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What's up with the Entertainment Industry in Texas?


citykid09

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What's up with the Entertainment Industry in Texas?

I have always wondered why the 2nd largest State in both population and size, is not really big on the entertainment industry. When I say "entertainment industry," I don't necessarily mean theater arts, etc, I mean the music industry, film industry, etc. Texas has lots and lots of talent, in television music movies, etc, but the talent seems to always have to move out of State to be successful. Why can't this State retain its talent and even attract talent? The reason that I asked this today is because there is a nationally syndicated urban radio show out of Dallas called the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, well today he announced that he is moving his show to Atlanta because that is where the entertainment industry is, all the artist, award shows, media outlets, etc. Well he is telling the truth, there is a new nightly talk show being taped in Atlanta called the Mo'nique Show, there are cable networks and television, movie and music studios based in that city. Georgia is a smaller State, but has some how found a way to attract and retain its talent. So why not in Texas? Our talent leaves for California, New York, Florida, etc, because there are no options for them here.

What are your thoughts?

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that's talent?

Uh, yeah.

The point that I am trying to make is Texas can't retain its actors, musical artist, etc because there is no infrastructure.

Just wanted to add, that some in the Houston area have tried to have some form of the industry in the city. Fox 26 studios tapes 2 courtroom shows, and the Debra Duncan show tried to go national. There is also the Astrodome studios plan and Jarvis Johnson of I'm Ready Productions is making at least 5 movies in Houston within the next 4-5years.

Edited by citykid09
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Uh, yeah.

The point that I am trying to make is Texas can't retain its actors, musical artist, etc because there is no infrastructure.

It's all about market,sugar: This is from Mr Crunch, who is not a HAIFer but I consult with him on occasion: He has a lot of knowledge about the local 'entertainment' market.

A common misconception is that raw landmass and population affects media

outlets. Your message seems to blur the line between states and cities.

Ironically, it is the size of broadcast TV markets that dictate terms. While

there are 210 TV markets in the U.S., I'm only bothering with the top 50.

U.S. TV markets are highly concentrated. The top ten representing 29.5% of

the country, while the top 50 represent 67%.

Yes, Texas is the second biggest state (41% the size of Alaska, 62% the

population of California). However, The best Texas can do for a single TV

market is 5th (DFW). Houston comes in 10th, with the next appearance of a

Texas market being San Antonio in 37th, followed by Austin at 48th. That's

it for Texas and the top 50.

Those Texas markets represent 5.4% of all U.S. households. To put that in

some sort of perspective, NYC is the number one market in the country with

6.5% of the U.S. market, followed by Los Angeles with 5% of the market. You

mentioned Atlanta GA. They are 8th, with 2.1%.

I'm going on about TV markets because that's were the advert dollars settle.

Another reason for the lack of presence in Texas is the film business

concentrating in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago (3rd biggest TV market

at 3%). I don't know about you, but I think I am beginning to see a

pattern...

The next bits of this are anecdotal, meaning it's me not using immediately

verifiable stats. I'm having to remember Ancient School Stuff (mr. crunch has multiple degrees and used to teach mass com and tv production at UH and used to do free-lance film and TV work here in Houston)

90% of the film biz is centered in the top 3 TV

markets, with 90% of what's left going to Dallas.

Then there's the music business. Well, what's left of it. I worked on the

wholesale and retail sides of things for a number of years. And here's where

Texas _really_ shines.

Texas has a history of, well, being Texas. Sure, Texas had exported many a

blues and country artist back in the very decentralized good ol' days.

However, for Rock 'n' Roll, Texas hadn't broke much national: Doug Sahm got

legendary, Janis Joplin went like a meteor, Steve Miller split for San

Francisco (Um, yep: SF-Oakland-San Jose is the 6th biggest market at 2.2%),

and ZZ Top became that Little 'ol Band From Texas.

In the late 70s and early 80s the Locusts of The Rock Machinery had Texas on

their minds. Specifically, Austin. Stevie Ray Vaughn got big, but that was

about it. To make a long story short, Austin told The Machine to go pound

sand. The Machine was not happy, and left sulking. All the way to Seattle...

We could scope down a little further, and move into a wandering story arc

about Houston and Third Coast Rap/Hip Hop. I'll just over simplify and say

the Geto Boys got big, DJ Screw was left for dead, and we still have to deal

with the taint of what South Park Mexican did.

Looking the rest of your post over, I see you mentioned Florida. I'll stay

away from some weird Molly Hatchet / Marilyn Manson tangent (even though I

do have an MM story involving a blue chicken) and simply end with this:

Florida has the 14th, 17th, 19th, 38th, and 47th largest markets for a

combined total of 5.5% of the U.S. Market. In other words, Florida (22nd

biggest state with the 4th biggest population) has a little bit bigger slice

of the Top 50 pie than Texas.

I think what he's saying is, you're right, Citykid--the Houston market is not all that big. It really is all about advertising dollars. The talent (and where it's based) is largely irrelevant for radio and tv.

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It's all about market,sugar: This is from Mr Crunch, who is not a HAIFer but I consult with him on occasion: He has a lot of knowledge about the local 'entertainment' market.

