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For the past week crews from a Louisville television station have been in Shelby County, talking to business and industry officials and filming segments for an upcoming show in a promotional and marketing campaign encompassing the entire county.
Officials with WDRB-Ch. 41 also have been offering advertising packages to local business owners that would coincide with the hour-long show, which is scheduled to air at 4 p.m. Thursday.
It’s not clear how many segments will comprise or how many businesses will be featured or have purchased advertising to support the show.
Several business owners contacted by The Sentinel-News said they had elected not to take advantage of advertising packages offered by the station. Others had been contacted by business development personnel in the county promoting the opportunity.
Before branching out into the community, WDRB crews met with business and industry officials from the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, and the Shelby Industrial and Development Foundation, the Shelby Development Corporation and Shelby County Tourism & Visitors Bureau to get a picture of Shelby’s business climate, said Libby Adams, executive director of the Shelby Industrial and Development Foundation.
““We had a meet-and-greet, then Bobby [Hudson] and I talked [to them] about some local industries that had some interesting history behind them, and also our farrier industries,” Adams said.
Tourism Executive Director Katie Fussenegger said that she recommended to station officials that they spotlight the Saddlebred industry because it is such an integral part of Shelby County.
“We recommended different stories, such as American Saddlebreds and the design destination in downtown and how we have gone from an agricultural community to a tourism community,” she said.
Eileen Collins, executive director of the Shelby Development Corporation, said she was not aware of any filming taking place downtown, but on Wednesday, crews from the station created segments at The Luci Center and at Undulata Farm.
The farm’s owner, Hoppy Bennett, said he agreed to be included in the show’s segment because he thinks it would promote tourism in the county, something that he works toward each year in opening his farm to visitors.
“They [tourism officials] bring six or seven thousand people through here each year,” Bennett said. “And we don’t charge them for it. We just want to educate the public. I think that’s part of our job, because education is power, and the more you educate the public about the horse industry, the better it is for us in the horse industry.”
The equine presence in Shelby County touches so many aspects of life in the community that any chance to promote it is beneficial, Bennett said.
“You have to understand the economic impact the horse industry has here,” he said. “That being said, I want to say that we couldn’t do it without the help of the mayor and the county judge, and all those people who jump in there and help us with the [Shelbyville] horse show.”
Officials at WDRB did not respond to phone messages seeking specifics, but reporter/anchor Gilbert Corsey said the segment filmed at Undulata will focus on Shelby County’s equine reputation.
“We want to do a story on the fact that this is the Saddlebred capital of the world,” Corsey said.
He added that the station occasionally does similar marketing and news segments in some of the other 30 counties in the station’s coverage area.
“In the two years that I have been here, we have spotlighted E-Town [Elizabethtown] and Bardstown,” he said.