Another one bites the dust?

Belated wishes for a happy new year, everyone. If 2024 is not off to a great start, there is plenty of time for a turnaround.

However, it appears it’s too late for a former nemesis of Doug’s Place. A colleague sent me these photos.

The colleague also called the number listed for Direct Media Services — and got the “number is not in service” response.

Between a dated website format (Adobe Flash support went bye-bye about four years ago; thus making it impossible to display a montage of all-star placements), no sign of good social media links (not even Instagram or the new Threads), an alarming context clue of Paul McCartney’s “new book” (seen in the earlier image; “Each One Believing” was published in 2004; I wouldn’t call that new), and a disconnected phone number, I’m calling it.

DMS has closed its doors for good. If so, when?

To DMS, all I can say is this: In the event you’ve really met your Waterloo, good riddance!

Recall nearly two decades ago, I blogged a Direct Media Services representative wanting to book a live morning satellite interview with a sex therapist on a TV station where I worked at. Due to the content therein and the targeted daypart, citing parents would be embarrassed in front of their children if this went forward, I immediately said no. But — the same rep wouldn’t take no for an answer.

She called and e-mailed me a total of six more times begging and pleading me to change my mind. I still responded in the negative. Further, we narrowed our prerequisites for satellite interviews to the point that DMS and its competitors would have to work hard to get their feet in the door.

I can only hope these standards are still honored long after I’ve left. Leadership changed after I moved on to other work. To be fair, I’m pretty sure they’ve got a “no dice” policy on satellite interviews by now.

If this is the end, what happened? I’ve searched the news section of Google, and nothing has turned up. Know something? Let me know in a reply.

After putting up with DMS’s sex therapist nonsense, I programmed all messages on my work account to have anything from any e-mail address ending in a DMS e-mail domain go straight to junk mail — where it belongs. I basically cut ties with them after that drama in 2004.

Nearly two decades later, I can only wonder if they started shooting themselves in the feet. Did DMS become its own worst enemy? Did other stations around the country balk at this nonsense the way I did? Again, that “new book” by Paul McCartney, “Each One Believing,” was published in 2004 — the same year DMS begged and pleaded to have a sex therapist interview appear on a morning show I produced.

I recall DMS had a secondary website — DMSWire.com. The link will take you to how it looked in, you guessed it, 2004, courtesy of Archive.org. It appears DMSWire.com has had no new updates since 2008; it is since defunct (hence why I’m not hotlinking to the current DMSWire.com). So maybe that’s a clue to when an apparent going away party, with final toasts to each other, was held.

It still begs the question: If DMS is no longer in business, why is the main Direct Media Services website still active, as of this writing?

Suppose that champagne jam/last call for DMS happened less than two decades ago. In that case, I hope those who left DMS went on to rewarding careers — jobs that don’t involve pestering local TV producers about satellite interviews with little or no local value — or, horror of horrors, interviews about shows on other networks or streaming services such as NetFlix.

Finally, to the satellite interview universe at large (a spot check of Google indicates at least one of DMS’s competitors is still in business; another, apparently, has diversified and not included SMTs among its services; I recognize the names), I can tell you the TV industry at the local level is becoming less and less dependent on satellite interviews. A producer’s need to fill three minutes in a local newscast can now be done more constructively.

Long ago, I suggested you should pitch SMTs with a regional twist instead of a national one. As much as DMS continued to beg to book this sex therapist interview, I begged for more interviews with regional and statewide interest. They didn’t listen. Did they pay the consequences? Judge for yourself.

One of DMS’s competitors, who shall remain nameless, wanted to book a satellite interview on behalf of Meijer, the retail chain primarily based in the Midwest, on school meal prep. I immediately rejected since there’s no Meijer store here in Mississippi. The Meijer rep begged — citing an online component. If there was an online component, the original press release should’ve listed the web address for said online component (apps weren’t a thing yet); it didn’t, I had to Google the address and show said address to the rep. I still rejected; local nutritionists were ready to pick up the slack anyway. The rep would’ve had better luck in the states where Meijer has brick and mortar stores.

So if producers are saying “no dice” to SMTs for whatever reason, it’s time to change your strategy — lest you meet your Waterloo.

Apparently — like Direct Media Services.

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