A common misconception is that raw landmass and population affects media

outlets. Your message seems to blur the line between states and cities.

Ironically, it is the size of broadcast TV markets that dictate terms. While

there are 210 TV markets in the U.S., I'm only bothering with the top 50.

U.S. TV markets are highly concentrated. The top ten representing 29.5% of

the country, while the top 50 represent 67%.

Yes, Texas is the second biggest state (41% the size of Alaska, 62% the

population of California). However, The best Texas can do for a single TV

market is 5th (DFW). Houston comes in 10th, with the next appearance of a

Texas market being San Antonio in 37th, followed by Austin at 48th. That's

it for Texas and the top 50.

Those Texas markets represent 5.4% of all U.S. households. To put that in

some sort of perspective, NYC is the number one market in the country with

6.5% of the U.S. market, followed by Los Angeles with 5% of the market. You

mentioned Atlanta GA. They are 8th, with 2.1%.

I'm going on about TV markets because that's were the advert dollars settle.

Another reason for the lack of presence in Texas is the film business

concentrating in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago (3rd biggest TV market

at 3%). I don't know about you, but I think I am beginning to see a

pattern...

The next bits of this are anecdotal, meaning it's me not using immediately

verifiable stats. I'm having to remember Ancient School Stuff (mr. crunch has multiple degrees and used to teach mass com and tv production at UH and used to do free-lance film and TV work here in Houston)

90% of the film biz is centered in the top 3 TV

markets, with 90% of what's left going to Dallas.

Then there's the music business. Well, what's left of it. I worked on the

wholesale and retail sides of things for a number of years. And here's where

Texas _really_ shines.

Texas has a history of, well, being Texas. Sure, Texas had exported many a

blues and country artist back in the very decentralized good ol' days.

However, for Rock 'n' Roll, Texas hadn't broke much national: Doug Sahm got

legendary, Janis Joplin went like a meteor, Steve Miller split for San

Francisco (Um, yep: SF-Oakland-San Jose is the 6th biggest market at 2.2%),

and ZZ Top became that Little 'ol Band From Texas.

In the late 70s and early 80s the Locusts of The Rock Machinery had Texas on

their minds. Specifically, Austin. Stevie Ray Vaughn got big, but that was

about it. To make a long story short, Austin told The Machine to go pound

sand. The Machine was not happy, and left sulking. All the way to Seattle...

We could scope down a little further, and move into a wandering story arc

about Houston and Third Coast Rap/Hip Hop. I'll just over simplify and say

the Geto Boys got big, DJ Screw was left for dead, and we still have to deal

with the taint of what South Park Mexican did.

Looking the rest of your post over, I see you mentioned Florida. I'll stay

away from some weird Molly Hatchet / Marilyn Manson tangent (even though I

do have an MM story involving a blue chicken) and simply end with this:

Florida has the 14th, 17th, 19th, 38th, and 47th largest markets for a

combined total of 5.5% of the U.S. Market. In other words, Florida (22nd

biggest state with the 4th biggest population) has a little bit bigger slice

of the Top 50 pie than Texas.

I think what he's saying is, you're right, Citykid--the Houston market is not all that big. It really is all about advertising dollars. The talent (and where it's based) is largely irrelevant for radio and tv.

Houston is a top 10 market, that seems pretty big to me. You did some good explaining, but it still doesn't balance out. The City of Atlanta has given incentives for much of its media empire. And much of it is home grown. CNN, HLN, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS, The Weather Channel (which was founded by a Texan), etc. Many record labels are based there or have offices there, many celebrities live there or have 2nd homes there and its really become known as the black Hollywood. Now if your theory of market size is correct how do you explain Atlanta having all of that when Dallas doesn't?

I look at it by state, Texas is 2nd to California, yet it has a very small presents in national media.

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Houston is a top 10 market, that seems pretty big to me. You did some good explaining, but it still doesn't balance out. The City of Atlanta has given incentives for much of its media empire. And much of it is home grown. CNN, HLN, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS, The Weather Channel (which was founded by a Texan), etc. Many record labels are based there or have offices there, many celebrities live there or have 2nd homes there and its really become known as the black Hollywood. Now if your theory of market size is correct how do you explain Atlanta having all of that when Dallas doesn't?

I look at it by state, Texas is 2nd to California, yet it has a very small presents in national media.

Bottom line: media is driven by market. Numbers don't lie. If your point is that Tyler Perry didn't make his latest embarassment of a movie here, then whatever. Do you seriously want to own that sort of crap?

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Bottom line: media is driven by market. Numbers don't lie. If your point is that Tyler Perry didn't make his latest embarrassment of a movie here, then whatever. Do you seriously want to own that sort of crap?

Honestly, YES! And I hope that Je'Caryous Johnson is able to do for Houston what Tyler Perry has done for Atlanta, tv shows, movies and all!

Edited by citykid09
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Honestly, YES! And I hope that Je'Caryous Johnson is able to do for Houston what Tyler Perry has done for Atlanta, tv shows, movies and all!

