With any growing business, there come times along the road when you have to evaluate who you are - make sure you are staying true to your business model or adjust to meet any changes in the landscape that may come along.
All businesses do it. We are no different.
Part of that process is identifying who we are in the eyes of you, our viewers and readers. We still are amused sometimes at the fact that our message is foggy and some people, even the biggest fans, have trouble putting a label on exactly who it is that we are.
The first six months of our journey at WSAV-TV have been interesting, to say the least.
If I had a nickel for every time someone has stopped me on the street and said, "Hey, news man!" I'd be driving that new Range Rover right now. I left the 10 p.m. news in June.
Certainly it takes some time for people to get used to that; after all, I was there every night for five years.
Still, it helped us understand, just a little bit, where we need to strengthen our message. It's why we created the "Aren't you the News Guy" commercial that has been running the last couple of months. If you haven't seen it, take a peek here.
With all of that in mind, I get asked all kinds of questions about what we do. About once a year, we share some time together and I remind the people who have been following us for a couple of years exactly who we are and what we are doing.
It's a refresher course for the longtime fans, and a quick guide for the new ones.
Either way, here are some things you may not know about "Eat It and Like It."
1) We were a blog and a television show long before we were in the newspaper.
One of the two most common misconceptions about "Eat It and Like It" is that my following in the newspaper became strong enough to support a television show. Not true.
"Eat It and Like It" started a blog in February 2011. The television show followed in September of that year. Within seven months of the premiere of the television show, we were nominated for our first Emmy Award.
Shortly after that, the Savannah Morning News contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in writing this column once a week.
"What do you want me to write about?" I asked. "Anything you want," they said. Done and done. Join us for my TV show at 7:30 a.m. Sunday mornings on WSAV-TV.
2) The second most common misconception about "Eat It and Like It" is that we are all about fancy, gourmet, frou-frou food. Not true at all.
If you've watched my television show, you've seen me eating barbecue, burgers and wings all over the place. Yes, you've also seen me go deep with sushi, foie gras and sweetbreads (no, didn't eat those). The point being, we created this to explore diversity in the South - not just the things that everyone thinks we eat here in the South all the time. Shrimp and grits? Surrrrrre. But how about a duck breast on a potato puree with a house-smoked cherry glaze? Yes.
It's here in the South, waiting for you to eat and like.
3) We don't charge anyone to be on our television show. Never have, never will. One of the first things that came up when "Eat It and Like It" was being put together by myself and my business partner, Senea Crystal, was the fact that after 20 years in television news, there was no way I was going to go on TV and tell people to spend their money eating something I didn't believe in. That wasn't going to happen.
There was no way "Eat It and Like It" would be a "pay to play" operation. Could we have taken a shortcut and done that? Absolutely, but then our integrity would have immediately come into question.
Instead, if you see something on our show, we like it very much and think you will, too. Some of my happiest moments are when someone approaches me and says, "I had no idea that place was even there and it was every bit as good as you said it was."
That's the trust we've tried to earn.
4) We are not just about Savannah.
We are about the South. We also knew early on that if we focused exclusively on Savannah, we'd run out of material fairly quickly. That said, Savannah is too beautiful and diverse to ignore, and frankly, it is our home.
Everyone who works on this show lives here by choice and has a passion for all of the things that make this area great. So while there are always great places to enjoy here or in the Lowcountry, we do travel a bit, giving you some ideas on your next place to eat in Charleston, Augusta, Atlanta or Florida. There will always be a Savannah element in our show, but we want to share a different South with you.
Thanks to everyone for your support. Bigger thanks to our sponsors.
See you on TV,