By Tom Blake
As a newspaper columnist, fledgling social media marketer and retired dude, I am always thinking of ways to help single people ages 50 to 90 by extending the reach of my writing.
In September, I came up with an angle that I felt might land me a third appearance on the Today show in New York City. I had been interviewed on Today by Jack Ford in 1999 and Matt Lauer in 2001.
I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to be interviewed by Matt Lauer again. Not only do I remember the details of that interview, but I also remember my partner Greta and I being in the green room, where you hang out before the show with other guests. One was author David McCullough. The other, John Lithgow, of 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Greta and I even ordered three copies of McCullough’s book he was promoting, John Adams, directly from him. They arrived in the mail a couple of weeks later.
With the Today show reaching an estimated 5 million viewers each day, if I got on the show, I would be able to sell some of my dating and relationship books that are stored in my garage. However, getting on any network talk show is very difficult, but I decided to try anyway.
I called the show’s switchboard in New York City to get the name and address of the show’s executive producer. I drafted a letter to him, but decided not to send it until Greta and I returned from our trip to South America. I didn’t want to blow an opportunity to appear if the producer contacted me when we were at sea off the coast of Chile or Argentina or somewhere else along the way.
Sometimes, major talk shows decide at the last minute to bring guests on, and if you’re selected, you need to drop everything and boogie to NYC.
Now that we are home from the trip, getting a letter off to the executive producer was at the top of my “to-do” list for early December.
My pitch to the producer was going to be that when I was interviewed in 2001, Matt’s opening question to me was “Has dating changed for people over 50?” Then, he and I discussed the changes.
Having written more than 3,000 columns and newsletters on senior dating and relationships since that 2001 interview, I thought the producer might be interested in the senior dating changes that have occurred since then. I reasoned that Matt could just ask me the same questions.
Some senior dating changes in 2017: Internet dating has grown to approximately 4,000 different dating sites; long-distance relationships are more common; romance scams exploit vulnerable singles; people use Skype and social media to chat; people lie on their profiles; and breaking up by text message happens occasionally.
But, my plan to make another run at a Today show appearance got derailed last week before I mailed the pitch letter to the show’s producer. Matt was terminated after 24 years on the show as co-anchor for allegations of sexual misconduct.
In senior dating when couples meet, timing is everything. Same thing when pitching an appearance on a major network talk show. I guess the dating and relationship books being stored in my garage will continue to gather dust.
Greta’s niece, Gina, mentioned that she saw videos of my TV appearances on my website.
She said, “Send a letter to Today anyway, just change the pitch somewhat, and since you were also on Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer, send a letter to them as well.”
Gina’s right. I’ll include that project among my New Year’s resolutions.
To view videos of Tom’s TV appearances, including parts one and two of the Matt Lauer interview, and the Good Morning America interview with Diane Sawyer, visit www.findingloveafter50.com/videos.
Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites at www.findingloveafter50.com; www.vicsta.com and www.travelafter55.com. To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at www.findingloveafter50.com. Email: email@example.com.