I am almost afraid to ask, but just what has Tyler Perry done for Atlanta? Your post is the first time I ever heard that he was even in Atlanta, much less doing anything for it.

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That's it?

I think Coca-Cola did a bit more for the city. Hell, the Olympic bomber did more for the city.

Constructing it added jobs, had to hire actors, producers, writers, etc. He is bring millions of dollars and some of those dollars come from the Houston area when people go see his movies. By the way his signature character (Madea) is based on his Aunt who live in Houston.

Coca Cola is the most recognized brand in the world period. Sure its done more.

Edited by citykid09
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Constructing it added jobs, had to hire actors, producers, writers, etc. He is bring millions of dollars and some of those dollars come from the Houston area when people go see his movies. By the way his signature character (Madea) is based on his Aunt who live in Houston.

Coca Cola is the most recognized brand in the world period. Sure its done more.

He didn't construct that building. If we're talking about the building on Continental Colony Parkway, that building used to be owned by Delta and housed some of their offices. He did have another studio, but he had to leave those facilities behind.

If you want to know why Tyler Perry has been able to do so well in Atlanta is because Atlanta is well, "different" than Houston. Houston has always been run by the "good ole' boys" and will continue to be run by them. A development like that in Houston wouldn't be looked upon kindly by the good ole' boy crew down here.

And while Tyler Perry may be a nice guy, a great rags to riches story and a philanthropist, his material isn't of high caliber. I'm hoping he can finally break out when he gets to work on the film adaptation of Ntozake Shange's "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf." That's a serious departure from what he's doing now. Hopefully he hasn't bitten off more than he can chew. If it's a success, it may garner him his first Emmy.

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Constructing it added jobs, had to hire actors, producers, writers, etc. He is bring millions of dollars and some of those dollars come from the Houston area when people go see his movies. By the way his signature character (Madea) is based on his Aunt who live in Houston.

Coca Cola is the most recognized brand in the world period. Sure its done more.

Why don't you open a studio here and start a trend? You can be the Tyler Perry of Houston.

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He didn't construct that building. If we're talking about the building on Continental Colony Parkway, that building used to be owned by Delta and housed some of their offices. He did have another studio, but he had to leave those facilities behind.

If you want to know why Tyler Perry has been able to do so well in Atlanta is because Atlanta is well, "different" than Houston. Houston has always been run by the "good ole' boys" and will continue to be run by them. A development like that in Houston wouldn't be looked upon kindly by the good ole' boy crew down here.

And while Tyler Perry may be a nice guy, a great rags to riches story and a philanthropist, his material isn't of high caliber. I'm hoping he can finally break out when he gets to work on the film adaptation of Ntozake Shange's "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf." That's a serious departure from what he's doing now. Hopefully he hasn't bitten off more than he can chew. If it's a success, it may garner him his first Emmy.

So when you say "good ole' boys" who are they? And when you say Houston is "different" than Atlanta, what do you mean, less progressive?

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So when you say "good ole' boys" who are they? And when you say Houston is "different" than Atlanta, what do you mean, less progressive?

To answer the first question, just look at BryanS's post. Entertainment does not interest them. They'll only put favor toward things that they believe will benefit them, as is the game of politics. To answer the second question, Atlanta has a different clique running things up there. I wouldn't call them more or less progressive, but they have different priorities and interests than the good ole' boy clique down here, with entertainment and tourism being the big things. It works well for them.

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To answer the first question, just look at BryanS's post. Entertainment does not interest them. They'll only put favor toward things that they believe will benefit them, as is the game of politics. To answer the second question, Atlanta has a different clique running things up there. I wouldn't call them more or less progressive, but they have different priorities and interests than the good ole' boy clique down here, with entertainment and tourism being the big things. It works well for them.

So would like to see more of the entertainment industry in Houston? And LOL! I already knew who the "good o'le boys" where, I just wanted to make sure we were thinking the same thing. Why do these stuck up goons fix with all their might to make Texas as dull as possible? I think K Bailey Hutchinson is a little more progressive then the those others, she says she is for rail transportation at least. I guess things won't really change until those people are pushed out of their positions.

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I am almost afraid to ask, but just what has Tyler Perry done for Atlanta? Your post is the first time I ever heard that he was even in Atlanta, much less doing anything for it.

Oh, and in addition to what I said before he has started a domino affect.

One of the new shows taped in Atlanta now is "Drop Dead Diva"

Check out this article: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2134781/has_atlanta_become_the_new_black_hollywood.html?cat=2

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Oh, and in addition to what I said before he has started a domino affect.

One of the new shows taped in Atlanta now is "Drop Dead Diva"

Check out this article: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2134781/has_atlanta_become_the_new_black_hollywood.html?cat=2

Do you remember when they had The Stellar Awards here a few years back? There's a reason why they haven't come back.

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Do you remember when they had The Stellar Awards here a few years back? There's a reason why they haven't come back.

I heard the Stellar Awards went good here, but other cities offered better incentives. Last year the Ozone Awards was in Houston as well as the Latin Grammys. Houston has had some good stuff come to town but it has failed to keep a momentum to make these type of events permanent fixtures. I remember in the late 1990s early 2000s, almost all of those VH1 movies were taped in Houston including the MC Hammer movie. Having the astrodome studio I think will help start off the entertainment industry in Houston.

