You can read regularly in CityBeat about talented people involved in all sorts of artistic pursuits. Steve Booth is one of them: He's producing XLTV, a local late-night TV show that airs on Cincinnati's UPN affiliate.
"I moved here from Guam," Booth says. "There's nothing to do on Guam. People say there's nothing to do in Cincinnati, and I'm like, 'No, you can go out and see Rock, there's Hip Hop, there's dance music, there's clubs, there's comedy, there's festivals and museums — there's all sorts of stuff.' We picked comedy, live music and Hip Hop to really focus on, and then we throw in an event that's unique to Cincinnati."
Booth and his creative partner, A.J. Silverman, actually fell into producing the program by accident. They met working on XLTV's predecessor, Uncut. "We joke about it being the bastard child that we adopted," says Booth, who's also a stand-up comic. "I came on to perform, and they asked me to come back and host.
Through hosting I met A.J."
"I only came in to try and help (Uncut)," Silverman says. "They needed a little help in editing because they were short of people."
About the time Uncut produced its last episode, everyone involved had quit, leaving Booth and Silverman. "As it came to be," Booth says, "I had to help produce the show, then direct it. We wound up just ... taking over the whole show and renaming it XLTV."
"After we went ahead with the show, we invested in top-of-the-line equipment," Silverman adds.
The duo also wanted to establish a new identity for the show beyond a simple name change.
"We needed something new, a total change of direction," Silverman continues. "(Uncut) wasn't really popular with the station, so we had to really step it up. We totally revamped what the show is. It used to be shot at one location, a hotel bar, and a bunch of Hip Hop-type acts would come out and perform — that would be a show. We travel around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, anywhere there's something good happening. We capture the event and try to bring it to the air in a timely fashion, and then maybe people at home can next week go and catch that band."
The show's first season will come to a close at the end of April. Then it will be decision-making time.
"We need to decide what we do next," Booth says. "We both feel that there's a lot of talent in Cincinnati. We want to try and expose some of it. There are so many cool places to go. Any night of the week, weekends especially, you can pretty much take your pick of what you want."
Booth and Silverman produce XLTV on their own time. "We have two sponsors, AraStar Lending and Go Bananas Comedy Club," Booth says. "They've stepped up and taken care of (paying for the) air time, but everything else we do is on our own time. We really just want to get the format of the show together, and if we get a lot of support and a good response maybe we'll try to do another season."
The general public can help in a variety of ways, says the duo. "E-mails to the station, people that would be interested in stepping up and helping sponsor or ... volunteer," Booth says. (The e-mail address is [email protected].) "There's just two of us ... (handling) every phone call, e-mail, audition, editing and so on. It's either A.J. or myself getting it done. Many hands make light work. If we had more help and some more support, we could make a little bit of noise."
XLTV airs on WBQC-TV 38 early Sunday at 1-1:30 a.m.