CableFAX: When you get out to media events like TCA and RealScreen Summit, is there still a divide between broadcast and cable?
Kay: I think everybody recognizes that cable makes a lot of original programming. And I think the trend for almost all cable networks is to make more originals and to hire less and to sort of own you future in that way. And to help build your brand identity, I think you need to make originals.
So you’ll see what’s happening here [at RealScreen Summit]. All the major producers of reality television are here; all their agents are here, because they understand there’s a big marketplace for cable. So that divide, especially on the alternative side, has kind of broken down. Look, networks have just so much prime time real estate, they can only make so many shows.
Probably people will tell you broadcast pays more. But the truth is we have more volume in cable, and that’s exciting because people get to get their things made. In the past, there weren’t enough opportunities to get enough shows made.
CableFAX: Can you elaborate on your earlier point of Spike getting a bit older?
Kay: I think in this new evolution of getting older, one of the keys to it is that we really have to think about the journey from guy to man. Spike has in the past programmed very successfully to guys. Now we need to take that journey with them as they become men.
There’s a big difference between a guy and a man. A guy might be a young father, but he’s probably not an older person who has struggled through life, working hard. A guy is probably just out of college and is having a good time. We want to go on that journey. So part of the filter now, as we evolve, is the struggle and journey from guy to man.
CableFAX: It’s early in the year. What’s on your wish list for 2011?
Kay: I’d like "Coal" to be a big giant hit (laughter). That would be great. Honestly, on the reality side, we’ll continue to look for different projects that feature working guys in different settings. And, again, if I see at the end of the year that our average age in prime time has gone up two or three years, I’d say we had a good year.