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So would like to see more of the entertainment industry in Houston? And LOL! I already knew who the "good o'le boys" where, I just wanted to make sure we were thinking the same thing. Why do these stuck up goons fix with all their might to make Texas as dull as possible? I think K Bailey Hutchinson is a little more progressive then the those others, she says she is for rail transportation at least. I guess things won't really change until those people are pushed out of their positions.

Everyone knows the real reason that the entertainment industry is so lucrative in Atlanta is that there's nothing else to do but listen to the radio as you're sitting in traffic. And the Atlanta's goons clearly recognize that luring entertainers is a good means of abating the rate of on-the-road suicides.

j/k

Actually, it's mostly what crunch said, especially as it pertains to non-syndicated media that specificially targets a particular media market (i.e. local news). But the national/global entertainment industry is guided to certain localities over others not only by various state and local incentives, but on account of economies of agglomeration.

The media/entertainment industry concentrates in particular cities for the same reason that it makes sense for oil & gas headquarters (Houston, Dallas, Tulsa, Midland, New Orleans), refining (Houston, Beaumont, Lake Charles, New Jersey), biotech (Boston, San Francisco, San Diego), banking (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Charlotte), logistics/distribution (Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, New Jersey), beer brewing (St. Louis, Milwaukee, Denver), the military (San Antonio, San Diego, Washington D.C.), and inumerable other industries to concentrate in particular locales. Once there's enough of a particular kind of company in one place, a highly-talented labor pool can be easily tapped, support firms that specialize in niche roles have enough work to justify their existence, and--generally speaking--the cost of doing business is structurally lower in those cities. Over time, firms that were scattered throughout the country concentrate in only a handful of cities.

Bear in mind that Texas is not, itself, an economic unit. As far as businesses are concerned, the only thing that is the same about any of our cities--big or small--is the State tax treatment. To be clear: Houston is not Dallas. Dallas is not Beaumont. Beaumont is not Amarillo. Amarillo is not Brownsville. Brownsville is not Odessa. Odessa is not El Paso. El Paso is not Austin. Austin is not San Antonio. San Antonio is not College Station. College Station is not Corpus Christi. Corpus Christi is not Lufkin. Lufkin is not Temple. And none of these cities are comprised of one monolithic demographic that consumes the same kind of media; you have to segment each of these unique media markets before you've got anything useful to go off of.

FWIW, Austin is a music hotbed, at least for the cultivation and harvesting of talent. It doesn't seem to translate very well to other forms of media, but it is at least the kind of place where someone can still aspire to 'make it'. Having said that, so many people who want to 'make it' are in Austin, including all of the pathetic wannabes, that pay for gigs is very very low. If you're a musician that just likes playing music and that has realistic expectations of themselves, playing private parties in Dallas or Houston is the thing to do. And that's especially true if your musical interests are either very traditional (i.e. classical or blues) or very experimental.

Citykid, I think what you really desire is for there to be more pop music (and I use that term broadly) coming out of Houston. That's why you're catching so much flak. If you're actually into music--which is to say, not a regurgitated corporatized sound with a very specific target demographic as delineated by numerous highly-paid consultants--you'd figure out pretty quickly that Houston ain't that bad.

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I'll stay away from some weird Molly Hatchet / Marilyn Manson tangent (even though I do have an MM story involving a blue chicken)

I need to hear that story. My business partner used to lease a recording studio in S. Florida to the person who's character is Marilyn Manson. I haven't delved too deep into the stories, but apparently he really, reallly, really likes peanut butter.

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Everyone knows the real reason that the entertainment industry is so lucrative in Atlanta is that there's nothing else to do but listen to the radio as you're sitting in traffic. And the Atlanta's goons clearly recognize that luring entertainers is a good means of abating the rate of on-the-road suicides.

j/k

Actually, it's mostly what crunch said, especially as it pertains to non-syndicated media that specificially targets a particular media market (i.e. local news). But the national/global entertainment industry is guided to certain localities over others not only by various state and local incentives, but on account of economies of agglomeration.

The media/entertainment industry concentrates in particular cities for the same reason that it makes sense for oil & gas headquarters (Houston, Dallas, Tulsa, Midland, New Orleans), refining (Houston, Beaumont, Lake Charles, New Jersey), biotech (Boston, San Francisco, San Diego), banking (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Charlotte), logistics/distribution (Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, New Jersey), beer brewing (St. Louis, Milwaukee, Denver), the military (San Antonio, San Diego, Washington D.C.), and inumerable other industries to concentrate in particular locales. Once there's enough of a particular kind of company in one place, a highly-talented labor pool can be easily tapped, support firms that specialize in niche roles have enough work to justify their existence, and--generally speaking--the cost of doing business is structurally lower in those cities. Over time, firms that were scattered throughout the country concentrate in only a handful of cities.

