Under The Radar Michigan
Longtime friends Jim Edelman and Tom Daldin both found themselves without jobs as part of advertising cutbacks in recent years.
Edelman lost his position as national sales manager for Clear Channel Communications Inc. in January 2008. Daldin had spent 12 years producing high-end video materials for the auto industry and was a staff producer with Royal Oak-based Dark Spark Media until May 2010 before work started drying up, taking away 80 percent of his income.
So the two friends, who originally met in 1982 while working at WRIF-101.1 FM, approached Rich Homberg, president and general manager of WTVS-Channel 56, about developing some projects for PBS.
Edelman and Daldin first tried to re-pitch “Bob’s Jobs,” an Emmy-winning children’s show Daldin created and starred in five years ago on Channel 56. Due to lack of funding, “Bob’s Jobs” was canceled.
The second time around, PBS execs turned down the re-pitched idea within the first five minutes because there were just too many children’s programs out there, Daldin said.
“They literally looked at me and said, “So, what else do you got?’ ” Daldin said. “Jim and I look at each other and it’s like, where are the canes and top hats because here’s where we start dancing.”
Edelman quickly asked the PBS executives what they thought about a show about traveling the state.
“They were like, “Tell us more.’ We basically Seinfeld-ed the show.”
What came from their collaboration is the Detroit Public Television show UTR: Under the Radar Michigan.
“A lot of what we’re trying to do is tell stories,” Edelman said. “If you look at the way the show has come together, we’re finding really passionate people who are entrenched in their cities and make those cities better.”