Gas Station TV Pumps Up Popularity With New Contest

Network Launches Search to Find a 'BroadcaSTAR'

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DETROIT (Madison & Vine) -- Calling all broadcaster wannabes.
You can be a star at your local gaseteria.
You can be a star at your local gaseteria.

Gas Station TV will start a nationwide search April 1 to find the "face" of its GSTV Network. Contenders can upload 30-second videos of themselves directly to an area on (or to a social-media platform of their choosing) from April 1 through May 4. The Detroit-area company will promote the talent search on MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and other sites, as well as on its 5,000 TV screens that sit atop gas pumps in a dozen top markets that reach more than 30 million viewers monthly.

After the online auditions for "Gas Station TV's Wanna Be a BroadcaSTAR" promotion, the media company will host a real-world, live audition in the Detroit area.

Walter Cronkite need not apply
"We are not looking for Walter Cronkite, but more like someone on ['Entertainment Tonight']," David Leider, CEO of GSTV, told Advertising Age.

Mr. Leider said GSTV is looking for "the most fabulous, fresh, outgoing, hot, adaptable, fun, smart, informative and trustworthy" person for the part. He expects submissions to come from people between 23 and 35, although anyone 18 years and older can enter.

With the help of a talent scout, a handful of TV commercial producers and its own content team, the company will narrow the list to three finalists. Consumers can vote for their favorite from May 12-30; the winner will be announced July 17.

The top vote-getter wins $2,500 and all-expenses-paid trips to Detroit to film a series of segments for GSTV over several days in August and again in January 2009, Mr. Leider said. "This is not a full-time job. It's an opportunity to be a broadcast star." He said it's "indefinite" how long the winner would handle the segments, but GSTV could keep the broadcaster beyond the first quarter of 2009 "if they are great."
GSTV CEO David Leider
GSTV CEO David Leider

GSTV currently gets customized content for its four-minute-plus broadcasts from CBS (news and entertainment); ESPN (sports); and (weather).

'Different level of content'
Mr. Leider said, "We're focused on making the network more interesting" by adding short broadcasts about other kinds of entertainment and information. The network wants to add a "different level of content" to GSTV, he said. The winner could cover topics that include hot technology, home improvement or travel.

Advertisers on the network will have the chance to sponsor or be integrated into the new broadcaster's segments.

Mr. Lieder said GSTV's biggest advertisers are Chevrolet, Nestle, Goodyear, Kellogg, Ford, Dodge and Progressive Insurance.
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