Bear in mind that Texas is not, itself, an economic unit. As far as businesses are concerned, the only thing that is the same about any of our cities--big or small--is the State tax treatment. To be clear: Houston is not Dallas. Dallas is not Beaumont. Beaumont is not Amarillo. Amarillo is not Brownsville. Brownsville is not Odessa. Odessa is not El Paso. El Paso is not Austin. Austin is not San Antonio. San Antonio is not College Station. College Station is not Corpus Christi. Corpus Christi is not Lufkin. Lufkin is not Temple. And none of these cities are comprised of one monolithic demographic that consumes the same kind of media; you have to segment each of these unique media markets before you've got anything useful to go off of.

FWIW, Austin is a music hotbed, at least for the cultivation and harvesting of talent. It doesn't seem to translate very well to other forms of media, but it is at least the kind of place where someone can still aspire to 'make it'. Having said that, so many people who want to 'make it' are in Austin, including all of the pathetic wannabes, that pay for gigs is very very low. If you're a musician that just likes playing music and that has realistic expectations of themselves, playing private parties in Dallas or Houston is the thing to do. And that's especially true if your musical interests are either very traditional (i.e. classical or blues) or very experimental.

Citykid, I think what you really desire is for there to be more pop music (and I use that term broadly) coming out of Houston. That's why you're catching so much flak. If you're actually into music--which is to say, not a regurgitated corporatized sound with a very specific target demographic as delineated by numerous highly-paid consultants--you'd figure out pretty quickly that Houston ain't that bad.

I already know Houston "ain't that bad," but I want the rest of the nation to know that as well. I honestly think that the Astrodome studio idea, will be the start of something great that will have a domino affect on the entertainment industry in Texas and Houston.

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So when you say "good ole' boys" who are they? And when you say Houston is "different" than Atlanta, what do you mean, less progressive?

Yep. Backwater conservative workhorses like Tom Delay and all those damn Republican judges held this city in a vice grip for way too long. Most of the media is liberal, and Houston was not. Therefore the media didn't want to be around Houston. Plus the city of Houston deliberately tries to portray itself as the "most normal" big city (i.e. the place where Conservatives can enjoy city life without worrying with all of those nasty progressive people). That's been this city's mantra for ever. But now even that attitude has begun to change and if anyone has noticed, Houston's been getting more national press lately. It's because we're becoming more open as a city.

And I'm going to try and take the high road from a racial standpoint, but it's sufficient to say that Tyler Perry's work has found a reliable audience, so it must not be "crap". $300 million in movie sales to date, and $200 million sitcom contract. Better than most.

Edited by totheskies
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Plus the city of Houston deliberately tries to portray itself as the "most normal" big city (i.e. the place where Conservatives can enjoy city life without worrying with all of those nasty progressive people). That's been this city's mantra for ever.

Replace the word "Houston" with "Dallas" and I think you have a point. They have a much more entrenched position among bible belt cities and have no conception of 'weird'. Dallas has rigid zoning and a patchwork of numerous little zoned suburbs that informally but feircely compete with one another for an idyllic conception of suburban quality of life, each trying to be more clean-cut than the other. Austin is just the opposite in terms of stated goals, yet the mentality used to accomplish their aims is virtually identical to Dallas' in that they seek to create order and then publicize it.

In contrast, Houston is this abberant monolithic entity that just sort of does its own thing. Houston and Pasadena are the two largest cities in the country not to have zoning; there are a lot of large and medium-sized cities, with both predominantly Red and Blue constituencies, but all of them have zoning. We have the Orange Show, the beer can house, the art car parade, and a much more multi-ethnic sensibility. It's all very local, low-key, and ultimately hedonistic (and neither political party embraces hedonism). We let our funkiness hang out, but we don't call attention to it either. It's actually pretty cool to live in a city so far outside of the mainstream culture. San Antonio is also kind of like that.

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Everyone knows the real reason that the entertainment industry is so lucrative in Atlanta is that there's nothing else to do but listen to the radio as you're sitting in traffic. And the Atlanta's goons clearly recognize that luring entertainers is a good means of abating the rate of on-the-road suicides.

j/k

Actually, it's mostly what crunch said, especially as it pertains to non-syndicated media that specificially targets a particular media market (i.e. local news). But the national/global entertainment industry is guided to certain localities over others not only by various state and local incentives, but on account of economies of agglomeration.

The media/entertainment industry concentrates in particular cities for the same reason that it makes sense for oil & gas headquarters (Houston, Dallas, Tulsa, Midland, New Orleans), refining (Houston, Beaumont, Lake Charles, New Jersey), biotech (Boston, San Francisco, San Diego), banking (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Charlotte), logistics/distribution (Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, New Jersey), beer brewing (St. Louis, Milwaukee, Denver), the military (San Antonio, San Diego, Washington D.C.), and inumerable other industries to concentrate in particular locales. Once there's enough of a particular kind of company in one place, a highly-talented labor pool can be easily tapped, support firms that specialize in niche roles have enough work to justify their existence, and--generally speaking--the cost of doing business is structurally lower in those cities. Over time, firms that were scattered throughout the country concentrate in only a handful of cities.

