BOB GARFIELD: Some people might suggest Lou Gehrig's speech. Others might nominate FDR's announcement of the attack on Pearl Harbor. For some of us, though, the most moving words of the 20th Century may be these. [MEOW MIX JINGLE PLAYS]
BOB GARFIELD: It moved a lot of cat food, anyway. And now, with a mind to moving still more comes a proposal for a new television program. MeowTV, the first show produced for an audience -- of cats. Richard Thompson is the CEO of the Meow Mix Company and producer of MeowTV. Richard, welcome to OTM.
RICHARD THOMPSON: Thank you. Appreciate being here.
BOB GARFIELD: All right. MeowTV -- what kind of programming are we talking about?
RICHARD THOMPSON: We're going to have kind of two pieces of it. One piece is going to be things that cats might be interested in watching -- it could be fish swimming by or chasing squirrels or, you know, watching dogs do something, you know maybe music that cats might like. The other part will be things that the owners of cats would like to know about. It could be, what, a vacation with your cat. It could be how to treat your cat with pet treats, things like that.
BOB GARFIELD:Cats have extremely limited buying power. I mean even if you give a cat a dollar, you know, chances are it's just going to bat it around the room. How do you intend to convert MeowTV -- entertainment for cats -- into revenue for you or for advertisers?
RICHARD THOMPSON: We think it's going to, you know, be something that will help us extend the brand and get people into the brand earlier and keep people in the brand longer because I think that we can really bring some good programming to cat owners and cats.
BOB GARFIELD: At the moment you have no distribution for this show. It's strictly theoretical at this stage?
RICHARD THOMPSON:That's correct. It's strictly theoretical with the idea that we're going to do this in two steps. We're going to find the-- MeowTV personality -- both the voice and the host of MeowTV. Then the second thing will be to find a media partner--
BOB GARFIELD:All right, well forgive me if I found suspicious, but I guess I am by nature. This has all the indications of being a publicity stunt. You have to tour looking for talent, but you don't actually have a television program. What do you suppose the chances are that MeowTV will ever see the light of day?
RICHARD THOMPSON: Well with me running the business it will absolutely 100 percent see the light of day. So you will see at least one segment of MeowTV.
BOB GARFIELD: Even if you have to 30 minutes of time from some cable channel.
RICHARD THOMPSON:Absolutely. You will see one segment of MeowTV, but-- the idea is to have multiple segments and make MeowTV work, because I'm totally convinced that everybody in the country knows [SINGS PART OF MEOW MIX JINGLE], so I think that this is a very strong business idea as well as a good PR idea.
BOB GARFIELD: Everybody know Midas Mufflers too but they don't want to see a show about it.
RICHARD THOMPSON:Well everybody has a muffler, but mufflers are dirty and nasty and underneath a car and have road dirt, and you know cats sit on your lap and cats are your best friends. So-- I think there's a huge difference between mufflers and cats. [LAUGHS]
BOB GARFIELD: Richard Thompson, thanks very much.
RICHARD THOMPSON: Thank you.
BOB GARFIELD: Richard Thompson is CEO of the Meow Mix Company and producer of the - maybe - upcoming MeowTV. [THEME MUSIC]
BOB GARFIELD:That's it for this week's show. On the Media was produced by Janeen Price and Katya Rogers with Sean Landis; engineered by Dylan Keefe, George Edwards and Irene Trudel, and edited--by Brooke. We had help from Dan Bobkoff. Our webmaster is Amy Pearl.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:Mike Pesca is our producer at large, Arun Rath our senior producer and Dean Capello our executive producer. Bassist/composer Ben Allison wrote our theme. You can listen to the program and get free transcripts at onthemedia.org and e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd like to welcome the latest addition to the On the Media empire, High Plains Public Radio which extends the OTM tentacles across Western Kansas, Eastern Colorado and the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Thanks for picking us up! This is On the Media from NPR. I'm Brooke Gladstone.
BOB GARFIELD: And I'm Bob Garfield. [CLIP PLAYS OF CAT DEMANDING MEOW MIX]
DR. EVIL: [SHOUTING] Din-din! [SHAKES BAG OF MEOW MIX] [SINGING] I WANT CHICKEN, I WANT LIVER, MEOW MIX, MEOW MIX, PLEASE DEE-LI-VER [SHAKES BAG OF MEOW MIX] [MUSIC TAG] 58:30 [FUNDING CREDITS] ************