By Justin Chandler
A Ryerson student-produced television show called The Naked Entrepreneur will be airing half-hour episodes on Rogers TV starting Oct. 28 and will be broadcast internationally in one-hour episodes on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) beginning in January.
“OWN and Rogers came to us seeking great Canadian content,” said Sean Wise, the host of the show, in an email. “We were happy to provide [it].”
Wise is a professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM). The Naked Entrepreneur features interviews between him and Canadian business personalities such as Christine Magee and Harry Rosen.
The show gives students “relevant, candid perspectives” from successful entrepreneurs, said Dana Abou Shackra, assistant producer of the show and recent grad of the Ted Rogers School of Management.
Abou Shackra said that being Canadian makes The Naked Entrepreneur more valuable. Canadian business students see American culture in the media most often, she said, and The Naked Entrepreneur aims to be a better fit for Canadian business culture.
Wise said that he started the show because “[students] needed more Canadian role models to be inspired by and to learn from.” When he decided he wanted to make The Naked Entrepreneur, he approached RTA Productions to help him.
“For dozens of years, Ryerson’s radio and television faculty has been producing great TV,” Wise said. “Staying on campus allowed us to not only develop the show but also provide experience to our RTA students.”
RTA Productions pays students in the RTA School to produce shows. Students apply, and are then put into roles and trained, said Rob Carver, general manager of RTA Productions.
Carver says the first episodes of The Naked Entrepreneur that will air on OWN are repackaged versions of content in the half-hour version of the program.
Wise said a lot of work goes into the show. “It takes us approximately 10 hours to produce 21 minutes of great television.”
Caitlin Dosa, director and associate producer of The Naked Entrepreneur said working on the show is a great experience. Being broadcast internationally shows the RTA Production’s work is credible, she said.
Charles Falzon, chair of the RTA School of Media, said the fact that the show has been picked up by OWN opens up new opportunities for RTA productions. Soon more RTA programs may be on air — the group wants to further expand by getting content on Sportsbet, Falzon said.
The prestige of having content on network television is great for the school and the students who worked on the program, said Falzon.
“It’s always great when you have something [you] produced on the air.”