Bear in mind that Texas is not, itself, an economic unit. As far as businesses are concerned, the only thing that is the same about any of our cities--big or small--is the State tax treatment. To be clear: Houston is not Dallas. Dallas is not Beaumont. Beaumont is not Amarillo. Amarillo is not Brownsville. Brownsville is not Odessa. Odessa is not El Paso. El Paso is not Austin. Austin is not San Antonio. San Antonio is not College Station. College Station is not Corpus Christi. Corpus Christi is not Lufkin. Lufkin is not Temple. And none of these cities are comprised of one monolithic demographic that consumes the same kind of media; you have to segment each of these unique media markets before you've got anything useful to go off of.

FWIW, Austin is a music hotbed, at least for the cultivation and harvesting of talent. It doesn't seem to translate very well to other forms of media, but it is at least the kind of place where someone can still aspire to 'make it'. Having said that, so many people who want to 'make it' are in Austin, including all of the pathetic wannabes, that pay for gigs is very very low. If you're a musician that just likes playing music and that has realistic expectations of themselves, playing private parties in Dallas or Houston is the thing to do. And that's especially true if your musical interests are either very traditional (i.e. classical or blues) or very experimental.

Citykid, I think what you really desire is for there to be more pop music (and I use that term broadly) coming out of Houston. That's why you're catching so much flak. If you're actually into music--which is to say, not a regurgitated corporatized sound with a very specific target demographic as delineated by numerous highly-paid consultants--you'd figure out pretty quickly that Houston ain't that bad.

Finally someone in this thread who somewhat understands the entertainment industry and why it is centralized in certain locals. Some of you here don't seem to understand why Houston isn't a giant meca of the entertainment industry. I'm in it, and have been for 25 years (top 50 album, etc) and can tell you that it has NOTHING to do with Republican politics. I'm not taking up for Republicans, but I know that it has nothing to do with them.

If your somewhat successful today you either move to LA, Nashville, or New York. There is almost nowhere else to make your mark, that is unless your lucky. That will never change, at least in our lifetimes. The only two cities that carved into the big three markets were Seattle in the early 90's, and Boston in the 70's, and even then everybody went to LA afterwards. You had to, that's where everything was/is.

As Niche said, and I paraphrase, if you want some form of the entertainment industry in Texas move to Austin. Those of course in the know understand that there is very little pay for a fulltime musician. For those that do gain a regional following in Austin, that's generally as far as it goes when considering that style of music doesn't sell well nationally.

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Replace the word "Houston" with "Dallas" and I think you have a point. They have a much more entrenched position among bible belt cities and have no conception of 'weird'. Dallas has rigid zoning and a patchwork of numerous little zoned suburbs that informally but feircely compete with one another for an idyllic conception of suburban quality of life, each trying to be more clean-cut than the other. Austin is just the opposite in terms of stated goals, yet the mentality used to accomplish their aims is virtually identical to Dallas' in that they seek to create order and then publicize it.

In contrast, Houston is this abberant monolithic entity that just sort of does its own thing. Houston and Pasadena are the two largest cities in the country not to have zoning; there are a lot of large and medium-sized cities, with both predominantly Red and Blue constituencies, but all of them have zoning. We have the Orange Show, the beer can house, the art car parade, and a much more multi-ethnic sensibility. It's all very local, low-key, and ultimately hedonistic (and neither political party embraces hedonism). We let our funkiness hang out, but we don't call attention to it either. It's actually pretty cool to live in a city so far outside of the mainstream culture. San Antonio is also kind of like that.

You've just described what I love so much about this city. There's nothing tacky, forced or contrived about this place. It just is, and you can like it or you can hate it, but you can't deny its originality or call the place phony.

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Finally someone in this thread who somewhat understands the entertainment industry and why it is centralized in certain locals. Some of you here don't seem to understand why Houston isn't a giant meca of the entertainment industry. I'm in it, and have been for 25 years (top 50 album, etc) and can tell you that it has NOTHING to do with Republican politics. I'm not taking up for Republicans, but I know that it has nothing to do with them.

If your somewhat successful today you either move to LA, Nashville, or New York. There is almost nowhere else to make your mark, that is unless your lucky. That will never change, at least in our lifetimes. The only two cities that carved into the big three markets were Seattle in the early 90's, and Boston in the 70's, and even then everybody went to LA afterwards. You had to, that's where everything was/is.

As Niche said, and I paraphrase, if you want some form of the entertainment industry in Texas move to Austin. Those of course in the know understand that there is very little pay for a fulltime musician. For those that do gain a regional following in Austin, that's generally as far as it goes when considering that style of music doesn't sell well nationally.

How could you not recognize the scene in Atlanta and how its pulling talent from cities including Houston, Dallas, New York and LA.

And even if Houston has not been the place to be in the past, it has come close a few times and who is to say it can be one of those entertainment cities in the future.

Edited by citykid09
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How could you not recognize the scene in Atlanta and how its pulling talent from cities including Houston, Dallas, New York and LA.

And even if Houston has not been the place to be in the past, it has come close a few times and who is to say it can be one of those entertainment cities in the future.

We've had a few instances of nacent music scenes popping up here or talent coming from here, but that is not the same thing as having an industry. We've never really had a substantial industry here, nor have we ever really come close.

