid up got a pile of poorly made ads on DVD, and no airtime. Now the firm seems to once again changed names and hosts. They’re going by “World Progress Report” and the ostensible anchor is former Good Morning America newscaster Joan Lunden.
“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.