Letter to Aspiring Hosts from Co-creator Keven Undergaro:
Currently, the AfterBuzz TV Network not only produces after-shows for favorite TV shows but covers all facets of TV. The audience is 53% international. The network produces over 100 hours of original content making it one, if not the, largest digital providers.
People often ask how and why I created the Network. The truth is it was never my goal to create an online broadcast network. Like many reading this, I was just a TV Superfan who also a life-long sports fan. After seeing my favorite sport teams play, I could always tune into a post-game show where hosts would break down the game, take calls from fellow fans and interview guests. After seeing my favorite TV shows, I wanted the same. However, at the time, the only fan engagement I could find was via message boards or blogs.
Thus, ironically, I started a Jersey Shore after-show podcast and soon after, my partner Maria Menounos, demanded we do one for her favorite show, Breaking Bad. The response was overwhelming. Hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, began downloading our shows, rapidly burning up bandwidth. Excited, I wanted to produce more after-shows for my other favorite shows such as Mad Men, Kitchen Nightmares and Sons of Anarchy to name a few with many industry friends wanting to hosts shows, too.
When I approached Maria to expand, she agreed but on one condition: we install cameras. At the time, we were doing audio shows but Maria wanted to create a platform to help hosts develop their skills, brands and fan followings. For years, hosts would approach Maria for career advice. She would always tell them to build a great reel and, in return, they would always ask how they could do so if they didn’t have a hosting position to begin with.
I warned Maria that making video shows were a far greater expense but she didn’t care. This was going to be her way to give back to hosts: to give free education, support and opportunities, previously unavailable. As for me, my mother was a teacher, my father was one of the greatest coaches I ever knew and I taught special education students through college and after. I’ve been coaching Maria and building her brand since she was 19, while breaking many people into the business I love. I have since consulted for umpteen celebrities and national brands. Maria is a groundbreaker who, for years, has been at the top of her profession and I’ve enjoyed success in TV, movies, radio and books. In my humble opinion, there couldn’t be better industry coaches and mentors. We love helping people and love the business that has endlessly blessed us. Thus the greatest mission of AfterBuzz became, and remains to this day, to help hosts develop their brands, expand their fame, gain experience and learn as much about all facets of the industry as possible. From Oscars to Emmys, AfterBuzz Hosts are prominently featured on the world’s largest red carpets. Educational seminars are conducted regularly on a variety of subjects and our studios are state of the art. Celebrities, actors and reality stars alike from favorite shows, come through daily as guests.
Phil Svitek, who has been with Maria and me from day one, runs day to day operations, fully subscribes to the philosophy as does his staff. It has all come at great financial expense. However, the beautiful friendships that have been fostered and the inspirational success stories are more than money can buy.
Some notable AfterBuzz hosts are Beth Behrs (Two Broke Girls), Kat Bailess (Hit the Floor), Stephanie Bauer (Access Hollywood), Jackie Miranne (Big Morning Buzz, US Weekly), Mari Fagel (E! News), AJ Gibson (Hollywood Today), Suri Serano (ESPN), Deidre Behar (Entertainment Tonight), AJ Gibson (Hollywood Today), Eboni K. Williams (CBS), Derrial Christon (BET), Chloe West (Moviefone), Cathy Kelley (WWE), Matt Lieberman (SourceFed), Roxy Striar (Screen Junkies), Krisily Kennedy (The Movie Chickk), Alex Wehrley (E! News), Lauren LoGrasso (SiriusXM), Ashley Daniels (Leading Periscope Host) and literally countless others.
Maria, Phil, myself and the staff are proud of them and all of our hosts. If you are a talented Host and TV super-fan that wants to volunteer his or her time, name and likeness and, rather than spend tens to hundreds of thousands on communications school or classes to learn about hosting, interviewing, producing and reporting than maybe AfterBuzz is for you, too. Unfortunately, we get hundreds of host submissons and cannot accommodate everyone. There are only so many show slots to fill and so many hours in the day, after all. Just put your best foot forward, be persistent (but polite) and see what comes. I hope this answers people’s questions and helps to educate others further on our goals and what it is we do.
Your Hollywood Career Coach,