Consider that a related indicator of media/entertainment industry presence is the number and quality of ad agencies in one's city. When I've had to get good professional graphic designers in the past, I always tried local talent first but eventually got screwed by them (time and time again) and ended up pulling from Dallas. It sucks, but that just seems to be the way it is.

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I look at it by state, Texas is 2nd to California, yet...

State has nothing to do with it. As has been pointed out twice already, certain cities - not states - are synonymous with certain types of media. If someone is going to have a good chance of making it big in theater, their best bet is New York City - not all of New York state. Film; Los Angeles- not all of California. Television; Los Angeles or New York City - not all of California & New York state. Opera; San Francisco or New York City - not all of California, or New York state.

Also, you're dealing with (in a positive way for the various types of media) many decades of media-specific infrastrucure. Media corporations\organizations and their industry support are not going to move or substancially expand away from the well-oiled machines that those cities are. There is no reason to. In fact, there are many reasons not to.

Houston is medicine, oil, & space exploration. We have a very respected world presence. It just happens not to be as recognized to the masses who aren't directly involved because it's not media or pop culture-driven.

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State has nothing to do with it. As has been pointed out twice already, certain cities - not states - are synonymous with certain types of media. If someone is going to have a good chance of making it big in theater, their best bet is New York City - not all of New York state. Film; Los Angeles- not all of California. Television; Los Angeles or New York City - not all of California & New York state. Opera; San Francisco or New York City - not all of California, or New York state.

Also, you're dealing with (in a positive way for the various types of media) many decades of media-specific infrastrucure. Media corporations\organizations and their industry support are not going to move or substancially expand away from the well-oiled machines that those cities are. There is no reason to. In fact, there are many reasons not to.

Houston is medicine, oil, & space exploration. We have a very respected world presence. It just happens not to be as recognized to the masses who aren't directly involved because it's not media or pop culture-driven.

I knew it was by city and not state.

What I really want to get at is just because Houston doesn't have a great media presence now, doesn't mean it couldn't change. There is interest in this State, but the State has to offer incentives to get them to come. Look at Louisiana and other States that have taken a slice of Hollywood, Texas could easily take all of that business by undercutting the competing States. Just imagine the how the States surrounding Texas (& Las Vegas) would be doing if Texas legalized gambling. New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma would all suffer because the majority of their business comes from Texas. The point that I am trying to make is this State has a lot of power, but lately it hasn't been taking full advantage of it.

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How could you not recognize the scene in Atlanta and how its pulling talent from cities including Houston, Dallas, New York and LA.

And even if Houston has not been the place to be in the past, it has come close a few times and who is to say it can be one of those entertainment cities in the future.

The scene in Atlanta? What's that? I'm pretty involved with the entertainment industry in Atlanta (mainly music) and it's not like the place is brimming with talent. In fact, I would venture to say that Houston and Dallas have more. Seriously though, Atlanta isn't a pimple on the butt of the big 3 and will never come close. Yeah they get some exposure, but with the exception of hip hop every single artist ATL eventually hopes to hop on the train to LA. There are of course some exceptions with those that don't have the same oppurtunity in the big markets, and thus move to a smaller market in order to get a job. That's the way it works.

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I knew it was by city and not state.

What I really want to get at is just because Houston doesn't have a great media presence now, doesn't mean it couldn't change. There is interest in this State, but the State has to offer incentives to get them to come. Look at Louisiana and other States that have taken a slice of Hollywood, Texas could easily take all of that business by undercutting the competing States. Just imagine the how the States surrounding Texas (& Las Vegas) would be doing if Texas legalized gambling. New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma would all suffer because the majority of their business comes from Texas. The point that I am trying to make is this State has a lot of power, but lately it hasn't been taking full advantage of it.

Are you seriously advocating corporate welfare?

Texas is not obligated to give incentives or subsidy to lure domestic industries away from their current locales. However under the Perry administration it has been doing quite of bit of this, but that does not mean it's a regular state policy.

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I knew it was by city and not state.

What I really want to get at is just because Houston doesn't have a great media presence now, doesn't mean it couldn't change. There is interest in this State, but the State has to offer incentives to get them to come. Look at Louisiana and other States that have taken a slice of Hollywood, Texas could easily take all of that business by undercutting the competing States. Just imagine the how the States surrounding Texas (& Las Vegas) would be doing if Texas legalized gambling. New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma would all suffer because the majority of their business comes from Texas. The point that I am trying to make is this State has a lot of power, but lately it hasn't been taking full advantage of it.

What does gambling have to do with Hollywood?

And as for incentives to lure films here, don't you think that those resources might be better allocated to improving our transportation infrastructure or the quality of education, both issues that directly affect all residents?

And if we are going to go out and give incentives to firms that locate in Texas (such as we already are), shouldn't it be to firms that can lure numerous high-paying job opportunities to our residents? Let's face facts; most of the entertainment industry does not pay especially well, nor does it provide a career path for most people. Locales such as Las Vegas, Nashville, and Orlando are renowned among apartment developers as cities where 20-somethings have crap jobs and take roommates just to get by...and in recessionary times, those cities offer very little aside from luxury services, so they suffer disproportionately. The creative talent in big cities is feeling it too, although in places like NYC and Atlanta, their problems are overshadowed by the financial crisis.

