Clark will be having its television debut this year. The town has signed on to be part of Terry Bradshaw's "Today in America" in an infomercial on "America's Best Places to Live, Work and Play."
Mayor Sal Bonaccorso announced the news at Tuesday's council meeting. "I'm very excited to report that we were chosen," said Bonaccorso. "It’s about economics. It's about safety and conditions in the community and recreation aspects we provide. We are very proud to bring national recognition for the second time to this great town." (Clark was chosen by Bloomberg Business Weekly as one of the 10 best affordable suburbs in America in 2010.)
The five-minute segment will be aired nationally on the Fox Business Network and the Discovery Channel and regionally on CNN Headline News and possibly other news networks, according to Vice President of Production Jim Nicholas Veser. The exact airing dates and times depend on availability, but Veser says the segment will run about 20 times and always between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
"We considered a number of factors including quality of life, proximity to major metropolitan areas, available land and commercial acreage," said Veser. "We also chose towns that are in growth mode."
The infomercial will be filmed in a one-day shoot in late May or June, and Clark will pay $19,800 in fees to produce and air it. The filming may also feature some local businesses, says Veser.
But no, Bradshaw, the former NFL player and sport host, won't be coming to Clark. Veser says Bradshaw will voice over the segment and film its intro in the company's Florida studio.
Veser says the series, which has been in production for three years, features 40-50 towns across the country per year and does not choose multiple towns in the same region. No other Union County towns will be selected. In New Jersey, Vineland has also signed on to be featured, and the company
Veser, coincidentally, says he used to live in New Jersey, worked in public relations for the Wyndham Hotel at Newark Airport, and is personally familar with Clark. "We looked north into Bergen and Essex counties...but Clark has that agricultural background and New Jersey is the Garden State after all, right?" he says.
The series hasn't been without controversy. . In addition to profiling towns, the series also sells video profiles to certain businesses.
Veser says Clark was most certainly chosen for a reason and doesn't mind discussing the controversy. "Yes there is a fee," says Veser. "Nowadays YouTube, social media is king. We call it more of a branding thing. And we don't work with towns and cities that don't fall into our criteria."
Veser is quick to point out that the towns have full ownership of the video after production to use for whatever purpose they like. Check out the infomercial "Today in America" did on Fayetteville, Arkansas for an example, in our gallery. Fayetteville features the video prominently on their town website.
The fees are a price Mayor Bonaccorso says he is happy to pay, and he realizes the program isn't a straight news feature. "There’s certain licensing fees, and they were very up front and explained that to us," Bonaccorso told Patch. "But for this kind of big time exposure, that’s inconsequential. It's a show, that's the best way to describe it – it's not News 12 NJ. We listened to them and read up about all this and said, 'Absolutely.' It’s an honor to be considered."