Texas--and Houston in particular--can do better by playing to its relative strengths. And in Houston, we're already attractive to energy, engineering, manufacturing, and distribution industries. The business infrastructure is in place, the labor market is attractive, and these are economic roles that represent the backbone of an economy, which is to say that they're relatively safer. It's low-hanging fruit, it tastes good, and its good for you.

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Texas--and Houston in particular--can do better by playing to its relative strengths. And in Houston, we're already attractive to energy, engineering, manufacturing, and distribution industries. The business infrastructure is in place, the labor market is attractive, and these are economic roles that represent the backbone of an economy, which is to say that they're relatively safer. It's low-hanging fruit, it tastes good, and its good for you.

I'd like to add a question to this for citykid if I may. In what way, aside from public perception, would Houston be benefitted by the entertainment industry's presence here? As TheNiche pointed out earlier, Houston is weel known and well respected around the world for mastering the industries that dominate in this town. I really see no way the entertainment industry would have any positive impact on this city other than upping the cool factor. And really, who gives a crap about that?

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What does gambling have to do with Hollywood?

And as for incentives to lure films here, don't you think that those resources might be better allocated to improving our transportation infrastructure or the quality of education, both issues that directly affect all residents?

And if we are going to go out and give incentives to firms that locate in Texas (such as we already are), shouldn't it be to firms that can lure numerous high-paying job opportunities to our residents? Let's face facts; most of the entertainment industry does not pay especially well, nor does it provide a career path for most people. Locales such as Las Vegas, Nashville, and Orlando are renowned among apartment developers as cities where 20-somethings have crap jobs and take roommates just to get by...and in recessionary times, those cities offer very little aside from luxury services, so they suffer disproportionately. The creative talent in big cities is feeling it too, although in places like NYC and Atlanta, their problems are overshadowed by the financial crisis.

Texas--and Houston in particular--can do better by playing to its relative strengths. And in Houston, we're already attractive to energy, engineering, manufacturing, and distribution industries. The business infrastructure is in place, the labor market is attractive, and these are economic roles that represent the backbone of an economy, which is to say that they're relatively safer. It's low-hanging fruit, it tastes good, and its good for you.

I wasn't saying gambling had anything to do with Hollywood, I was just giving an example of the power of Texas. I was explaining how the reason the surrounding States are so successful in gambling is because of Texas. If Texas Legalizes gambling, then the gambling industries in the States will likely lose out just like Houston did when those States took the away the movies that would have usually taped in Houston.

I know you want to explain why the entertainment industry isn't for or won't come to Houston, but what do think about the Astrodome Studios idea? Is that something you are completely against because you don't think the mainstream entertainment industry is for Houston?

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Why?

Because fame begets fame.

Like I told an aspiring DJ from upstate New York -- get out of your backwater town and move to NY, LA, or Atlanta. When a famous DJ wants to hang out with some new talent at 2am on a Thursday is he going to call that promising kid from down the street he heard spinning at the club the other night, or is he going to call that promising kids who's a three-hour drive away?

Just like sales people and business managers will tell you -- no matter how much Cicso pushes teleconferencing, there's nothing like being in the room.

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Because fame begets fame.

Like I told an aspiring DJ from upstate New York -- get out of your backwater town and move to NY, LA, or Atlanta. When a famous DJ wants to hang out with some new talent at 2am on a Thursday is he going to call that promising kid from down the street he heard spinning at the club the other night, or is he going to call that promising kids who's a three-hour drive away?

Just like sales people and business managers will tell you -- no matter how much Cicso pushes teleconferencing, there's nothing like being in the room.

So you know that Atlanta is a place for talent. Atlanta created this environment from scratch why can't Houston? Why not? And for y'all to say get out of Canada if you are in the entertainment industry, thats where a lot of American entertainment is going.

After reading so many of you all's post on this subject I see now that its the natives that just don't aspire for this type of businesses. It seems that the artist that make it from Texas leave because thats what they expect they have to do and that is what people have always done. If I was an entertainer I would probably go somewhere else at first, but after making it big I would move back to Texas and get this State going in the entertainment industry. This has been done in the past, but the artist never seem to get enough steam going to get whats going on recognized.

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After reading so many of you all's post on this subject I see now that its the natives that just don't aspire for this type of businesses.

Bingo. Most Texans, especially Houstonians, are pragmatic folks. We appreciate art and beauty, but if there's no viable reason to surround ourselves with the vapidity and inanity of the entertainment industry, we won't. We can hop on a plane and spend a couple nights on the doorstep of Disneyland, spending our evenings on the Hollywood walk of fame, if we want to see celebrities.

This has been done in the past, but the artist never seem to get enough steam going to get whats going on recognized.

Or, as someone mentioned earlier, much earlier, Texas artists (the Austin musician types) eschewed fame and fortune to retain their artistic integrity. So, as was mentioned earlier, the big record companies moved on to greener pastures in Seattle.

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